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How To Collect Calibrachoa Seeds The Best Way

Know how to collect calibrachoa seeds in two simple steps. Collection and storage are the only methods you have to study, and you should be ready to propagate calibrachoa via seeds. These plants, also known as million bells, are the year’s annual by the University of Vermont, so why not learn how to propagate them and discover why people love them.

For starters, calibrachoa has distinct bright flowers that are reminiscent of another garden favorite, petunias. You can use this plant to add color to your garden, or even as groundcover and hanging flowers. Collecting calibrachoa seeds is reasonably simple, and it’s a useful knowledge that every gardener must-have. 

How To Collect Calibrachoa Seeds The Best Way

Complete Guide On How To Collect Calibrachoa Seeds

 

Collection

First of all, you can’t collect seeds on any flower of the plant. Those that produce seeds have swellings underneath them, also called as seed pods. This is where the greenhouse offers another advantage since pollinating indoors is easy to control. 

You can assume that well-pollinated flowers, especially with the help of bees, should develop seed pods. Once you identified the pods, allow them to dry on the plant. Collecting the seeds is as easy as breaking the pod open and voila, you’ll get your very own calibrachoa seeds without hassles. 

Another method is snipping or pinching the drying seed pods off from the stem. They have turned brown and about to burst open, so be gentle in handling them. You’ll then place these pods on a paper over a hard surface before crushing and rolling them to release the dark and tiny calibrachoa seeds. 

 

Why do I can’t collect calibrachoa seeds on some flowers?

For starters, not all calibrachoa plant varieties will produce seeds. Some are sterile, while there are hybrids that will produce seeds without the ability to grow as their parent’s clones from propagation. Therefore, check your plants for seed pods when the flowering period is about to end.

This usually happens in late summer or fall, but it still depends on the specific calibrachoa variety and even your region’s conditions. For example, it’s possible to cut calibrachoa back before it gets colds, and they’ll rebloom next spring if done in November. Additionally, hybrid calibrachoas like the superbells can be both annuals and perennials, depending on your hardiness zone. 

 

Storage

 

Breaking and crushing pods

As mentioned earlier, it’s also possible to collect the seed pods and break them over a paper. This way, you can quickly gather the tiny seeds much efficiently by shaking the pods. You may also crush the pods if needed. 

 

Drying pods

If you’re not pleased with how dry the pods are, you can also let them continue to dry for one or more weeks, depending on their dryness. Do this by spreading the pods in a single layer inside a shallow cardboard box and put it in a dry and warm location to help the pods dry. 

 

Transferring

Once you’ve shaken out and collected calibrachoa seeds, keep them inside a small jar or envelope. Don’t forget to remove any remaining seed pod debris before pouring the seeds in your container. For a gentler approach, fold the paper and tap it gently, so the seeds flow onto the jar or envelope.

This way, you’re not handling the seeds, and you can ensure that they stay dry for storage. Once the transfer is complete, don’t forget to label your containers with their date of collection. You can store the seeds anywhere as long as its dry, dark, and cool until early spring to propagate. 

 

How To Grow Calibrachoa Seeds

Depending on the variety, it’s possible for you only to wait four months before the seeds bloom. You can also start the bloom season early if you start your seeds in the greenhouse. The indoor conditions are more comfortable to control to guarantee germination. 

Press one seed lightly on top of a seed flat filled with your preferred growing medium. If needed, you may supplement with light, and you should also maintain the indoor temperature around 70°F. Some gardeners even use a heat mat for their tray to reach this temperature. 

As your plant grows, you can adjust the conditions accordingly. For example, seedlings should have 18 hours of growing light and then 8 hours of darkness at night. Maintain the soil’s moisture by bottom watering and only start feeding when the seedlings are a month old. 

Lastly, harden the seedlings first if you plan to transplant outdoors. Get them adjusted to the conditions and then start transplanting once frost has passed or when the night stays at 50°F. 

 

Conclusion

Calibrachoa propagation is an excellent way to grow and get your own calibrachoa from existing plants. If you plan on rooting from seeds, you might also be interested in how to collect calibrachoa seeds. The good news is that collection and storage are the only two steps you need. 

Collecting calibrachoa seeds is as simple as checking for seed pods, letting them dry, and breaking them open on paper. Fold this paper for easy transfer on a jar or envelope, and store it in a cool, dry, and dark place ready to root. It’s also best to do in the greenhouse to get them vigorous for transplanting once frost has passed for starting calibrachoa seeds.

 

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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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