The Symptom-Based Guide for Diagnosing African Violets
Doctor Optimara is a symptom-based guide for diagnosing African Violets. It allows you to choose from among combinations of symptoms in order to determine the cause of the problems an African Violet is experiencing.
Second, keep in mind that an African Violet may be suffering from more than one problem at the same time. As a consequence, a certain combination of symptoms may point to a single problem when, in fact, that combination of symptoms has arisen due to two or more problems. For instance, it would not be uncommon for a neglected Violet to be suffering from both a lack of water and too much sunlight. Furthermore, one problem may contribute to another. Certain insects, for instance, may cause symptoms directly. However, because they may also be carriers of Botrytis or a virus, they may also be the indirect cause of additional problems. For these reasons, always follow through on your diagnosis by carefully comparing all the symptoms you are seeing with the description of the pest, pathogen or cultural problem that is indicated by the combination of symptoms provided.
Finally, remember that this guide is only a tool. While we believe that it will be extremely useful in helping you narrow your search for the cause or causes of your African Violet's symptoms, there is no way to fully guarantee the accuracy of any diagnosis. Even professionals, who specialize in the pathology of plants, recognize that a given pest or pathogen may not cause the same set of symptoms under all circumstances. Variables which can influence a specific Violet's reaction to a pest or pathogen include environmental conditions and the unique cultural practices of each grower.
African Violet Glossary
As you use this guide, you may come across linked terms. To look up the definition of a linked term, simply click on the term, and you will be referred directly to a glossary entry for it.
Note on Photographs
While efforts are currently underway to include photographs and other visual elements which will help in identifying the various conditions that may affect African Violets, such elements have not yet been incorporated into this guide. They will, however, be included as soon as they can be compiled.
Given the enormous complexity and size of this project, we fully expect that at least some revisions will be in order. If you have any comments on this guide, please let us know. You can e-mail us by clicking on the "Contact Optimara" link on the Home Page.
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