Sunday, November 13, 2011

Show apprehension

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.


  1. Some people don't bring their show plants home. I think that you can sell your show plants at the sale. This of course means having duplicates at home. This is what I plan on doing for our spring show if we can sell the plants we bring to compete. And I think I would do it with all of the plants I bring in unless it was a chimera or my only clone of the variety.

    The space you make will give you room to try new things, and after the intense bloom of a show it can take quite awhile for your plants to recover anyhow. Why do you want to disbud such a beautiful show specimen anyhow to bring it home , a member of the populace could take it home and enjoy it on their table for a couple weeks.

    Also that lady you are referring to took her plant to a county fair from my understanding. If you go to a actual violet show I am certain that the rules are posted often and policed vigilantly so no leaves will be pilfered. And as always when you bring plants home from a show or sale you have to do what.... isolate.

    If we don't show our plants we cannot get new people interested in the hobby, and if there are no new people interested the clubs and the hobby that we so enjoy will die with us. boo urns, thats right I said it boo urns.

    So I really would encourage bringing plants to show. One of the rules for an avsa show is that any plant displaying bug damage is disqualified, and as a strict rule you are only to bring plants that you don't believe are infected in any way or form.


  2. I'll take plants for the sale but I don't have duplicates of any of my violets that I'd love to show off. The mites that I mentioned earlier likely came from the AVSA convention, of all places.

    I'm still pondering what I should do. I may be in a better position to leave a plant behind in a year though, rather than this coming year.