Q&A – Weak Stems

Terri L. asks Annie:

Q Hi Annie,

My violets are growing and flowering great, but the flower stems are very long and weak.  Any idea why?

A Terri,

My first thought is that it’s likely due to how the plant was hybridized.  Here is an example from my own stands of beautiful blossoms and really weak pedicels and peduncles, both: LE-Malakhitovaya Rosa (Malachite Rose) 

LE-Malakhitovaya Rosa_Malachite Rose
LE-Malakhitovaya Rosa_Malachite Rose

I decided to run this question by Joyce.  As usual, she has some interesting information to add.  Here is what she said:  “Genetics plays a huge role, so I think you [Annie] are right that hybridizing is the key. But there is a subtle link to the temperature in which the plant is grown. Cell division occurs much faster in warm temperatures. If a plant is hybridized in cool conditions and tends to hold its flowers up nice and tall in the cold, that same hybrid is going to have long weak flower stems in hotter growing areas. 

This question is interesting though, in that she has a general problem with long weak flower stems. Is she growing violets which all came from the same hybridizer or source?  Just trying a different source in a different area of the country might correct the problem. There may also be a link to the fertilizer she is using since fertilizer also can affect cell division.”

I hope this information helps,  
Annie  :-)