How to Grow Calibrachoa Plants

Have you ever wondered how to grow calibrachoa? Calibrachoa, also known as million bells, are beautiful plants that look much like small petunias. These plants reproduce well even in warm climates. In fact, you can grow calibrachoa all year round in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant zones 9 to 11. For those who live in other regions, you can grow calibrachoa as annuals.

 

How to Grow Calibrachoa Best Way

What You Should Know About Growing Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa flowers are undoubtedly beautiful, especially when they bloom in different colors. It’s no wonder why gardeners want to learn how to grow calibrachoa. You can grow a million bells from seed, but cuttings are among the most popular methods. It usually takes 60 days for millions of bells cuttings to mature, so make sure to harvest them in time.

Here’s what you should know about growing calibrachoa:

 

Cuttings

The best calibrachoa cuttings are taken during spring from the healthiest million bells plant in your garden. Cut three inches (at an angle) just below the leaf, and the best time to do so is in the morning when the moisture level is at its peak. Keep in mind that some calibrachoa only grows three inches tall, so you may have to cut them close to the soil.

Potting Soil and Container

Place the cuttings in a three-inch diameter pot. They shouldn’t need a bigger pot because these cuttings only need little water. A large container will hold excess water, which can stunt root development and lead to root rot.

For many gardeners, their first choice of potting soil is the organic and nutrient-rich variant. However, this can actually do more harm than good. Fungi and rotting are more likely to develop in organic potting soil if they’re kept in an enclosed space without much ventilation.

It’s better to use a soilless medium for without organic matter or nutrients so there’ll be fewer chances of problems. You’ll need to feed your cuttings every 14 days after the roots develop, but you’re more likely to have a successful rooting if you use a soilless medium. Be sure to keep your potting medium moist.

 

Prep

Remove all the leaves except the ones at the top of the stem. Pull the leaves at an upward motion to avoid damaging the stem. Add a rooting compound to the lower part of the stem so the roots will grow faster and stronger.

 

Sticking

Sticking refers to the process of placing the cuttings into the soil. Refrain from pushing them into the soil because you’ll risk damaging the stem. You’ll need to make a two-inch hole in the center of the pot and gently insert the cutting. Cover it with soil, so it stands upright.

 

Humidity

For a successful rooting, calibrachoa cuttings need high humidity. You can increase humidity by using a clear plastic bottle. Cut the bottom of the bottle and place it over your cuttings. Place the plant in a partially shaded area and remove the cover once the stem starts to grow.

 

Problems That Commonly Occur When You’re Growing Calibrachoa

Many gardeners overwater their cuttings. Instead, you can mist the potting medium to reduce the risk of excess moisture.

Another common problem is iron deficiency. If you notice that the leaves are slightly yellow, you can add extra iron. However, make sure to observe sanitary practices when doing so to prevent transmitting diseases to your cuttings.

Calibrachoa plants tend to become leggy if they’re placed in high light areas. Be sure to pinch your plants before they get woody so you’ll get compact million bells.

 

Growing Calibrachoa in Mini Greenhouses

Your calibrachoa cuttings need to be placed in a controlled environment for higher chances of success. A mini greenhouse is a perfect solution for propagating calibrachoa cuttings. Here are some of the reasons why:

 

Protect your cuttings from pests

Fungus gnats and aphids are the most common insects that attack calibrachoa plants. If left unattended, these pests can be devastating. You can keep your plants safe from harmful insects by placing them inside a mini greenhouse.

 

Perfect for people with limited garden space

Want to grow your own calibrachoa plants but don’t have enough garden space? This is a common problem among people who live in apartments, small spaces, etc. A small greenhouse kit is a perfect solution if you want to grow your own flowers. The standard size of mini greenhouses is around six feet, but there are smaller options as well. You can place them on your balconies, patios, decks, and even on tabletops.

 

Keep your calibrachoa cuttings safe from bad weather

Small greenhouse kits are great for shielding your plants from bad weather. The enclosed space protects them from snow, frost, high winds, and heavy rains. They’ll grow happily inside the greenhouse, and you can transplant them into your garden once the weather warms.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Grow Calibrachoa

Knowing how to grow calibrachoa is important if you want to feast your eyes on these beautiful and colorful flowers. Although these plants are easy to grow, you can still increase your chances of success if you make sure that you start with numerous cuttings from the healthiest calibrachoa plants.

 

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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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