How to Propagate Dogwood Trees: 3 Simple Methods

If you’re trying to learn how to propagate dogwood trees (Cornus florida), you’ll be glad to know that the entire process is as easy as it is inexpensive. In fact, we guarantee that you won’t have a hard time growing a good number of dogwood trees in your own backyard and sharing a few more of these with your friends. You probably can’t wait to see your dogwood trees show off their gorgeous pink and white blooms during springtime.

 

3 Ways to Propagate Dogwood Trees

Classified as deciduous trees because they shed their leaves every year, dogwood trees tend to grow up to 30 feet tall and spread up to 35 feet in plant hardiness zones 5 to 9. Furthermore, these can be grown from seed, cuttings, as well as layering.

 

Method #1: Cuttings

You can propagate dogwood trees from both softwood or hardwood cuttings. Experts say that 3-inch terminal shoot tips with two sets of leaves make the best cuttings. Compared to other methods, your dogwood trees can root best when they’re grown from cuttings that are taken at the right time of the year.

In case you’re wondering, the right time to take softwood cuttings is during the summer. While you’re at it, be sure to take softwood cuttings from flexible branches that can snap when you bend them.

On the other hand, the best time to take hardwood cuttings is in the winter. Make sure that you take these cuttings from hardened branches that have lost their flexibility.

Keep in mind that not all of your dogwood cuttings will become successful. For this reason, experienced gardeners recommend planting several cuttings instead of just a few.

Be sure to dip the cut ends in rooting hormone before you bury them in a pot that’s filled with rooting medium. Keep your cuttings moist and shield them from direct sunlight before they establish themselves. Although you’ll notice their roots developing within 4 to 8 weeks, it’s always a good idea to grow your new plants in a protected environment such as a semi pro greenhouse and wait until the next spring before you can plant them outdoors.

 

Method #2: Layering

Compared to using cuttings, you’ll have a greater chance of success if you use the layering method. To do this, you need to take a flexible branch and bend it low enough until a portion of the branch is touching the ground. That particular portion is notched and treated with rooting hormone before it gets buried in the ground.

Meanwhile, the branch’s leafy end should extend above the ground to become the top of the new dogwood tree as soon as the buried branch begins to develop its roots. The layering method is best used with dormant wood during the early part of spring or with mature wood in the late summer. Be sure to keep the soil around the buried branch soft and moist until you begin to see the roots developing within a span of several months. By early autumn or the next spring, you can cut away the rooted sections from the parent plants before you plant them in another location.

 

Method #3. Seeds

Although the seeds of dogwood hybrids are mostly sterile, you can easily find viable ones in gardening stores. However, you can also choose to gather seeds from non-hybrid dogwood trees that are growing in the wild.

Keep in mind that dogwood trees need plenty of time for the stratification period before they start to germinate. When you want your seeds to germinate in March or April, you need to sow them outdoors in September or October.

You need to start your dogwood seeds in containers and keep them in a controlled environment for several months because newly-sprouted dogwood plants are weak and vulnerable to the sun and wind. When they become stronger, you may take them out of the protected environment and plant them outdoors.

Be sure to bury the seeds that are started in containers in a moist growing medium and place them at 35˚ to 41˚F for about 120 days for the stratification period. Next, you need to warm the seeds to about 60˚ to 80˚F to break its dormancy and promote germination.

 

What are the Things that You Need to Consider When Propagating Dogwood Trees?

Regardless of your choice of propagation method, the process of starting dogwood trees can take a lot of time. In most cases, growers have to wait for several months before they see a viable plant developing after they perform the layering method. Moreover, the germination process takes more than a year to complete if you start them from seeds.

However, it’s important to note that experts don’t recommend gathering seeds from a neighbor’s dogwood hybrid unless you’re willing to end up growing something else other than the true copy of the parent tree. Seasoned gardening enthusiasts create hybrids to duplicate and maximize the parent plant’s specific traits that include flower production, as well as disease resistance.

 

Propagate Your Dogwood Trees in a Semi Pro Greenhouse!

Growing your dogwood trees in a semi pro greenhouse is one of the best decisions you could make. Aside from giving your tender dogwood plants with the protection that they need from harsh weather conditions, destructive pests, as well as harmful animals, it also allows you to manipulate the temperature and moisture levels in the enclosed space. Set up your own semi pro greenhouse to experience its wonderful benefits.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Propagate Dogwood Trees

Now that you know how to propagate dogwood trees, consider growing them in your very own semi pro greenhouse. Try your hand at greenhouse gardening today.

 

 

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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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