Saturday, January 30, 2010

goofing off with the african violets...

still just getting used to the new camera... this time I was seeing how well the close-up feature works... took a few pics of the African Violets (Saintpaulia)

I've mentioned before that I'm not terribly fond of the things. I've always found them fussy, quaint and just too darned cute for my taste. The fact that they're actually growing and blooming this well is rather surprising to me.

I grow them in a 50 gallon fish tank terrarium that I origionally had just for propogating cuttings. Today I had them out to pull off dead leaves and flowers, so I decided to take some pics while they were out.

This one showed up here a little after Christmas. A friend down the street had recieved it as a gift, complete with glitter on the leaves... and brown spots where it had been watered wrong... anyway, it's starting to recover well, and has put out a new bunch of blooms...

The pick shows the blooms a little bluer than actuallity, but it's really the classic African violet... standard leaves, dark green with purply-red on the bottom, nice single blooms. It looks much like the violets that I remember everybody growing when I was a kid. It's about 9 inches across and growing in a six inch pot... which makes it rather huge for a Saintpaulia...

This one seems to have picked up some of the first ones glitter... Actually, it may have come from the same store as the first one as I inherited it after someone else got it as a present last Christmas... (I'm seriously considering putting a sign outside that says "Claudes Home for Wayward Plants" Maybe I can get tax-exempt status. I'm looking into it...)
It also is about 9 inches across in a six inch pot, identical to the previous plants. No brown spots on the leaves though... these are lighter green, no red undersides... and the older leaves tend to try to ruffle on the edge.
This is one of my moms... I think I had it in a previous posts... about 6 inches across in a 4 inch pot. Leaves are small, and I seam to recall that it is a semi-dwarf. It was in Mom's kitchen window for at least 7 years that I recall.

and of course, I think everybody has a heart leaf philodendron... or they have had one, or they remember one, or they've decided that they're so dirt common they hate them... (Philodendron scandens. Or P. scandens sp. oxicardium. Or P. cordatum. Or whatever they've decided last week... )

I bought this for a specific reason... I found a pic of my Mom in her kitchen when she lived in Germany that triggered a specific memory...
When Mom & Dad were first married, he was in the army and they were stationed in Germany. Mom, however, refused to live on the base... she figured if she was in Germany, it was kind of silly to live in a small American town. That, plus she always said that if she'd have been on that base, she probably would have strangled one of the officers wives... no particular officers wife, any of them would have done... But I have a very bad pic of Mom in her kitchen in Germany, and it has one of these plants growing on a huge scale...
These things will vine indefinitely. Mom had one growing that was rigged with string and thumbtacks all the way around the edges of the kitchen cieling... kind of a living green decorative molding. I asked her whatever happened to the thing... she said that it was common for the Army wives to sell them whenever their husbands were transfered and they had to move... they were sold for about 25 cents per foot, plus a little extra if the pot was especially nice, and she'd gotten $7.00 for hers.
Now, I have no intention of letting this thing wander around my cieling, but I was thinking of maybe letting it frame a window... And it looks like it may just be entering the running/vining stage.
Also, I did a little research... it would appear that according to N.A.S.A. if you have a high concentration of formaldahyde in the air in your house... this is the best plant for cleaning the air. If you have a low concentration, Aloe vera works better.
Since I have both this plant and Aloe vera around, I have every confidence that I'm now safe from free floating clouds of formaldahyde. Not that I was worried about them until I realized that N.A.S.A. probably wouldn't be researching how to get rid of free floating clouds of formaldahyde unless there was a reason. Or they were really bored.

1 comment:

  1. I love these!!! I wish I could have some AV's. I just can't water them enough...although your terrarium sounds ideal!!!