Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ohio African Violet Show and Sale

'Buckeye Too Tempting'

In my last post, I talked about the design portion of the Ohio African violet show. My favorite part of the show, though, is the horticulture portion of the show where all the violets and other gesneriads are displayed and judged. These plants are well grown and beautiful;  the best of the best. These are plants grown to perfection by people who know what they are doing and do it very well. 

'Buckeye Cranberry Sparkler'

Not only are there amazing plants, there are programs given by famous African violet growers and hybridizers. The first four pictures are of Buckeye hybrids. They are hybridized by Pat Hancock, who taught one of the seminars. It was about growing plants from a leaf to a show plant. She talked about the fact that all facets of growing the plant is controlled by the person growing it. The more attention paid to them, the better off the plants will look. The most important part of the plant is the crown and the roots. If you don't have good roots, you won't have a good crown. A new idea I learned from Pat is that when potting a violet, put about 1 1/2 inches of a perlite/vermiculite mix at the bottom of the pot before putting soil on top and potting the violet. Violets roots prefer lots of air in their soil and by putting the vermiculite and perlite at the bottom, it allows more air to get to the roots. Violets have shallow root systems, so this system is a great way to cultivate these plants. I'm going to try it with the plants I bought this last weekend. Pat's philosophy is that starting a plant from a leaf is easier to raise because you are cultivating it in the conditions it will be growing in permanently. Buying a plant means you have to take on a plant that has been growing in the conditions that someone else has. It then has to acclimate itself to your conditions. It really does make sense. 
Buckeye 'Irresistible'

'Buckeye Seductress'

 She also reminded us that  variegated plants such as the one to the right will have more variegation if grown in cooler conditions. If a variegated plant becomes green, it is growing in conditions that are too warm.

'The Alps'

This plant on the left is called 'The Alps' and is a chimera. Chimeras are special violets that can't be propagated by leaves, only by suckers. As you can see, the flowers are striped. These plants are always more costly, because they cannot be propagated from leaves.


The Yukako, also a chimera,  is my favorite violet as you can probably ascertain from my blog, facebook, and  twitter account.

'Newtown Grape Suzette'
The violet above was huge, probably at least 15" or more across. It was beautiful!

Optimara 'Evergrace'
Optimara 'Evergrace' is one of the many space violets hybridized by Optimara. Seeds were sent into space, originally meant to be there for 11 months. They ended up being in space for 6 years. The experiment was meant to see what would happen to the seeds after being exposed to cosmic radiation and the lack of gravity. The outcome were plants that are large and bloom almost continually.

'Rob's Antique Rose'
'Mac's Misty Meadow'

'Petite Blarney'

Not only does the show have fabulous African violets, it also has other amazing gesneriads, such as episcias, columneas, streptocarpus, and achimenes. 

Espicia 'Country Copper'

Steptocarpus 'Raydar's Ruthie'

Episcia 'Karlyn'

Columnea herthae

There are also other classes, such as African violets in unusual or decorative containers.

How cute is this little violet in an antique container?

There are also dish gardens,.....

natural gardens,.......

and terrariums, all having African violets incorporated in the design.

As you can see, there was lots to see, do, and that doesn't even include the sales room, where you could buy all the fabulous plants you saw in the show. Commercial growers were there, including, Lyndon Lyon, The Violet Barn, Violet Gallery, Cape Cod Violetry, and and Pat Hancock with her Buckeye hybrids. Not to mention that this all took place at Kingwood Center, an exceptional public garden. I'll write more about that in my next post. 
Next year, make a trip to Mansfield, Ohio for the Ohio African Violet Show and sale. You won't be disappointed. ...... Bring your checkbook!


  1. These are beautiful.... I would love to attend a violet show someday! #gardenchat

  2. Next year we will go together! Have you been to Kingwood Center? Beautiful place!

  3. Next year we will go together! Have you been to Kingwood Center? Beautiful place!