How To Propagate Bee Balm. 3 Best Ways

It’s simple to learn how to propagate bee balm, and you have three methods to choose from. You can also consider starting bee balm in the greenhouse to guarantee that they will root and grow vigorous enough for transplanting. Remember that bee balm grows well in zones 4 to 9, so if your climate is currently unstable, it’s better to grow indoors to prevent drawbacks.

Take comfort in knowing that bee balms are relatively easy to grow, which is also applicable in propagating them. You can also choose from different cultivars to find the bee balm plant that will thrive in your area. Overall, bee balms make an excellent consideration for any garden, and learning how to start them will be advantageous for later productivity. 

 

How To Propagate Bee Balm. 3 Best Ways

How To Propagate Bee Balm For Beginners

 

Option #1. Seeds

 

Collecting seeds

You can propagate bee balm from seeds because they germinate easily. You can buy their seeds, but you can also harvest them from mature bee balms in your garden. Harvesting bee balm seeds is possible two weeks after their flowers have finished blooming and have dried off. 

Simply bend the plants to collect the seeds from the flower heads. However, remember that propagating bee balm from seeds would not give you the parent plant’s specific characteristic compared to using cuttings and division. If this isn’t an issue, dry the seeds in a sealed container for a week and sow them either indoors or outdoors. 

 

Sow indoors or outdoors

The advantage of starting bee balm seeds in the greenhouse is that you won’t get delayed in the season. If you want to sow directly in the garden outside, you must remember that fluctuating conditions will prevent germination or slow it down. You can start bee balm seeds in early spring and transplant them when they have rooted around fall or when the rainy season starts. 

You can check your calendar for outdoor sowing and plant the seeds after the last frost date. Allow an inch of space between them and thin to 24 inches apart when the young plants develop true leaves. On the other hand, you can use the greenhouse to sow eight weeks before the last first date. 

 

Option #2. Cuttings

 

Taking cuttings

An excellent method to get true copies of your favorite bee balms is using cuttings to root them. You can start collecting 6-inch cuttings in spring or mid-summer when your bee balms are developing new growth. Much like taking other plants’ cuttings, you want to use a sharp and sterilized knife to cut below a leaf node. 

The section should be free of any diseases, and the parent plant itself should be healthy. Once you have the cuttings, don’t forget to remove all the leaves except those at the top. You can also dip the end in rooting hormone powder to encourage faster root development. 

 

Rooting

Rooting bee balm cuttings in the greenhouse is also advantageous because you can control the temperature much easily indoors. The ideal conditions for bee balm cuttings are between 60 and 70°F. You can use pots with potting mix and cover each with a clear plastic bag, making sure that it’s not in contact with the stem. 

This will maintain moisture and humidity that is supportive of root growth. You can then remove this cover once the bee balm cuttings develop root. Place them somewhere bright but out of direct sunlight, and wait until the conditions outdoors are stable before transplanting. 

 

Option #3. Division

The final method of propagating bee balm is by division, and this also works as a maintenance practice. According to Iowa State University, it’s better to divide bee balms every two years in early spring. This will help you control their rapid spread and also create new plants. 

Remember that you will need to rejuvenate bee balms after some time, and they are also prone to overcrowding compared to other plants. 

 

Lifting

A good sign to start dividing is when you notice new shoots on your old plants. To make lifting easier, dig around the clump with a shovel. This way, you can slide under the roots and lift outward to loosen this perimeter. Slide under the clump and pry upward to lift or pull the root ball up by hand. 

 

Dividing and preparation

Once you have the clump, remove as much soil as you can. Some gardeners divide the clump by hand, but your bee balm may have thicker roots, which are easier to divide with a knife. Don’t forget to ensure that each clump has at least two shoots with enough root system to develop without problems. 

Before planting, remove all the dead, rotten, and damaged roots and stems. Plant the divisions immediately to prevent the roots from drying. You can also use the greenhouse, but some gardeners replant the divisions in the previous location. 

 

Conclusion

Bee balm is relatively easy to grow, and you can start them yourself without issues as well. Knowing how to propagate bee balm is straightforward, giving you three options: seeds, cuttings, and division. Whichever method you choose, using the greenhouse is advantageous because of the stable conditions indoors. 

In general, you want to maintain moisture and place bee balm somewhere bright and out of direct sunlight until they have established themselves. Then, make sure that the conditions outdoors are no longer extreme before transplanting.

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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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