How to Deadhead Penstemon - Krostrade

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How to Deadhead Penstemon

Want to know how to deadhead penstemon? Deadheading your penstemon plants is an essential task to keep your plants blooming colorful flowers throughout the growing season.

It’s easy to grow and maintain penstemons and they do well in mass planting and borders, making them the perfect plants for beginners. They thrive best under full or partially shaded sunlight. They also prefer to be planted in moist, well-draining soil.

All of these factors can make or break the growth of your plants. But even if you get everything right – water, soil, and sunlight – your penstemon plants may still grow leggy and woody if you don’t prune and deadhead them every year.


How to Deadhead Penstemon

How to Prune Your Penstemon Plants

Penstemons grow well in USDA zones 4 through 9. This means they’re drought-tolerant, but some hybrid plants may need to be watered frequently. Annual pruning is also a part of proper penstemon care. Gardeners mainly prune their plants so they will grow new shoots and therefore, extending the blooming season and protecting the plants from frost. Additionally, pruning is also a great way to maintain the appearance of your plants.


Pruning penstemons in the spring

Spring pruning is mainly for improving the growth of new shoots. Remove old stems once your plants develop new ones during the spring season. In this way, your penstemons will focus their energy on growing healthy flowers and shoots.

Before you start pruning, examine your plant to see whether the new shoots developed from the plant’s base or old stems.


Growth from old stems

If the shoots came from old stems, trim the stems just above the new shoots.


Growth from the base of the plant

In this case, you can cut back the old stems by trimming them to the soil level.


No new growth

If shoots didn’t form, you can cut back the entire plant as you normally should (above the lowest set of true leaves).


Pruning penstemons in the winter

Another reason to prune penstemons is to protect them from frost and snow. Cut back your penstemons to a few inches above the ground and cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch to retain heat. For places with mild winters, you can cut back your plants about a third once they’re done flowering. Remember to leave enough leaves to protect your plants from the cold.


How to Deadhead Penstemon

Many gardeners use the terms deadheading and pruning interchangeably; but while both are similar, there is a slight difference between the two: deadheading refers to the removal of spent flowers from plants. On the other hand, pruning pertains to trimming any part of the plant.

Now that you know how to prune your plants, the next step is to learn how to deadhead penstemon. Here’s how:

There are two ways your penstemons can benefit from deadheading: it promotes the growth of new shoots and more flowers and it prevents seed formation in unwanted areas in your garden. Cut underneath the set of healthy leaves located below the flowers. If you want seeds, you can leave a few flower stalks on your penstemon.


How to Propagate Penstemon

You can propagate penstemon through stem cuttings, root division, or seeds. The best time to start sed propagation is when the last scare of frost has passed and the soil is warmer. If you want your flowers to bloom early, you can also start your seed indoors. Just make sure to plant them in well-draining soil, mist them, and cover your plants loosely.

On the other hand, the best time to propagate via stem cuttings is during summer or fall. Cut nonflowering stem tips underneath the leaf nodes. Remove the tips and the set of leaves at the bottom. Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting powder before you plant them in a pot filled with a combination with compost and perlite.

Another way to propagate penstemon is through root division. You divide the roots to produce separate plants. You’ll need to carefully dig out your plant every two to three years to get roots.


Taking care of propagated penstemon

Keep your stem cuttings in a shaded area with good ventilation. Be sure to place your plants indoors during colder seasons. Once your penstemons grow new leaves, you can transplant them into your garden or to a larger pot. Place them in an area with partial or full sun. Don’t overwater your plants to prevent the roots from rotting. Lastly, add balanced fertilizer every year during the spring season.


Why Grow Your Penstemons in a Mini Greenhouse?

There are several reasons why you should try growing your penstemons in a mini greenhouse. For one, you can protect them from pests that like to munch on your flowers and leaves, such as aphids, thrips, and caterpillars. They’re also vulnerable to root rot, rust, and powdery mildew. Growing them in an enclosed space reduces the risk of damaging your plants.

Mini greenhouses are also useful in protecting tender perennials from bad weather. Placing them inside protects them from ice, snow, frost, heavy rains, and high winds. They can stay healthy inside a mini greenhouse until you can replant them outside when the weather warms.


Final Thoughts on How to Deadhead Penstemon

Penstemons are easy to grow and cultivate since they don’t need much attention and maintenance. As long as you know the basics and how to deadhead penstemon, you’re good to go. Penstemons are a great choice for colorful blooms during spring.

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How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

Are you interested to learn how to start an avocado farm? Embarking on this journey requires time, effort, and commitment. Plus, you need to consider a number of factors including soil preparation, as well as weather conditions.

You’re probably aware that avocado trees or Persea spp, are originally from Mexico. This explains why one of the famous Mexican cuisines include avocado-based guacamole.

You can choose to grow avocado trees indoors or outdoors. If you plan to grow them in a hobby greenhouse or at home, all you have to do is to sow the seeds in pots. When they’re grown outdoors, avocado trees can grow up to 40 feet. You can al

Moreover, these trees thrive well in regions where the weather is mostly warm and sunny. However, don’t expect them to grow in areas that experience extreme temperatures during the summer and winter.


Avocado: The Superfood

Did you know that the global demand for avocados has been steadily increasing? Aside from the fact that its fruit is known for its full, buttery flavor and rich texture, it’s also packed with loads of essential nutrients that are good for your body.

A single serving of avocado fruit contains vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin A.  It also has protein, fiber, and healthy fats. If you’re on a low-carb plant food diet, you’d want to incorporate avocados into your diet.


What are the Growing Requirements of an Avocado Tree?

Since avocado trees need to be grown in warm semi-humid climates, they only grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. However, it’s important to note that while avocado trees may be grown in those zones, they don’t always thrive well in areas that get extremely hot during the summer or frosty, chilly, or snowy in the winter. This implies that the ideal environment for an avocado tree should have moderate temperatures all-year-round.


What are the 3 Primary Groups of Avocado Trees?

If you’re planning to start an avocado farm, you need to know the 3 main groups of avocado trees: Guatemalan, West Indian, and Mexican. Each type has its own ideal growing range.


Guatemalan Avocados

A Guatemalan avocado is known for its hard skin that features plenty of warts.


West Indian Avocados

This type of avocado tends to flourish in warm climates. Unlike the Guatemalan avocado, a West Indian avocado has thin and shiny skin and could weigh up to 5 pounds.


Mexican Avocados

A Mexican avocado thrives well in tropical highland areas. Compared to the other avocado groups, the Mexican avocado is more tolerant of cold weather. In fact, it can manage to survive even when temperatures drop to 26˚F.

Moreover, this type of avocado produces smaller fruit that weighs less than a single pound and its skin has a distinct papery-smoothness to it.


Expert Tips on How to Start an Avocado Farm

Unless you’re willing to take on a long-term project, spend a considerable amount of money on planting, and wait for a period of 3 to 5 years for your first harvest, don’t get into avocado farming. However, if you’re willing to go through the whole nine yards to enjoy top yields for many years, check out this guide:


Tip #1: Plant them in areas where the temperatures are consistently cool

Be sure to plant your avocado trees in cool temperatures that can range between 68˚F to 75˚F on a daily basis to avoid fruit drop. However, when they’re flowering, or when they’re starting to bear fruit, the humidity levels shouldn’t go below 50% at midday.


Tip #2: They don’t like wind

In case you’re not aware, avocado trees have brittle branches that easily snap off. For this reason, it’s best not to plant them in areas that are mostly windy because wind can cause considerable damage to their fruit.


Tip #3: Most of them need proper irrigation

If your avocados are rain-fed, they need to have at least 1,000 mm rainfall spread out throughout each year. Before their flowering season, avocado trees require a drier season that lasts for about 2 months. On a weekly basis, avocado trees need about 25 mm water.

It’s extremely important to test the quality of irrigation water because if its pH and bicarbonates are really high, they trigger a build-up of free lime in the soil. You also need to remember that high levels of sodium and chloride can have a negative impact on your avocado plants.

Since the plant’s roots are shallow, the ideal way to apply water is via a micro-sprinkler or drip. This ensures an even distribution throughout the avocado tree’s root area.

Moreover, proper moisture control needs to be ensured in the root zone because this area tends to easily dry up.


Tip #4: Determine the soil’s suitability and prepare it accordingly

You can’t just plant an avocado seed on soil that hasn’t been prepared accordingly. To prepare the soil for planting, you need to dig soil profile pits throughout your farm. Make sure that the pits are 1.5 m deep.

Only a single put per ha is required. However, you need to dig more pits if the location is non-homogenous or hilly. Check the color of the soil, its texture, structure, patches, sitting water, concretions, hardpans, stones, and gravel.



Grow Your Avocado Trees in a Hobby Greenhouse!

Since avocado trees require specific levels of temperature and humidity, you’ll find it easier to grow them in a hobby greenhouse. The enclosed space allows you to customize the environment to meet the needs of your plants. What’s more, it protects them from strong winds and the constant threat of pests.

Learning how to start an avocado farm outdoors is great, but growing them inside a hobby greenhouse is even better.



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