How To Propagate Annual Vinca. Best Guide

There are two ways on how to propagate annual vinca, and you can either use seeds or cuttings. However, it’s worth mentioning the importance of a stable environment like the greenhouse for propagation and starting plants. Remember that while annual vincas are relatively easy to propagate, these plants’ development is more guaranteed if the environment is consistent and provides the optimal growing conditions. 

And while annual vincas are synonymous with periwinkles, they are not the same with perennial vincas, Vinca minor, and Vinca major. It’s vital to keep this in mind before propagating them to distinguish some differences between the two periwinkle types. 

 

How To Propagate Annual Vinca. Best Guide

How To Propagate Annual Vinca For Beginners

 

Seeds

 

Step #1. Collecting seeds

You can collect annual vinca seed pods before they split open, and this is when the flowers start to droop and fade. From green, the pods turn yellowish-brown, which indicates that you can pinch them off. Then, place the seedpods in a paper bag before placing it in a warm and dry location to help with drying.

 

Step #2. Drying seeds

Some gardeners also lay the pods in a shallow, open container and put it in direct sunlight. If you choose the former method, an excellent tip to hasten the process is by shaking the paper bag every day. Once the pods are dried, gently open them to collect the vinca seeds. 

These tiny black seeds should be ready for storage in a paper envelope until planting after the frost has passed. To store annual vinca seeds, you can use the greenhouse and maintain the indoor conditions as cool and dry with adequate ventilation. This will prepare the seeds for germination and help break dormancy. 

 

Step #3. Planting seeds

As mentioned earlier, the best time to plant annual vinca seeds is after the danger of frost has passed. Annual vinca is not cold hardy, so planting the seeds in cold conditions will cause failure. A safe bet is to use a greenhouse and sow seeds three to four months before the last frost date. 

To further help with germination, lightly layer the top of the seeds with soil and place a damp newspaper over them to subject them to complete darkness. You can also adjust the greenhouse temperature at 80°F to create the optimal germination environment.

The seeds should grow within two to nine days, and at this point, they can receive sunlight and stay at 75°F. 

 

Cuttings

You probably have an idea of how to start vinca from cuttings. As mentioned earlier, annual vinca ( Catharanthus roseus) or Madagascar periwinkle is not the same as Vinca minor and Vinca major. Annual periwinkle is easier to maintain without the need for deadheading, and it works well as a bedding plant

 

Step #1. Taking cuttings

Back to the use of cuttings, you can choose the parent plant and take cuttings early in the fall. Remember to select a healthy parent plant with the qualities you like because cuttings create clones, unlike seeds. You can take semi-ripe sections or shoots that are around 4 inches long. 

 

Step #2. Preparing cuttings

Similar to propagating other plants from cuttings, make sure to remove the lower leaves of the cutting and only leave those at the top. You can dip the end in a hormone rooting powder before planting in light compost or a mix of sand and peat compost to help with rooting. Then, use the greenhouse for the cuttings and create a highly humid and warm environment. 

 

Step #3. Rooting and transplanting

To further help the cuttings to establish and root, cover the pot loosely with a polythene bag and maintain the greenhouse at 72 to 75°F with some shade. You can then help them get used to light gently before transferring in larger pots with potting medium. 

Some gardeners also root the vinca cuttings over the winter in water, and once rooted, plant them in potting soil in late winter. They can stay indoors as nursery plants before transplanting in their permanent locations in spring. 

 

Growing Annual Vinca

Annual vinca does well in warm seasons, so it’s best only to plant them permanently if they receive full sun, and the nighttime temperatures are around 60°F. They can survive drought but aim to soak them with water weekly and fertilize to help maintain flowers all summer. Other than this, you don’t need to deadhead them as annual vincas are self-cleaning anyway. 

You might also like that Madagascar periwinkles are resistant to severe problems from pests and diseases. However, they can still suffer from rot, so ensure that you’re diligent with management practices such as watering. 

 

Conclusion

Vincas are not limited to perennials, and if you want a bedding plant, consider annual vincas or Madagascar periwinkles. But is it easy to learn how to propagate annual vinca? Yes, and generally speaking, they have lower maintenance needs. 

You can propagate annual vincas via seeds and cuttings, but either method will be more comfortable in the greenhouse. You can maintain the ideal germination conditions for the seeds, and the rooting of the cuttings is easier indoors where the environment is constant. The main takeaway with either propagation method is to avoid planting during harsh winter because annual vincas are not hardy for this condition. 

 

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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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