How To Grow Begonias From Seed Using 3 Easy Steps

Preparation, planting, and maintenance should help you understand how to grow begonias from seed successfully. As dubbed by the University of Vermont Extension, this easy houseplant is beginner-friendly, so you shouldn’t be intimidated in propagating it from seeds. Additionally, you can use a greenhouse for starting begonias from seeds to ensure that they’ll get the ideal growing conditions without fluctuations. 

Remember that seeds, regardless of plant type, can be tricky to start with because they are vulnerable to damages from unpredictable conditions. However, you can benefit from beginning begonias from seeds because selections’ options to grow are extensive. Propagating begonias from seeds is also an effective yet affordable option, especially if you have existing plants to get your seeds from. 

How To Grow Begonias From Seed Using 3 Easy Steps

How To Grow Begonias From Seed Easily

 

Preparation

Like collecting calibrachoa seeds, you only need to check for seed pods when the begonia flowers begin to dry. Harvest the pods before they split open, which you can do by yourself over a piece of paper. This way, you can fold the paper into a funnel and pour the seeds onto a container. 

Leave the seeds for a week to dry further and use two papers to separate chaff and seeds. If you don’t have existing plants to get your seeds from, you can always check for reliable sources. The American Begonia Society recommends using the seed fund if you’re already a member. 

 

Planting

Using seeds is a convenient way to get new species of begonias. However, you want to delay sowing until March because starting early can prevent stem growth as the seedlings focus on tuber formation. You can avoid this drawback in productivity by using a greenhouse to ensure that the climate and light are optimal for their growth. 

For planting begonia seeds, remember to use clean and new seedling trays. Disinfect the trays beforehand to prevent fungal diseases and only use sterile seed-starting potting soil. However, indoor cultivation of begonias can use a soilless mix as recommended by the University of Vermont.

Please do not cover the seeds with soil when you sow them over the medium and make sure they have some spacing. Instead, cover the tray with clear plastic to keep the environment sterile and maintain moisture and humidity. Depending on the variety, the begonias will germinate from weeks to months since they have a moderate growth rate

Some gardeners noticed germination under five days, while others took months to grow. 

 

Maintenance

In the greenhouse, it will also be easy to use a growing light such as fluorescent bulbs to promote robust growth. The American Begonia Society emphasizes bright light as a requirement to create healthy seedlings for transplanting and successful maturity. The recommendation for light is to have them on for 14 hours at a distance of 6 inches from the container’s top. 

But what temperature is ideal for begonias? Remember that begonias are hardy from zones 8b to 11. Therefore, the perfect temperatures for them would be between 62 to 72°F. Afterward, maintain soil moisture without over-watering, and the best way to do so is by putting water below the tray for the soil to seep. 

What about fertilizing? You can feed the begonias occasionally with dilute soluble fertilizer in addition to using a potting mix when starting. Later on, move the seedlings to their individual plug trays when they grow two or three true leaves. 

 

When To Transplant Begonias From Seeds

Your hard work from preparation, planting, and maintenance will go in vain if you don’t study the specifics in transplanting begonias. As mentioned earlier, the growth of true leaves is a sign that you can transplant begonias. However, be gentle in lifting the plants and separating them apart. 

Like all plants, it’s crucial to get your begonias acclimated to the weather first. Start by letting your seedlings stay outdoors for a few hours per day, increasing time when the temperatures are warmer with nights above 50°F. If your plants didn’t show signs of struggling, you could plant them in the garden with partial shade without the risk of transplant shock.

 

Common Problems In Growing Begonias From Seed

Using a growing light should prevent the development of leggy seedlings. On the other hand, gardeners who forgot about sterilizing the seeds and planting materials run the risk of algae growth on their begonias. Lastly, proper watering should help you avoid drying out and damping off, so always check the soil moisture every day. 

 

Conclusion

Begonias are one of the best beginner-friendly plants that you can have in the garden. But if you want to have different begonias from time to time, you want to learn how to grow begonias from seed. Preparation, planting, and maintenance should help you ensure success until transplanting.

Start by collecting seeds or buy them from a reliable source, and then use a sterile tray with seed-starting potting soil. You can also use a greenhouse to maintain the ideal growing conditions such as temperature and growing lights for your begonias. Afterward, you can slowly harden your seedlings before transplanting them in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. 

Overall, proper management practices should prevent common problems such as damping off, drying out, algae growth, and leggy seedlings. Make sure to check your begonias’ conditions and ensure that you’re consistent with their optimal growing requirements. 

 

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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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