How To Collect Petunia Seeds In 3 Easy Steps

If you’re interested in how to collect petunia seeds, you’ll be pleased that it only takes three steps. While there are two best propagation methods for petunias, it would always be helpful to know how to collect seeds if this is the rooting method you prefer. You can still get your seeds from centers, but the collection itself from existing plants is relatively easy anyway. 

More so, you can always collect when your petunias allow you and keep them for later use. You’ll have free flowers from your garden that are both a delight to the sight and smell. They also have a long flowering period, so why not take advantage of your existing plants and create more gorgeous petunias for the garden. 

 

How To Collect Petunia Seeds In 3 Easy Steps

How To Collect Petunia Seeds For Beginners

 

Step #1. Plant preparation

Regardless of the propagation technique, you can opt to grow your parent plants in the greenhouse. These will guarantee healthy sources of seeds, cuttings, and divisions because they are in an optimal environment. Remember that you’ll only be productive in collecting seeds if the petunias themselves are healthy and producing blooms that are capable to do so. 

More so, choose a petunia variety that is suitable for your region. This way, you won’t face many potential drawbacks, and you can regularly collect seeds from your plants. When you’re about to gather near the end of the growing season, stop deadheading the petunias so that plant focuses on producing seed pods. 

 

Step #2. Collecting seeds

For the collection itself, you can start it when the growing season is about to end because they’ll be ready for seed production at this point. As mentioned previously, stopping deadheading petunias will help with the production of seed pods. Once the petunia flowers fade and die, you can monitor the development of seed pods. 

Remember that you don’t have to remove the dead flowers. The seed pods are at their base, and you have to let them dry first before collecting. Check on the calyx or the bulb-like portion at the base and it swelling and turning brown from previously being green is an indication of seed development. 

You must remember a tricky part while waiting for the seed pods because you don’t want them to get too soon, but also not too late. When the pod begins to crack, cut it off the stem because the seeds are mature enough at this point. You also don’t want them to spill, get damaged, or develop mold. 

 

Step #3. Storing seeds

When collecting pods, you don’t need damp or soft ones because there’s a high chance of them getting damaged from mold anyway. Once you have all the dry pods, spread them out in a paper towel. Ensure that they have adequate spacing for air circulation and store in a cool, dry area such as a greenhouse location out of direct sunlight. 

They must dry well for a week, so choose an environment that will not experience fluctuating conditions. After a week, squeeze or smash a seedpod over a bowl. If the seeds are dried inside, and the pod makes a rattling noise when you shake it, they might be dry, so smashing would be easier to break the pod open. 

After removing the seeds:

  1. Remove all the debris and husk in the bowl
  2. Pour the seeds into a paper envelope for storage and use later on
  3. Seal and label the envelope before putting it in another plastic bag and relocating in a cool, dark, and dry place for next season planting

Ensure that the seed packets won’t get exposed to freezing or damp conditions. Some gardeners also use dry milk as a desiccant to keep the seeds well. A teaspoon of dry milk in a wrapped paper towel inside the seed bag will help with preservation. 

 

How To Germinate Petunia Seeds

As recommended by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, it’s ideal to start petunia seeds indoors. The greenhouse will create a perfect environment for seed germination without the risk of a harsh climate. You can sow petunia seeds in a moist starting mix without covering them.

Maintain the medium moist and cover the container with a plastic bag. You can also monitor and keep the soil between 70 to 80°F to further encourage germination. The petunia seeds should germinate in four days without fail as long as you prevent them from getting damp.

 

Conclusion

Perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences in the garden is using it as your source for new plants. So if you have existing petunia plants, learning how to collect petunia seeds is a free way to have more petunias ready for planting. The process itself is even simple, where you’ll prepare healthy seed sources to ensure that they can produce seeds. 

Stop deadheading in preparation for seed production, and check your fading and dying flowers. At the base is a bulb-like structure that will turn brown, and you can collect the pods when they’re about to crack. Spread them in a paper towel and store in a dry location out of sunlight for a week.

You should be ready to squeeze and crack the pods after the initial drying, and you can store them once again in a cool, dry, and dark place. 

 

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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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