Last March I went to my first African Violet show. I was enamored by all the beautiful plants and blown away by all the wonderful people that I met. I quickly joined a local club and my plant collection started to grow by leaps and bounds! In May there was a "challenge" put out by another club to encourage people to enter their violets into the show coming up this next March and I thought to myself, "Why not?"
Last night and this morning I read two posts from people that made me re-think my "why not?"...
A woman posted last night that she'd entered some of her plants in a local show. She ended up winning two BIS and several other awards. She came home minus some leaves that had been pinched off without her knowledge and thrips. From the thrips and the measures that she took to protect her other plants, she lost 5 of her plants.
Today I read a blog entry from another woman who took some of her plants to show last spring. Her plants aren't doing so well now and she's suspecting mites. She's thinking that she may have to throw away her entire collection.
I really love some of my violets and my oldest ones have only been here for a little over a year. I'd be heart broken if I took some of these wonderful plants to show them off and they got sick and died as a result. Especially when it's known that these plants can live for decades, with proper care. Yes, I know that they're looked over for pests when they enter the show area but things get missed and there's always a chance that *other* plants in the nursery where the show is held can cause issues as well.
I'm a volunteer for the upcoming show and that'll be a lot of fun but I'm seriously wondering if I should leave my plants at home.