Monday, May 31, 2010

In Search of..."Crafty Farmer"

A blog follower is looking for an old Lyndon Lyon trailer called "Crafty Farmer".  I grew it YEARS ago but it hasn't been part of my collection for a long time.  The description is:

Crafty Farmer (L. Lyon) Semidouble blue. Plain. Semiminiature trailer

If you have this variety or know someone who does, please post a "comment" with the information or send me a private note and I'll forward the information along.

If you're looking for a hard to find variety, let me know and I'll post a similar request.  You can email your requests to

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shirl's Blue Passion or "America's Most Wanted African Violet"

It's funny how a variety that has had such little public exposure can solicit such a demand from the violet community.  Such is the case with Shirl's Blue Passion.

The specimen pictured below was exhibited at the Lone Star African Violet Council show in Texas this past November.  Trust me, there was more than one person who wanted to see a leaf or two fall to the floor!

I should have starter plants of this variety available next year.  I know, a WHOLE year from now.  Patience is a virtue! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Perfect Window!

One of my longtime customers recently sent me the below photo and I can see why she LOVES her violets.  She has the perfect window for them and they certainly are rewarding her with an abundance of bloom.

The "perfect window" normally has an eastern exposure (Northeast or Southeast).  Ideally, you want the window to provide bright, indirect light while maintaining a "comfortable" temperature.  The rule of thumb there is, "If you'd be comfortable sitting there...your violets should be too!"

Remember, if you don't have a "Perfect Window" you can always use florescent lighting to provide the necessary light.  See some of my past blog posts for lighting tips and techniques.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sports! But Not The Kind You Play!

A wonderful trait found within African Violets (saintpaulia - pronounced Saint-Paul-e-ah) is their tendency to sport.  In this context, sport means a mutation different from the original.  One of the earliest sports was the pink blossom followed closely by the double pink blossom.  Sports have given rise to some wonderful breakthroughs over the past 50 years.  Some of these breakthroughs include, but aren't limited to:

1.  Variegated foliage
2.  Pink, red, white, coral and yes, yellow blossoms
3.  White edges (also known as Geneva Edges)
4.  Girl foliage
5.  Sticktite single blossom
6.  Double blossom

The plant below is Rob's Combustible Pigeon.  You can see that half the blossoms (those that are all blue with a white edge) have sported (mutated) from the original (fantasy pattern with white edge).  Once a plant sports, it is very unlikely that it will ever revert back to the original.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ultimate Little Hand Sprayer!

It seems anymore it's nearly impossible to find an affordable hand sprayer that actually works for more than 15 minutes...until now!

Let me share with you the ultimate find in reliable and affordable hand sprayers.  I found this gem at Home Depot and I couldn't believe the price - $6.88.  It has a 64 ounce capacity which is sufficient to spray my entire collection of 2,000 + plants.  I primarily use it to apply fertilizer via foliar feeding but if you do need to use it to spray pesticides, it does that very well too!   

In case you can't read the brand, it's Flo-Master.  Home Depot stocks them in the garden center area near all the weed killers and pesticides (naturally!).

I've had the one pictured now for three years and it works as well today as it did the day I bought it.

So, if you're in need of a good hand sprayer...look no further!