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How To Propagate Catmint For Beginners

It’s easy learning how to propagate catmint either by seeds, cuttings, and divisions. This perennial is as easy to root as other houseplants like geranium, and the plant’s survival rate will even be higher if you use a greenhouse. For starters, the controlled indoor environment should support seeds’ germination and grow healthy catmints to provide cuttings and divisions for propagation. 

Catmints are long-blooming perennials that are well-loved by all humans and cats alike. They work well with other beautiful flowers like lavender and roses to create a beautiful and lively garden. Additionally, catmints are relatively easy to grow due to being resistant to pests, diseases, and challenging temperatures that it thrives in hardiness zones 4 to 8. 

How To Propagate Catmint For Beginners

The Best Way How To Propagate Catmint

You can propagate catmint from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. However, the best way to propagate catmint is from cuttings and divisions. 

 

Can you propagate catmint from seeds?

It’s not common to propagate catmint from seeds because it’s not reliable due to sterile hybrids. This isn’t immediately bad since sterile plants save you the hassle of weeding with self-seeding plants. Gardeners often use catmint hybrids, so using cuttings or clump division is the only way to propagate them. 

 

How to propagate catmint from divisions and cuttings?

 

Via clump division

Growing catmints in the greenhouse should help you get healthy plants for divisions and cuttings. For the former, you want to use plants that are around three or five years old. What’s excellent with catmints is that their root system is clumping, so all roots grow from one crown. 

The clump should also be established in spring for division in late September or early October. Take a vertical section from the established cluster using a sharp and sterilized knife. An established fleshy crown should allow you to get plenty of small sections.

However, remember that each division has a good root system and several young shoots or at least one developing growth eye or bump. Afterward, make sure to replant these clumps immediately at the same depth they were in before. And like with propagating divisions from any plant, don’t forget to water them well to establish themselves. 

 

Via cuttings

You can also propagate your catmint from cuttings. Use cuttings from the healthy shoots that established themselves in the spring. They are just about to form flower buds, but you can also take three to six inches softwood cuttings in early summer.

Remember that the plant you’re taking cuttings from should be well-hydrated, so water it well before you collect cuttings in the morning. This time is ideal so that the plants have enough water in their system. For the process itself, remember to use sterilized and sharp scissors to prevent damages and contamination. 

You want to cut below a set of leaves where each cutting should get three sets of leaves. Remove the leaves at the low part of the cutting and trim off any flower buds. You can also trim back all the remaining leaves until you’re left with half of their number. 

Plant the cuttings right away in a moist medium such as perlite, vermiculite, or peat-perlite mix. Poke a 6-inch hole with 4 inches of spacing for each cutting. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone to support its growth and seal the pot in a clear plastic bag to maintain moisture. 

 

How To Grow Catmint?

Your propagation should be successful when you provide the ideal conditions for your cuttings or divisions. You’ll notice that both methods require watering afterward to support your plants’ growth, and once they are established, they can tolerate drought. They require daily misting for cuttings, and the divisions will fail to thrive if the soil is dry. 

However, remember that while catmint is a low-maintenance plant, it’s still better to provide its preferred growing conditions. For example, the rooting container for catmint is best in an area that is not receiving direct sunlight but is still bright. Gardeners also recommend maintaining the location’s temperature between 70 to 75°F, which is more convenient to achieve in the greenhouse. 

What soil should you use for catmint? Of course, a well-draining and fertile soil is the best for catmint, and the soil type will depend on your specific species. You can also add compost in the fall, but like with watering, catmint can thrive on its own once it’s rooted. 

Gardeners noted that feeding catmints too much will encourage flimsy foliage. Speaking of which, you can also deadhead your plants to get a lush second bloom. Overall, you can expect the plants to bloom in early summer and repeat throughout the growing season. 

 

Conclusion

Cat or not, the catmint is undoubtedly an exciting plant that anyone can quickly love. If you have existing plants, the next step is learning how to propagate catmint so you can have more of this bright and aromatic herb. Most catmint hybrids are sterile, so you can’t use seeds.

Therefore, you can instead propagate them using your existing established plants either by clump divisions or cuttings. Both methods are straightforward, and your plants should thrive, given that you’ve watered them well and are in an environment like the greenhouse. Once the young plants are rooted, you don’t need to do much maintenance. 

 

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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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