How To Deadhead African Violets. Best 2-Step Guide

You can learn how to deadhead African violets in two easy steps. Remember that even though African violets are relatively low maintenance, they will still benefit from deadheading practices. This way, your plants can extend their blooming period and produce healthy flowers. 

Besides deadheading, remember to keep your African violets in a stable environment. You can consider growing these plants in the greenhouse to protect them from harsh sunlight, wind, or rain. You should also be able to manage potential problems more comfortably indoors. 

 

How To Deadhead African Violets. Best 2-Step Guide

How To Deal With Spent Blossoms Of African Violets

 

Step #1. Checking and removal

To start deadheading African violets, you want to always be on the lookout for the dying or faded blooms. They will look noticeably unhealthy compared to the other flowers, and it’s crucial to remove them immediately to prevent them from competing with the new blooms in terms of nutrients. This is why African violets benefit from deadheading if you want to ensure healthy flowers and an extended blooming period. 

You can remove the dead blooms by holding one and cutting it behind the dead tissue with sharp and sterile scissors. Remember to use sterilized and sharp tools to ensure a clean cut and prevent disease transmission. Speaking of which, it’s not advisable to tear the flower off because it can damage the African violet and potentially encourage a fungal infection. 

More so, you want to cut close to where the bloom branches from the main stem. It would also be best to remove the entire stem if this is better for the plant’s appearance. Unlike other flowering plants, you don’t need to leave the old bloom stems on African violets since they will eventually turn brown anyway. 

 

Step #2. Maintenance

After cutting off the faded and dying blooms, you want to check your plants throughout the blooming period continuously. This way, you can always remove the unhealthy blooms as quickly as possible and keep your plants looking neat. More so, it will help the plant draw its energy into producing new blooms that can last for three to six weeks

Some gardeners also pinch off the faded flowers. Just remember to remove the parts as close to the base as possible. This is also applicable if you use scissors, but be mindful not to cut into the main stem as this can prevent the development of new flowers.

 

How To Prune African Violets

Another maintenance practice that your plants can benefit from is pruning. However, African violets don’t require heavy cutting or trimming. You only aim to remove the dead and damaged parts alongside the spent blooms. 

This helps the new growth on the plant access light and air easier for better development. Cutting back African violets can be at any time of the year as long as you notice the dead parts. As part of maintenance, you can also remove the bottom leaves every month to keep a neat appearance on the plants and produce new leaves. 

 

 

How To Keep African Violets Blooming

 

Temperature and light

Besides deadheading, proper maintenance and care are influential to the healthy blooms of your African violets. For example, you can keep the plants in the greenhouse to ensure that the environment is optimal for their flowers. African violets thrive best where it’s between 70 to 90°F at day and 65 to 70°F at night. 

Anything below 60°F or above 90 °F will damage the plants. More so, you can control the lighting conditions in the greenhouse. The best-looking flowers should receive indirect sunlight as direct light can burn the plants, but the light is needed in winter, and you can provide this indoors. 

 

Water and fertilizer

What about water and fertilizer needs? It’s ideal for keeping the soil moist but never soggy. You want to use a well-draining medium and container and let the excess water drain when watering. On the other hand, your African violets will benefit from feeding every two weeks in spring, summer, and fall to boost flowering. 

 

Replanting

Lastly, remember that the root system of African violets is not ideal for constant replanting or repotting. One of the reasons why your blooms are underwhelming is because these plants do best to be root bound. Refrain from continually repotting the plants because even the stems and leaves get easily broken. 

For dividing African violets, gently remove them from the container and cut through the root ball with a sharp and sterile knife. It’s typical to see more than one crown on a mature African violet, so division can be a useful propagation method. Then, set the crown slightly above the soil and firm it into place. 

 

Conclusion

Flowering plants like African violets can have an extended blooming period of healthy flowers. To do this, you must know how to deadhead African violets properly. Start by monitoring your plants for faded flowers and then cutting them off using sharp and sterile scissors. 

Refrain from tearing the flowers off because this can introduce diseases. Please continue to monitor your plants for dying blooms and remove them throughout the flowering period. This way, your African violet can focus its energy on the production of healthy blooms. 

 

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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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