The Gardener's Corner

Some tips on African violets and more petunia stories

Erik has tips on keeping certain flowers blooming

The other day, my mind took me down memory lane.

When I first wrote about growing petunias from seed, it was very detailed, to say the least, but necessary.

A few years ago, I had some hanging baskets, with trailing petunias. As you probably know, in order to keep them blooming, it is necessary to remove the nearly dead flowers, also referred to as deadheading. When doing this with one basket, located over the pea gravel in my parking area, I would just drop the dead flowers on the ground.

I should properly add, I don’t like weeds growing there. The following spring, I noticed some green shoots just underneath were the hanging basket was the year before. So, getting into my “killer instinct” ready with my garden hoe. But with a closer look, I noticed, those were not regular weeds, but looked more like poetunia plants.

So, decided to wait and sure enough the petunia plants spread to a two feet diameter of flowers and was for me the show of year. Remember also, the seeds had been exposed to -20C most of the winter.

Perhaps you have an experience you would like to share with your reader friends. You can send it to my email address. I will not reveal your name.

I visited some friends the other day and admired their African violets in the window sill. Because the flowers were spent, I was asked, how one would get them to flower again, so I will let you know as well.

By the way, those plants can for sure help us to forget this present uncertainty, as they remind us better times will come.

Moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light, during the winter months, allow more sunlight.

Thin dark green leaves and leggy stems, too little light; light green or bleached leaves indicate too much.

Prefer warm conditions 65°F / 18°C or warmer

Pinch off spent blossoms and blossom stems to encourage development of new blooms

Water from the bottom with room temperature water.

Fertilize every two weeks with a high phosphorous plant food, but only during spring and summer.

I went downstairs to examine my tuberous begonia. The tubers, have cured now for several weeks. I cleaned them up by removing most the garden soil sticking to them and stored them away in peat moss. These tubers will multiply after the second year of bloom.

Don’t you think nature is confused, with this mild weather, are we coming or going? On my way into the house just now, I noticed some of buds on the lilac bush, had started to turn green. So, I said to the bush: “You better be careful, when the weather turns cold, or you will have your “buds” frozen off.”

It you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please email me:

Just Posted

Comox Valley medical clinics are all open, including the availability to book face-to-face care (i.e. for a physical examination) as per your clinic’s protocol (most clinics operate a “virtual care first” policy). ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Northern Health launches virtual primary care clinic

Northerners without a family physician or nurse practitioner will now have access to primary care

Demonstrators lined Hwy 16 May 5 to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Deb Meissner photo)
VIDEO: Smithers gathering marks Red Dress Day honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Approximately 70 people lined Hwy 16, drumming, singing and holding up placards

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

The road to Telegraph Creek (Hwy 51) was closed April 15 due to a washout. On May 4, the road was opened to light-duty passenger vehicles during specific times. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure/Facebook)
Telegraph Creek Road opens for light-duty vehicles

Road has been closed since April 15 due to a washout

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
B.C. teacher suspended after calling students ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ in online messages

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Most Read