How To Deadhead Phlox Successfully

There are two considerations when learning how to deadhead phlox. They are knowing when to deadhead phlox and the method of deadheading itself. More so, it’s worth noting that taking care of phlox does not start in propagation and ends in deadheading. 

You also have to remember that every practice you do each day for phlox matters to ensure that they’ll thrive well. Since phlox is a large group of perennials, it would be best to know the specific caring requirements of the plant you have. And to make caring more comfortable, consider having them in the greenhouse to maintain the ideal conditions for these gorgeous flowering plants. 

 

How To Deadhead Phlox Successfully

Comprehensive Guide On How To Deadhead Phlox

 

When to deadhead phlox

The University of Vermont recommends deadheading after your plants finished blooming, and as soon as you see blooms fading. This timing is also ideal because removing the spent flowers will help control the phlox population by keeping them from seeding. You may also want to deadhead as early as possible if your cold season arrives late. 

This way, you can enjoy the continuous blooming of healthy flowers as the summer season is about to end. You can also time your deadheading depending on when you want a second bloom. For example, if your phlox bloomed in the middle of July, you can deadhead early in August, and this should result in another bloom before August ends. 

 

How to deadhead phlox correctly

There are no special tricks when deadheading phlox. If you have experience with other flowering perennials, you can apply the same techniques. For example, start cutting the faded flower clusters with small scissors. 

A quarter of an inch above the forming bud on the stem should be where you cut. You can also cut the entire flower stem if all the buds have faded to encourage new growth in the middle of the season. The space where the stem emerges from the plant is the ideal location to cut. 

After you removed all the stems and flowers, make sure that you throw them away to prevent diseases. It’s better to compost them to avoid the risk of fungal spores that can infect phlox. Remember that this plant is prone to developing powdery mildew from poorly disposed spent stems and flowers. 

 

Why Deadhead Phlox?

According to the University of Florida, cutting back foliage and removing spent flowers should encourage a second flowering after they bloom. This will also help create a denser growth and, as mentioned earlier, prevents seeding. Preventing phlox from setting seeds will elongate the flower display since they focus on blooming, and the practice also keeps them looking healthy and tidy. 

 

How To Care For Phlox Year-Round

In general, you can simplify caring for phlox by maintaining soil moisture. Therefore, you need to regularly water your plants in the summer, especially if your area only has less than an inch of rain each week. Once spring comes, remember to add compost and mulch to keep the soil from drying while also keeping weeds at bay. 

However, you also have to know some differences in caring for annual and perennial phlox. For example, perennial phlox thrives well in full sun and rich and fertile soil. On the other hand, annual phlox may require more watering, but still prefer rich soil and sunny location. 

Annual phlox also don’t grow back, so it’s better to pull it out in the winter. You can then cut back the foliage of perennial phlox in the winter and mulch as it should grow back each year. Some phlox types like the tall phlox also benefit from cutting back after the first frost in fall. 

 

What To Do With Dying Phlox?

Fungal diseases are the most common culprit of yellowing and drying phlox. Perhaps this is why watering diligence is crucial to prevent their spread and avoid creating an environment that is feasible for fungal growth. You can consider growing in the greenhouse as rain can encourage fungal diseases, especially with poor air circulation and infected soil. 

Maintaining cleanliness, removing debris, proper spacing, and dividing overgrown phlox should help prevent diseases. You can also choose an area with slightly acidic soil and receives full sun to encourage healthy growth. And speaking of which, slow-release fertilizer should encourage healthy blooms and more vigorous plants. 

Overall, prevention would be the best solution in conquering dying phlox. But if you did see the signs of diseases, it might be better to dig up the infected plants to prevent the spread of problems. You can also cut the dead portion and treat it with fungicide or insecticide, depending on the disease’s source. 

 

Conclusion

One of the things we want for flowering perennials like phlox is to have an extended flower show. To do this, you need to learn how to deadhead phlox correctly. It’s a reasonably easy maintenance method to remove the spent flowers as soon as you notice them. 

Afterward, safely dispose of the stems and flowers to prevent fungal diseases like powdery mildew. This simple practice of maintenance does not only encourage an extended blooming period or second flowering. It also helps to keep your plants looking tidy and prevent them from setting 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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