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How To Cut Back Salvia. Complete Beginner’s Guide

To know how to cut back salvia successfully, you need to group your plants. Identify what type of salvia species you have to know the proper method for cutting them back. Remember that salvias are a diverse group of plants, and identifying their type is crucial in maintaining them successfully. 

Every gardener must know how to cut back and deadhead salvias, but their maintenance doesn’t stop in pruning. You must also keep your salvias in a location that mimics their natural habitat. If your region experiences harsh climates, grow the salvias in the greenhouse to ensure healthy and vigorous plants.

 

How To Cut Back Salvia. Complete Beginner's Guide

How To Prune All Kinds Of Salvia Plants For Beginners

 

Deciduous salvias

The first group of salvias is the deciduous type, and you can differentiate these plants by having new growth at the base to replace the dead growth. Compared to other salvias, these plants will freeze or die in the winter, which means you must prune them in spring. 

This way, you’ll allow the old growth to protect the new ones when the freezing temperatures come. The method of pruning deciduous salvias is probably the easiest compared to other groups. Just remember to cut them back before the stems overgrow and look messy as the dead stems twist with each other. 

More than preventing an eyesore, pruning deciduous salvias will let the new growth develop vigorously because no stems will block the light and air for them. You may also benefit from cutting the branches to the ground after the flowering season to get more blooms. Cutting them to the ground is unnecessary, but you will find better-looking flowers if you cut them for rejuvenation. 

 

Woody salvias

The next group of salvias is the herbaceous plants with woody stems. Compared to deciduous salvias, these shrubby salvias do best when you prune them after flowering. However, you don’t need to cut them to the ground as the first group. 

Sometimes, pinching will suffice as long as you reach the first set of foliage on the stem. You don’t want to cut them to the ground because these plants will have a hard time growing back. And because they have an extended growing season, you can trim heavily late in fall or early winter.

Some gardeners also do some light pruning in late spring or mid-summer instead. Light pruning is best to shape your woody salvias and also as maintenance to remove the dead growth from winter. By cutting these salvias with these tips in mind, you shouldn’t face any problems with woody growth that won’t bloom healthily. 

 

Rosette-forming salvias

The final group of salvias includes evergreen herbaceous plants that form rosettes. These salvias bloom for a long time, and their stems form more foliage and flowers than other types. The best time to cut them back is in the fall. 

You want to cut the rosette-forming salvias down to the ground to help it rejuvenate itself. If you notice some dead foliage, remove them as well. 

 

 

How To Deadhead Salvias Correctly

After grouping your salvias, you must also know some techniques for the deadheading itself. Cut your salvias when it’s not scorching hot, preferably early in the morning, to avoid stressing the plants. Start pruning the center stalk that has finished blooming.

You can also check those at the side if they have faded blooms. You can deadhead your salvias as you see spent stalks, but be mindful not to cut those that are just forming buds. You can also boost your plants by fertilizing them in the growing season if the flowers are underwhelming. 

 

How To Maintain Salvias

Maintaining salvias is not limited to cutting back and deadheading them. It’s also crucial that you know their ideal conditions and practices to ensure healthy plants and blooms. And while these plants are not sensitive to challenges and problems, remember that extreme conditions or improper practices can still cause drawbacks. 

 

Location

Remember that salvias are best for growing zones 5 to 10, depending on the type. This gives you an idea of these plants’ preferred growing location, so you must provide the best environment for them. If your area experiences fluctuating temperatures or extreme climatic conditions, it’s best to grow salvias in the greenhouse. 

Salvias will thrive best somewhere with full sun and fertile, well-draining soil. It would be best to test the ground on the site and make the necessary amendments to improve its quality. And according to Michigan State University, never keep salvias somewhere lower than 50°F.

 

Fertilizer and water

Compared to other plants, salvias do not require feeding. However, you can mulch and compost the plants every spring to improve the area’s moisture retention and keep weeds at bay. Salvias will also benefit from maintaining soil moisture, but be mindful not to overwater your plants as this can cause rot. 

 

Conclusion

Maintaining salvias is crucial to keep their foliage neat-looking and also encourage the plant to produce more blooms. However, you can only learn how to cut back salvia correctly if you can classify your plants into three groups. They are deciduous, woody, and rosette-forming types, which all differ in pruning techniques. 

You can cut back deciduous salvias to the ground to encourage healthy blooms. On the other hand, you want to trim your woody salvias in late fall and early winter to prevent them from overgrowing woody stems. Lastly, rosette-forming salvias will benefit from cutting back in the fall. 

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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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