How To Clone A Coleus Plant In 3 Steps

You can learn how to clone a coleus plant via propagation from cuttings. You can even make the process much simpler if you opt for a cloning machine to guarantee a 100% success rate on your cuttings. But regardless if you use a device or not, you may also find that using a greenhouse is advantageous since you’re skipping the fluctuating external conditions that can affect the growth of cuttings. 

Take comfort in knowing that the University of California labeled coleus as easy to grow. More so, the best way to propagate these plants is from cuttings. Gardeners who want to guarantee their coleus plants’ clones can feel confident about their skills for propagating cuttings even if they’re newbies.  

How To Clone A Coleus Plant In 3 Steps

How To Clone A Coleus Plant Easily

 

Propagating coleus plants from cuttings

We all know that compared to growing plants from seeds, the best way to guarantee the parent plant’s copies is from cuttings. You can grow coleus from seeds and cuttings, so the best way to get clones is by using the latter. It will only take three steps, and all you need are a sterilized and sharp cutting tool, water, container, and rooting hormone. 

 

Collecting stem cuttings

You can take many stem cuttings from one coleus plant, making it an affordable and quick way to get clones. Growing parent plants for propagation in the greenhouse will always give you a head start because you can guarantee that they are healthy and diseases-free. A useful tip for selecting parent plants is by checking those with many stems branching out from the main ones. 

This way, you know that they will be vigorous enough to survive the removal, and the process would be more comfortable too. Once you selected your parent plant, cut anywhere from two to six inches of stem below a node where there was a bud or stem. However, make sure that the branches you cut are apical, meaning they have a bud at the end. 

The importance of apical stems is that you’ll end up with a bushy coleus plant. Additionally, cutting below a node will help with the success of the propagation in rooting. The stem’s length will also benefit the plant in being more stable when you stand it upright later on. 

 

Preparing cuttings

The next step is preparing the cuttings for planting. You want to trim them and remove the leaves at the most bottom portion. The leaves you’ll remove include the petioles and stipules so that the topmost leaves are the only ones that remain. 

Some gardeners also pinch the leaves with their fingers instead of cutting them off. You want to remove all leaves except the topmost ones, so none of them gets submerged later. After leaf removal, you can use a rooting hormone powder on their ends. 

The wonderful thing with coleus cuttings is that they can root easily even without the rooting hormone’s help. Most gardeners mentioned that upon placement in the media such as moist potting soil or vermiculite, the cuttings form roots immediately. If you’re using a greenhouse, you can keep the humidity level high, too, to encourage rooting faster. 

If you opt to use a rooting hormone, remember to wear gloves and mask and be sanitary in using a container for dipping. Commonly, you need to dip the cutting in water before you’ll put it in the powder. Tap off the excess, and you should be ready for planting. 

 

Planting

The final step is growing the cuttings to develop roots before transplanting them. The simplest way to root them is to put the coleus stems in containers filled with water and place in indirect light. You can have one cutting per container or have more in one. 

The only catch is that you want to submerge the nodes and not the top leaves. Some gardeners do not wait for rooting in the water, and they immediately plant the cuttings in a container of light and moist potting mix. Either way, maintaining moisture is necessary for the cuttings to grow. 

It can take a week for roots to grow, and if you are happy with their number and thickness, you should be ready for transplanting. You can do so in the greenhouse or outdoors, as long as you use a fertile potting soil that is loose. Those who want to avoid the danger of frost but want to maintain productivity will benefit more by transplanting in the greenhouse. 

 

Conclusion

Propagation is an easy way to create copies of plants. You can use a cloning machine for cuttings, but the machine-free and traditional method will also work well if you want to know how to clone a coleus plant. Since these plants are generally easy to grow, you can expect that propagating them from cuttings is fuss-free. 

Choose a healthy parent plant and cut a 6-inch stem below a node. Coleus can root without the help of rooting powder, but you can still use some for safety. Next is to transfer the cuttings in a container with water, ensuring that you’ll submerge the nodes but not the top leaves. 

You can also use a greenhouse to transplant or grow the parent plants themselves to avoid dangers in fluctuating climate. Overall, propagation from cuttings is a beginner-friendly way to clone a coleus plant. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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