One of the most popular African violet plants is the Bloodroot or Roseradish plant. It is a member of the lily family, Verbenaceae, which includes cacti and salami. It grows well in Africa, Asia and South America. The name “Lily” comes from the plant’s purple, lilac colored flowers, which are pollinated by ladybirds. In fact, it is one of the favorites of these birds for eating.
The plant has been described as having a long shelf life; reaching up to 30 years in age. It can survive temperatures of zero degrees Fahrenheit, and grows well even in soil that lacks oxygen. The leaves are dark green, and grow to be about two to three feet tall. The flowers appear to be little blue blooms, which are followed by stalks covered with a thin white furry substance. The stem has four to six leaflets. Flowers are on a white base, and the plant grows to be about three feet tall.
The “Queen Anne” plant is a purple version of the Bloodroot. It was introduced by H.H. de Pirke, ineds England, in the late nineteenth century. The name comes from the plant’s habit of producing a purple blush, similar to the one that occurs when a person is about to urinate.
The common name is “Queen Anne’s Lace”, which is also the common name of the flowering plant. It can be identified by its large size (about three feet tall), its white bluish blooms and by the short, furry stalks. It is often planted as an annual, being extremely tolerant to frost and drought conditions.
A periodic mulching with straw will help the plant cope with dry spells. You should mulch every third or fourth year. This will encourage new growth, as well as protecting the root system.
The perennial flowers are large, up to six inches in diameter. They have a bright yellow center and a band of pale pink, ranging from three to nine inches around. The flower head has a pair of prickly, white bracts. The blooming period is spring through early summer.
Why is my African violet leaf turning yellow? African violets are very susceptible to a fungal infection called Rust. The fungus attacks the upper most leaves and causes rapid growth and distortion. The infected plant will curl up and die. Rust grows rapidly, and is difficult to control. The fungus has a deep root system which means it takes time to get rid of it.
This plant is not hardy, and prefers full sunlight. If you live in an area that is frost resistant, keep a plant covered during the winter. It is an annual, so it will grow quickly. Once established, it will produce abundant blooms throughout the year. To get the full South African decoration potential, use organic soil and fertilizer. Make sure the soil is well rotted before planting.
What causes the transformation of color? Rust starts in the lowermost leaflet and moves upward. If the surrounding foliage is fair-to-good, the leaves are probably turning yellow. If the leaves are turning yellow and there is no visible sign on the lower leaflet, the disease has probably spread to the entire plant.
How do you know if your African violet plants have Rust? Look carefully at the leaves. If the upper surface is discolored, it may be an indicator. The veins may appear dark blue or purple. Rust often affects plants with a dark green leaf color. In addition, it frequently affects plants with white veins.
Why is my african violet leaves turning yellow? If you see a brown to yellow discoloration on a new growth tip, the roots are probably infected. Discolored leaves that grow older do not point to Rust, but to fungal attack. You should try to treat the infection right away, before the leaflet matures and turns yellow.
What are some other signs? Look for distorted growth patterns on the leaflet. Leaves can appear deformed and twisted, looking like they are sprouting into the ground rather than sticking up above the earth. Yellow spots can form where Rust has infected leaves. A dry and yellowish rash near the base of a leaflet indicates Rust. A red, hot, itchy rash near the bottom of a leaflet may be the result of a second infestation.