How To Propagate Astilbe. 2 Best Methods

Knowing how to propagate astilbe is quite simple, and you can either start them from seeds or divisions. There are different cultivars to choose from, and with the proper propagation technique, you can easily create more of your favorite plants and have more of this perennial that will give you a show from late spring to early summer. If you want flowers in fall, you can even select astilbes that will bloom around this period. 

Astilbes will thrive from zones 3 to 8, but you can also grow them in the greenhouse to avoid development drawbacks. Remember that even though one can say that a plant is easy to cultivate, rooting is still a sensitive process. A stable environment should encourage astilbes to develop faster and grow vigorous until you can transplant them outdoors.

 

How To Propagate Astilbe. 2 Best Methods

Comprehensive Guide On How To Propagate Astilbe

 

Method #1. Seeds

The first method for propagating astilbe is by using seeds. However, do note that choosing this technique is not a guaranteed way to create a clone of your favorite astilbe variety. The resulting plant’s characteristics from seeds will vary, and the chances of it being the same as the parent plant are low. 

If you prefer to start astilbes from seeds, you can purchase them or collect them from your existing plants. A useful tip to remember is to grow aged seeds instead of fresh ones since they germinate faster. More so, the best way to germinate astilbe seeds is by starting them indoors. 

 

Sowing

Use a tray and fill it with a seed-starting mix. You can plant the seeds at ¼ inch below the medium, but allocate that each cell to only has one seed. Mist the mix to keep it moist, but be mindful not to oversaturate it. 

To further help with germination, cover the tray with plastic and place it somewhere bright and warm. You can also check the greenhouse temperature so that it’s around 70°F in the day and 50°F at night. As for maintenance, you can check the medium weekly if it needs some misting. 

 

Transplanting

Once the seeds germinated and developed into seedlings around 4 inches tall, you can remove the cover. Transplant the astilbe seedlings in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Choose an area that receives some shade and has well-draining, fertile, and loose soil. 

 

Method #2. Division

The more preferred method of gardeners for propagating astilbe is by division. In fact, you can purchase bare roots and plant them yourself. More so, dividing mature astilbe plants should be part of your general maintenance every three years to keep them healthy. 

 

Digging

The ideal time to divide astilbe is early in spring or late in fall before they start growing and when the plants have also died back. You can make lifting much easier by digging around the perimeter of the mature astilbe plant. This also makes it unlikely for you to damage the rhizomes of the plant accidentally. 

 

Sectioning and transplanting

Some gardeners also find it easy to divide the astilbe by lifting the whole plant with the root ball still intact. You can then use a shovel to divide the roots to create around four sections. However, make sure that you have also removed all the damaged roots before planting and do so as quickly as possible to prevent them from drying. 

For the new location, you can allocate a depth of 6 inches for the rhizomes. It’s also best to amend the area with compost and ensure that they are in partial shade to prevent sunlight damage. More so, moist soil is crucial to support the establishment of the divisions. 

 

Maintaining Astilbe

To further help with your astilbe plants’ growth and health, you want to learn about their ideal conditions and requirements. For example, astilbe’s perfect location should be bright and provide shade as they can burn with direct sunlight. You also want a well-draining medium that retains moisture well. 

Keep in mind that astilbe requires water more than other plants, so watering deeply is a common practice. However, never leave them in standing water as this can encourage rot. Feeding, on the other hand, is useful every spring with a balanced fertilizer. 

Can you extend the foliage and blooming period of astilbe? You can elongate the flowering of astilbe by removing the dead and faded flowers. Some gardeners even cut the spent stems to maintain the plant’s foliage after it finished blooming. 

 

Conclusion

If you want a plant that will put on a show in spring, summer, and fall, astilbes make an excellent consideration. Knowing how to propagate astilbe is relatively simple, and you can create more plants for your garden without issues. If you have a greenhouse, you may even find it more comfortable to root your plants indoors for quicker transplanting outdoors. 

You can choose to start astilbes from seeds or divisions. Germination can take longer, so you want to use aged seeds instead of fresh ones. However, you can sow the seeds indoors and maintain the ideal conditions to help you with their sprouting.

Dividing astilbe, on the other hand, has the advantage of creating exact copies of your parent plant, and it also works as a maintenance practice to prevent overcrowding and keep the plants healthy. In general, choose an area with fertile, moist, and well-draining soil for transplanting, and provide partial shade for astilbe to guarantee healthy growth. 

 

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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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