Best Guide On How To Propagate Asters

If you’re interested in how to propagate asters, you have three options to choose from. Unlike other plants with limited propagation methods, asters can grow either from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. This puts you at an advantage because you can choose the technique that’s convenient for you. 

While asters tolerate challenging conditions, you might find it advantageous to propagate them in the greenhouse. Starting plants in the greenhouse will put gardeners at ease because their young and fragile plants will be safe from unpredictable climate. So regardless of the method you choose to root asters, it’s good to consider the greenhouse to prevent potential problems as they establish themselves.

 

How To Propagate Asters Successfully

 

Option #1. Seeds

Unlike other perennials, you can grow asters from seeds. You can collect them from your existing plants, but you can also let your aster plants self-seed. In the garden, these seeds are very similar to a dandelion seedhead that will aid in reproduction success.

According to the University of Florida, it takes 20 to 30 days for the aster seeds to germinate. However, starting them indoors, such as the greenhouse, can cut this into half and sprout at only 15 days. Regardless, the emphasis is necessary that these periods will only be possible if you correctly plant aster seeds. 

You want to use a sterile and moist potting mix in seedling pots and sow two seeds per pot at ⅛ inches deep. After planting, mist to help with establishment and cover the pot with plastic to skip watering pots themselves. Do note that you still need to check the medium’s moisture and mist if necessary regularly. 

You can remove the plastic cover once the seeds sprouts, then relocate the pots to somewhere that receives sun all day. As they grow, thin the asters with scissors and transplant the most vigorous ones after the frost has passed. However, you can also continue developing the asters indoors if the outdoor conditions are too challenging. 

 

Option #2. Cuttings

While using seeds to propagate asters is simple and straightforward, using cuttings or divisions offer a significant advantage. You may want to produce an exact copy of a species, which will only be possible with these two methods. When you use seeds, it’s not guaranteed that the resulting plant will look the same as the parent plant due to cross-pollination or if the plant itself is a hybrid. 

On the other hand, using cuttings or division is a reliable way to create clones of a parent plant that you like. So how does one propagate asters from cuttings? Depending on the variety, you can root them from softwood cuttings. 

The ideal time to do this is in spring, and the process itself is not very different from how you propagate other flowering perennials from cuttings. What this means is that you’ll take a 5-inch section of a stem from a healthy parent plant. You’ll prepare this cutting by removing all the lower leaves until all remaining are 3 to 4 upper leaves. 

Gardeners usually use sand or perlite as medium and encourage rooting by covering the pot with a clear plastic bag. This technique helps with moisture retention, and the only management practices left to do are maintaining medium moisture, providing light, and eventual pinching when the cuttings root. 

 

Option #3. Division

Another way to create aster clones is by propagating them from division. This is excellent if you have a lot of mature asters that you can divide as they grow large enough every three years. When is the best time to divide asters?

It’s common to divide asters in early spring when you notice the flowers fading. The simplest way to divide a plant is to cut straight down at the center to get two halves. Carefully work your shovel to lift each piece and remove all the loose soil from the roots. 

Before planting, make sure to remove all the dead plant material so that you’ll be left with new shoots and roots with some soil. You can also take out the whole plant if you think this is a more comfortable method to divide asters. Now, how does one plant aster divisions?

It’s ideal to start indoors in a consistently moist potting medium. But if you wish to transplant directly in the garden, check first if the danger of frost has passed. In the garden, the divisions can have 18 inches of space among them, in holes that are slightly larger than their roots. 

 

Conclusion

Do you wish to have asters or increase their number in your garden? You can learn how to propagate asters either via seeds, cuttings, or divisions. When choosing a method, perhaps the difference in using seeds is that the resulting asters will not look the same as their parent plants. 

On the other hand, using cuttings and divisions will guarantee copies of your desired asters. The ideal time to propagate aster is in spring, and you can also let the plants self-seed. More so, you can either take 5-inch cuttings or divide a plant into two root sections for replanting for the other methods. 

Regardless of which method you choose, perhaps a similar trend is maintaining the medium’s moisture and even covering the young plants with plastic. You can use a greenhouse for starting asters and then transplant outdoors after the danger of frost has passed.

 

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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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