How To Propagate Caladium. The Best Method

Learning how to propagate caladium is straightforward, and the best method to do so is by division. You can also consider growing in the greenhouse to ensure that the divisions will establish faster and ready for transplanting later on. While division puts you at a headstart compared to other propagation methods, it’s still crucial to place the plant in a stable growing environment to help them grow vigorous. 

The list of caladium cultivars is also extensive so that you can choose your region’s appropriate one. And since these plants are fast-growing, one can assume that propagating them from division will be fuss-free. Caladiums also tend to mature in only one season, which means propagating these plants will be fast. 

 

How To Propagate Caladium. The Best Method

How To Propagate Caladium For Beginners

 

Dividing caladium

The best method for propagating caladium is by division. This also works as a maintenance practice to keep your plants in the garden looking neat. More so, dividing caladiums ensures that you’ll get copies of your favorite plant using its tubers. 

However, you want to practice precaution in propagating caladiums because they can cause poisoning and reactions upon contact or ingestion. You also want to check and disinfect all the tools you’ll need before and after using them. Soaking your gardening tools for half an hour in a diluted bleach solution is highly recommended before rinsing them. 

 

Overwintering caladium tubers

Before anything else, it’s essential to clarify a common mistake with terminologies used by various guides. When one says overwintering caladium bulbs, it refers to caladium tubers. In fact, the correct term should be tubers, and they are what you’ll divide for propagation. 

The best time to do so is in spring, but overwintering tubers are common, especially in cold regions. Remember that caladiums struggle in cold climates, so it’s better to dig the tubers, divide them, and store in the greenhouse. They will stay in the greenhouse temperature between 70 to 75°F somewhere dry until planting in spring.  

 

Digging caladium

How does one dig a caladium plant? Much like in dividing other plants, you want to dig around the plant’s perimeter to make the lifting more comfortable. You can loosen the area with a spade and lift the tubers from the soil. 

Remove the soil and damaged parts such as foliage, tubers, and buds, to prevent them from spreading to the healthy divisions. Some gardeners also treat the tubers with a fungicide before storage as a precautionary measure. It would be best if you also dusted them off before planting.  

 

Replanting caladium

Before planting the divisions, you want to cut and lift out the bigger central bud of a tuber. This technique will lead to a fuller and bushier plant because the remaining smaller buds will create more shoots. And as mentioned previously, you only want to plant healthy tubers and discard those with damages and signs of diseases. 

You can plant the divisions in fertile, moist, well-draining, and acidic soil in the greenhouse to ensure that they won’t get exposed to direct sunlight. A maximum of six hours a day would be best to help the plants establish themselves. But if you’re outdoors, check the soil’s warmth because caladiums will thrive between 60 to 70°F, which is around spring.  

A space of 12 inches among them at a depth of two inches is expected for planting caladium tubers with their eye buds facing up. You also want to check the soil’s quality and use a slow-release fertilizer for the first six months of the growing season. Lastly, ensure soil moisture to help the plants grow, but be careful not to overwater and encourage fungal growth. 

 

Caring For Caladium

It’s not enough to study the best propagation method for caladiums. You also have to educate yourself on the plant’s ideal conditions and requirements to keep it healthy and avoid diseases. As you can assume, the two maintenance practices that influence caladiums are watering and fertilizing. 

While you don’t want to overwater caladiums, they will require a moist medium, and you can do this by mulching and using a good medium itself. If your area is dry and hot, you want to water them more than the recommended weekly. This is also applicable to container caladiums because they take up water much quicker than those that aren’t in containers. 

How do you fertilize caladiums? Fertilizing caladiums is essential for the production of good tubers for the next season. They will benefit from a 5-10-10 fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season, and some gardeners also feed with high potassium and phosphorus in summer along with watering. 

 

Conclusion

With proper caution, caladiums are one of the best plants to propagate and multiply in the garden. Learning how to propagate caladium involves mastering the best method, which is dividing the plant’s tubers. You can dig the tubers and overwinter them for replanting in spring. 

The greenhouse makes a perfect space for storing the tubers during winter or starting them in spring if your outdoor soil still hasn’t warmed up. In general, it’s relatively easy to divide the tubers and help them establish themselves in a stable and ideal environment. Perhaps your most significant problem to avoid is fungal growth from infected tubers or overwatering. 

 

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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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