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How To Grow Petunias From Cuttings The Best Way

Learn how to grow petunias from cuttings in four easy steps. Using cuttings to root petunias is one of the two best ways to propagate these trumpet-shaped flowers. Seasoned gardeners even preferred rooting with cuttings instead of seeds because of the latter’s notoriously small size. 

Additionally, it takes a long time to get seeds, especially from hybrid petunias, compared to cuttings where you can even bloom earlier. So if you want a productive garden without setbacks, using cuttings is the better choice. After all, this propagation method guarantees that you’ll be having clones of the plant you’ve taken the cuttings from. 

Speaking of plant for cuttings, it’s advantageous to grow your plants in a greenhouse. Parent plants for gathering cuttings should be healthy and strong. Therefore, they should be in an ideal environment like the greenhouse to prevent stress and diseases. 

How To Grow Petunias From Cuttings The Best Way

How To Grow Petunias From Cuttings For Success

Most trailing petunias and other cultivars will be better for propagation via cuttings. While the process is not fool-proof, the risks such as low-quality growing medium and excess humidity are factors that you’ll face even if you propagate petunias from seeds. The reward with proper care outweighs the risks since you can take cuttings in mid-spring for a healthy bloom all summer. 

 

Prepare mixture

The first step and perhaps one of the most critical parts for your propagation’s success is your growing medium’s quality. An excellent example of a growing medium is a mixture of perlite and moss or potting soil, coarse sand, or vermiculite. You can fill a plastic pot or cell pack with this mixture and moisten the mix all the way through. 

For moistening the medium, you can mist it, but you can also soak the mixture in water. For the latter, remember to drain for 15 minutes. 

 

Gather cuttings

As mentioned earlier, the parent plant for the cuttings should be healthy. Additionally, you want to use the best petunia plant you have since you’re getting its clones later. The best parent plant would be something that has a compact growth of big and brightly-colored flowers.

When should you collect cuttings? The best time to do is in fall before frost. Check your growing zone first and then mark your calendar to prevent problems with frost. 

Afterward, you can take cuttings from the top of the plant stem. A length of 3 to 5 inches is excellent, and choose a stem with many leaves but no buds and flowers. The University of Maine mentioned that you should use a sterilized, sharp cutting tool to prevent disease transmission.

It’s crucial that you also take the cutting ⅛ inch below a set of mature leaves and then take the leaves from the stem, leaving the bottom one-third of the cutting bare. Removing the buds and flowers will also help the cutting focus its energy on growth instead of reproduction once you’ve planted it. Lastly, before planting, don’t forget to use a rooting hormone to encourage healthy and strong roots.

 

Planting

Before planting, treat the portion of the stem without leaves with a rooting hormone. You can use a cotton swab for the application to ensure that you reach the nodes and severed end of the cutting. Hygiene is also an essential part of this process to prevent contamination, so use a separate container to do the dipping. 

You should also check that the medium is moist, but porous as a dry medium will affect the propagation. You can maintain the medium’s moisture by misting, but you can also use clear plastic bags. Place the cuttings under light shade and if you opted to cover them with bags, make sure that the moisture evaporates, and the plastic doesn’t touch the cutting. 

 

Maintenance

Placing your petunia cuttings at a location around 75°F should help with rooting. Additionally, the emphasis is necessary on the moisture maintenance of the medium. Mist around the base of the cutting, but be careful not to overwater the medium. 

When it comes to fertilizing the petunia cuttings, use diluted fertilizer to prevent damaging the roots. You must also not water on the week you’re feeding the plants. You can check if the plant has rooted every three weeks or two if it resists gentle tugging. 

Once your plants are mature enough for transplanting, make sure to harden them off before putting them outside. To do so, slowly remove the plastic covering for more extended periods. Your plants should withstand normal conditions for 8 hours without wilting. 

 

Conclusion

The trumpet-shaped flowers of petunias will surely enhance the look of your garden. If you have favorite petunia plants, learn how to grow petunias from cuttings from them to get more copies of your best plants. The process includes preparing the mixture, cutting, planting, and maintenance, all relatively easy to follow.

Create the best medium using perlite and moss and use a sanitized cutting tool to gather 3-inch cuttings. Dip them in the rooting hormone and ensure that the medium is moist. Maintain the ideal growing conditions using a greenhouse before hardening them and transplanting them outdoors. 

One can ensure that the seedlings will root and grow strong for transplanting when you use a greenhouse to start them. The greenhouse will not limit you even if your area’s conditions like temperature and weather are not supportive of petunia growth. You can also let your plants establish themselves, so your petunias can survive outdoors without wilting. 

 

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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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