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How To Collect Begonia Seeds. Best 2-Step Guide

It only takes two steps to learn how to collect begonia seeds. This will be a useful skill to have when growing begonia from seeds because you can take advantage of your existing plants. Even though it’s not the most popular way to start begonias, you can make the most of the seedpods that your plants will develop after the flowering period. 

Speaking of propagation, it’s worth considering to grow begonias indoors. Remember that some types struggle in certain climates, so you’ll have a better chance of starting begonias in the greenhouse to guarantee healthy seedlings. After all, growing any plant from seed requires stable conditions to ensure germination. 

 

How To Collect Begonia Seeds. Best 2-Step Guide

How To Gather Begonia Seeds

 

Step #1. Harvesting

You want to always be on the lookout for your seedpods so that you can harvest them on time. The plants should start developing them when the flowers begin to dry and wither. Wait for the seedpods to dry before taking them off the plant, but don’t take too long in letting them dry as they might split open, and you’ll end up losing seeds to harvest. 

 

Step #2. Drying and storage

Once you collected the seedpods, open them over a piece of paper so that it’s easier to pour them on a container later. Fold the paper to create a funnel and pour the seeds into a sealed container for drying. Let your seeds dry in this container for a week before the next step.

After you have dried the seeds, you want to remove the chaff so that you’ll only be left with viable seeds for planting. You can do this by using two sheets of paper to make the separation easier. Finally, store the viable seeds into an envelope, seal it, and mark them for use next season.

 

 

How To Propagate Begonias

According to the American Begonia Society, you can propagate begonias via stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, and division. These are excellent methods for those with existing mature begonias, so you can save time instead of using seeds. More so, you may have an easier time with begonia propagation if you start in the greenhouse because of the stable and controlled conditions.

 

Stem cuttings

We all know that you can root begonia either in water and soil. This makes them one of the plants that are easy to propagate from stem cuttings, even if you have no experience. Please start by selecting a healthy parent plant as your cuttings source to ensure that it won’t get stressed afterward. 

Cut sections below a node around 4 inches long, but ensure that it is free of any diseases and damages. This is also the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your leggy begonias to provide the cuttings for you. However, use a sharp and sterile tool to ensure a clean cut.

Before rooting, prepare the cutting by removing all the lower leaves that can rot when you stick the cutting in water or soil. It would help if you also pruned off all the flowers to direct the cutting’s energy to root development. Then, place the cutting in a glass of water or pot of moist soil to allow them to root.

 

Leaf cuttings

Besides stems, you can also root begonias from leaf cuttings. Choose a healthy mature leaf with plump main veins, but don’t worry if it looks somewhat tattered as long as you have seen a healthy underside. Cut the leaf with some stem intact, and then remove the stem for rooting.

Flip the leaf and make a half-inch cut across the largest veins with a sharp and sterile knife so that you can see where the begonia leaf will develop plantlets. Some gardeners also cut every vein an inch from the central vein. Then, turn the leaf over and press it into your medium. 

Secure the contact between the cuts and the medium by pinning the leaf down, but be mindful not to damage a vein. Ensure rooting by covering the container with plastic and maintain soil moisture. You can also place them in the greenhouse and provide fluorescent lights for faster growth.

 

Division

Finally, those with more mature begonia plants can divide them for propagation and also maintenance. Remember that your plants will start showing fewer flowers over time but grow bigger tubers ideal for the division. Therefore, consider dividing begonias early in spring, so the buds have swollen enough for optimal growth.

Dig around the plant to make it easier to lift from the ground and divide the tubers into sections. Ensure that each division has at least one bud and that it is large enough to flower quicker. It would be best to let the tubers dry before planting and treat them with a fungicide to prevent diseases.

You can then bury the divisions in a pot where the shoots are above the ground to help it grow easier. The cut sections should also be well-buried and in contact with soil to avoid fungal diseases. You can keep the divisions in the greenhouse until they are ready for transplanting.

 

Conclusion

You can propagate begonias from stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or division. However, you can make the most of your plants if you know how to collect begonia seeds and make use of the faded blooms after the flowering season. It’s as easy as collecting the seed pods, drying them, removing the chaff, and storing them in a sealed envelope. 

 

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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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