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Semi and Mini Trailers...oh dear. Newbie assumes small = small

May 4, 2015
last modified: May 4, 2015

So, as y'all know, I went slightly mini-mad recently. And then, I decided that small trailers would be nice, too.

29 minis and semi minis, and several GW AV sessions later, i read in someone's post that the semi mini and mini trailers could grow to be quite large. rah-roh...I haven't planned for LARGE plants. I hoped maybe he meant large relative to a small 2" pot size.... but apparently not, as I found this note under'culture of trailers'

Mini or semi- mini trailers will of course be too large for show if not confined.

So apparently, I'm going to have some very large plants. Some belated display planning advice is seriously needed.

This is what I have in the trailing department so far:

Minis: Jersey Girl Trail, Pixie Run Around Sport, Chilly Willy, Baby Brian. The article linked above tells me these can stay in 2 1/2" pots. But I would love to be able to show them off as hanging trailers, if they really trail. Do any of you display yours this way? What size pots are you using?

Semis: Broadway Star Trail, Wagga Wagga, Humpty Do, Amadie Trail, Whodunit

These, I read, should be moved to 3" pots immediately. If I keep potting up as they grow, what size pot will they eventually need?

And, finally, where do you find the hanging baskets that will hold shallow pan pots?

Thanks for your help,


Comments (33)

  • quimoi

    It refers to leaf size. Jersey Girl Trail hasn't taken off for me so I doubt it will overrun the house. Pixie Runaround Sport, ditto - not generally huge, Chilly Willy, not a trailer, Baby Brian, can be tricky, worry about it blooming first. No, I don't think any of them exactly trail. Most trailers don't hang like ivy or something.

    Look on Violet Barn's site for some examples. He's good at them. His own grow a little differently than most. But he has some photographs of others. Broadway Star Trail hasn't done much here. I'm not familiar with how Amadie Trail behaves (pretty photo though) and I never heard of Whodunnit. The best thing I could do about hanging things was to get the hanging basket hangers that clip on, find a large saucer from a pot, clip the hanger to the saucer, and sit the pan pot in it. Of course after that, I'd forget to look up and it dries out. First worry about getting them to fill a pan pot :)

    I like the old standards that just grow more like shrubs and I don't worry about them being show trailers. Rob's actually get bigger than those ones.

    Teeny Bopper is little, not that I'm overly fond of it.

    Edit: I just looked up and one is sitting in a frozen dinner bowl - like Healthy Choice. It has a wire hanger on it. I presume I melted holes in it and wired it that way. Not real pretty but it holds the pot.

    Diana in PA

    jll0306 thanked quimoi
  • Karin

    I've just graduated some of my trailers (the madam, pixie blue and Milky Way trail) from 4" bonsai pots to 6" azalea pots. They aren't pan pots, so I filled the bottom half with perlite.

    I have baby Brian, but it is a literal baby still. Blooms without problem though, so I assume I got the "good strain". It's in a 5" pan pot and that's woefully over potted.

    Pixie runaround sport is more of a shrub than a trailing thing. I keep cutting it apart thinking if I pay better attention as it grows, it would shape more evenly. Then I forget. Right now I have probably a dozen or more rooting crowns....

    Jersey girl trail is a similar story. The one that did best has turned into a ball of it's own accord. Who am I to tell it otherwise? It's in a dish garden, but I may dig it up because it's the nicest one I have.

    I think a lot of the size depends on the size of the container and grooming. I haven't seen actual hang-over-the-side-of-the-pot-trailers, either. Maybe a species or two. But mostly they seem to be shrubs, or piles of blooms...


  • jll0306

    Thank you so much, Diana in PA,

    Whodunnit is another of Rob's hybrids (Sdbl. white pansies with deep fuchsia-red eye, variable thin red edge. Glossy, medium green foliage. AVSA #7902(

    Your gardening decor sounds like mine...I'll use whatever's available in a pinch. So, based on your comments and Rob's photos, I should expect more blooming bush form, more than trailing form. Looks like these will be tabletop violets, then, not grow shelf violets.

    Sorry, I confused my Chilly Willy with my Lilli Pilli. Which turns out to be a sm trailer that I;m really looking forward to seeing (Sdbl. deep lavender-pink pansies with dark
    blue fantasy streaks. Trails great, constantly in bloom. AVSA #8063)

    My Baby Brian is definitely a teeny-weeny, with itsy bitsy leaves. I'll be sure to give it some extra attention along the way, and hope for blooms. But at least I know that if it, Jersey Girl and Broadway Star don't take off, it may not be a problem unique to me.

    That's encouraging...in a discouraging kind of way. lol.


  • jll0306

    oops, posted before I saw your message, Karin. Thank you. Now I'm encouraged again!

    What is your local climate like? Ours is dry with a hot summer bracketed by two shoulder seasons of warm days, cool nights and two months of winter. This means we have great day/night temperature swings much of the year. but my NOID has done well, so maybe the babies will, too.

    Pixie Run Around Sport arrived looking like it had bedhead! I thought it might get better if I were conscientious about turning it, but it may be that its wild genes are too strong.

    I've been looking for smaller pan pots, but they all start at 4". However, I found some 3/$ smaller plastic ashtrays at the dollar store that looked like they might work, if I drill a hole in the bottom, so that may be the next step up for Baby Brian.


  • quimoi

    Karin seems to be doing really well with some of them, not that I'm a great trailer grower but others have had some issues with The Madam for instance, and Pixie Blue never got so big for me (didn't try either). Still look at some photos and you'll have a better idea of what "trailer" means. I gave up on Milky Way Trail 2x.


    Rob's Whodunit (7902) 06/02/1993 (R. Robinson) Semidouble white sticktite pansy/bright red eye, variable thin red edge. Medium green, quilted, glossy. Semiminiature
    That's why I couldn't find it and sometime's that matters because there might be a Lyon's something and a plain Something, not to be confused with each other (except how easy it is). There are probably some Rob's like that although not Whodunit. Wooloomooloroo or any of those things that I give up on (kind of faked that one). That one looks pretty, BTW. Mine is fairly aggressive - Boolaroo, I think. It was at the back of the plant light for awhile and was in a pan pot. They kind of make heaps.

    Diana in PA

  • Karin

    I wouldn't say i am doing well with trailers... for having the reputation to be constantly in bloom, mine sure aren't. but i've figured out why - i am constantly repotting, grooming, disbudding... i just caught myself picking the buds off a young plant of rob's scooter (not a trailer) because it has one crooked leaf and i want it to grow out faster... (haha, our club show is april 2nd NEXT YEAR.)

    This Morning's escapade:

    Fairy Fountains in a 6x4x2" deep bonsai pot:

    Repotted in 6" azalea pot (and groomed a little bit):

    the remaining carnage, ok it wasn't just fairy fountains... i see pacific pearl and playful spectrum in there too...:

    and i am so proud. this is the first time ever i didn't plant any of the chopped off crowns or leaves....


    P.S. now there are only 4 more trailers that need to go into bigger pots.... but i am out of soil, perlite, and pots. not to mention space...

  • quimoi

    If that is one plant, 4 crowns (and it appears as though it is), I think you are doing extremely well. I am probably unwilling to do whatever you are supposed to do to attempt that. I saw one nice plant of Fairy Fountans (other than the wonderful show photo ) and she said it quit doing well for her. It never worked out for me.

    Still, I don't have room for lots of pan pots anyway. There is that :)

    Diana in PA

  • Karin

    It is one plant :-) and way more than 4 crowns ;-)

    That is actually the problem though. The ends appear to want to start zippering. So far it's a limited occurrence, but I keep having to thin them out. Still, this one grows best for me so far....

  • jll0306

    Lovely plant, Karin. We want photos of it before the show!

    I am eating flan, lots and lots of flan. I've discovered that the cups of one certain variety are perfect for the trailers I'm moving up to three inch pots. Not quite pan pots, but not as deep as the regular 3/"

    Plus they have a nice wide rim for suspending in smaller porcelain and ceramic containers...instant self waterers. Maybe, one day, I'll have a plant picture to show, too.


  • Karin

    well, if you aren't afraid to keep chopping them back, you can keep them small...i just saw some in a show and the 14" trailer got less points than the 6" one... which proves, it isn't all about size :-)

  • jonboyny

    BTW, I see you mentioned Rob's Whodunit in your semi mini trailers list. That one is NOT a trailer. It's a single crown AV.

  • jll0306

    Thank you, JonboyNY. I don't know how I got that in the wrong group...that means I have a loose trailer mingling with the others. I'll have to go inspect the labels again tomorrow.

    I came across a mini trailer wish list on another AV forum...the poster is looking for older varieties...many, many older varieties. If anyone is interested in seeing the list and seeing if they can do a trade, it is here at the Violet Voice.

  • Rosie1949

    I looked up mini violet Pip Squeak and found out that there are actually 2 mini violets with that name but the second one is spelled Pip Squeek. Found that to be very confusing. Rosie

  • Rosie1949

    Does anyone have any experience with either of the Pip Squeek/Squeak's?

  • Rosie1949

    Found these 2 sites that have great info on Micro and Mini's and more! Even Streps!! Rosie

    TRAILING VIOLETS - Annapolis Valley African Violet Society


    VIOLETS. History. The Tinari greenhouses introduced the very first trailing AfricanHybrid in 1954 ... classified under the (micro-miniature), ... Cultural Care. Light.

    Debbie's African Violets


    How to propagate african violets from leaves, suckers, baskets. ... For miniature ormicro-mini leaves I like to use something small like a ... May 4, 2007 - It's been two months since the leaves were planted, and there are several babies growing.

  • jll0306

    Thanks, Rosie. I love having new sources to read. I wasn't going to get into leaf propagation this soon, but I couldn't resist an ebay offer. Looking forward to having some thing pop up in a month.

    Re: Pip Squeek and Pip Squeak...did you find anything more about them?

  • Rosie1949

    Yes I did,,,,,Pip Squeek with 2 e's is this plant! What a pretty little thing.

    Pip Squeak with "ea" spelling is actually Shirl's Pip Squeak, shown below.

    Isn't that a beauty???? It all boils down to spelling.

    Google both names and you will find the technical information about them. I have Pip Squeek and geeze I would love to have Pip Squeak! lol

    Oh and guess what? I have some strep cuttings and found out I am trying to root them the wrong way! I didn't know you had to cut each side of the rib, turn the leaf to the cut side and put THAT part in the soil!!!!! I thought you put it in the soil the way it grows,,,,,until I read Debbie's African Violets-How to root a strep! I have to go fix them! All five of them!!!!! Hope I am not too late!!!! Rosie

    PS. Wish me luck !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Karin

    Rosie, you can root streps the "traditional" way. i'm told it may only give you one plantlet, but it is less likely that you lose a leaf to rot etc. that way.

    Whatever you do, just make sure the cut end has good contact with your rooting medium.

    Good Luck :-)


  • Rosie1949

    Whew,,,,Karin thanks so much. Do you have a preference? Is one way easier than another as far as the plant is concerned? Hmmm,,,it would be nice to get more than one baby. I only have 5 leaves. Think it would hurt to re do at least one? They have been "planted" for about a week or so. Thanks! Rosie

  • jonboyny

    Dibley's page shows you three methods for strep propagation: Dibley's

  • Rosie1949

    jonboyny thanks! I saved that also in my files. I did do it right! Thanks again!!! Rosie

  • shihtzu4su

    yup i went by the second method on the dibley website... and i posted updates in the Strep forum. :) i just divided my first few leaves and babies!

  • Rosie1949

    I looked my strep cut over and there was just a little [gulp] rot on the end. So I cut that edge away. I cut the rib out and replanted it the other way! Hope it works!!!! Rosie

    PS. are we supposed to talk about streps here?????

  • shihtzu4su

    Hey, if you loose them, I can supply you with some more! :-) Well, Streps are related to African Violets, so I don't think we will offend anyone as long as we don't take over the forum! But someone correct me if i'm wrong!

  • Rosie1949

    Thanks Su! I will let you know how the streps do. AND I am really antsy to start some of my mini trailers and micro mini leaves! There are some that could be started. But first I want to make sure I have the right stuff for them. I am thinking a little raspberry container cause it has a lid. The lid and the bottom have slashes in them for great ventilation. Oh I have never had a micro mini and the smaller something is the more it fascinates me!!! Rosie

  • fortyseven_gw

    I love how these old threads get revived!

  • dbarron

    Lol, would be nice to hear updates from people above. Though I'm not sure what 'the gh' refers to?

  • irina_co

    Who knows ... may be they already moved on to miniature poodles...

  • Rosie1949

    Lately I have been having not so good results with my mini's. But I persevere!!! I will prevail!!!! haha

    Yeah,,,I can't figure out gh either. To me it means greenhouse. Maybe a reference to my using a little plastic container like a little greenhouse??? Rosie

  • fortyseven_gw

    Rosie. My micro minis look awful in winter. I can't wait for them to bloom again so I can give them away. I dislike minis and micros for my environment. Joanne

  • irina_co

    Yeah... tender little things...

    Though there are some durable minis... Optimara minis are tough.

  • Rosie1949

    OMG Joanne how can you not simply love the "littles"?????? They are my favorites! The smaller the better,,,,,they are just too cute! But I understand if they don't do well for your enviornment. I grow mine on wicks, they seem to do well. They do slow down in winter but that is ok.

    I am in love with the "littles"!!!!!!!!! Rosie

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