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How To Propagate Coleus Plants. 2 Best Methods

Did you know that you can learn how to propagate coleus plants using two methods? This popular landscape plant is relatively easy to reproduce, and gardeners can choose to start from seeds or cuttings. You even have a headstart from the competition if you have a greenhouse for propagating coleus. 

Remember that to encourage seed germination or to root cuttings, the conditions should be optimal. You can easily adjust the environment indoors and mimic the preferred growing conditions of coleus. This way, you can root coleus as quickly as possible for transplanting sooner as well.

 

How To Propagate Coleus Plants. 2 Best Methods

How To Grow Coleus Plants

 

Method #1. Seeds

 

Step#1. Seed collection

The first propagation technique for growing coleus plants is by starting them from seeds. You can collect them yourself, but it should also be easy to find them in seed stores. However, note that unlike propagation from cuttings, starting coleus from seed won’t guarantee specific characteristics

If you want to obtain coleus seeds from your plants, you can wait for the flowers to develop seed pods after they fade. Please wait for the pod to turn yellowish and let them dry before collecting the seeds. You can quickly gather the seeds by rubbing the pods, but don’t forget to remove the chaff by blowing on them afterward. 

 

Step #2. Sowing

Once you have the seeds, you have the option to start them in the greenhouse or sow directly outdoors. It would be advantageous to sow coleus seeds indoors for optimal productivity. This way, you have enough time to grow vigorous plants for transplanting. 

 

 

Indoors

Sow coleus seeds in the greenhouse eight weeks before your last frost to help them establish themselves. You can use a container with moist potting soil and spread the seeds evenly on the surface. And since the seeds are relatively tiny, spacing can be difficult, so thin the seedlings later on instead. 

Cover them with soil lightly and maintain a humid environment by placing a plastic bag over the pot. Choose a bright and warm area in the greenhouse, but ensure that the seeds are not hit by direct sunlight. You can also adjust the indoor temperatures between 70 and 75°F for quicker germination. 

 

Outdoors

On the other hand, you can sow coleus seeds directly in the garden if the soil is warm. However, this is only preferable after the danger of frost has passed or if you are in growing zones nine and warmer. Prepare the site to create a moist and fertile location before sowing the seeds thinly. 

Maintain the moisture of the ground, and don’t forget to be mindful in protecting the seeds from challenging weather conditions like rain. One can expect coleus to germinate after one to two weeks, depending on the environment’s stability. However, it’s natural for the process to start slowly, even indoors. 

 

Step #3. Maintenance

Once your seeds germinate, you can remove the cover but continue keeping the medium damp to support their growth. Just remember to water from below to avoid damaging the seedlings. Then, wait for the plants to grow two sets of true leaves and reach a height of almost three inches to indicate transplanting in larger containers. 

Allocate one seedling per container and place them somewhere bright. It will also boost the coleus plants if you feed them every two weeks with a diluted fertilizer with plenty of nitrogen. A useful tip to have bushy coleus plants is pinching the top inch as well. 

 

Method #2. Cuttings

 

Step #1. Taking cuttings

A more straightforward way to clone coleus is by using cuttings. Select an apical stem around six inches long and cut below a leaf node using sharp and sterile shears. Don’t forget to only take cuttings from a large, healthy, and mature plant to ensure quick recovery afterward. 

 

Step #3. Preparation

Before rooting, you want to remove or pinch all the lower leaves on your cuttings. This way, they won’t get in contact with your chosen rooting medium nor compete with the nutrients for root development. Experienced gardeners also recommend dipping the end in rooting hormone to encourage faster root growth.

 

Step #4. Rooting

You have the option to root coleus cuttings either in soil or water. If you choose to root them in water, make sure that it reaches all the nodes but never the top leaves. On the other hand, place the cutting in a container with moist soil and cover it with plastic to create a humid environment. 

 

Step #5. Maintenance

Place the cuttings somewhere bright but out of direct light for faster rooting. It can take the plants two to three weeks, and you can also place them in the greenhouse, so the conditions are stable. Always check the soil for dampness or replace your water as part of maintenance.

The Clemson Cooperative Extension recommends feeding from June to August to boost the flowering of coleus plants. However, it’s not advisable to use fertilizers that are high in phosphorus. These types of feeds can cause leggy growth in coleus plants. 

 

Conclusion

Coleus plants are relatively easy to start and grow yourself. You have two options to learn how to propagate coleus plants, which are via seeds or cuttings. Both methods are straightforward, but the former is an excellent way to clone your favorites. 

Consider propagating coleus indoors for optimal germination or rooting 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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