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How To Propagate Elephant Ears. 2 Best Methods

If you’re interested to learn how to propagate elephant ears, you have two methods to choose from. Elephant ears are undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching plants to add to your collection, and knowing their propagation techniques will put you at an advantage in the long run. And if you have a greenhouse, perhaps you’ll also have a head start in rooting them. 

The greenhouse is not only useful for overwintering elephant plants. The controlled and stable conditions indoors should also ensure germination and the establishment of your seeds and divisions. Therefore, you’ll have vigorous elephant ear plants that can withstand outdoor conditions. 

 

How To Propagate Elephant Ears. 2 Best Methods

Seeds

You are probably shocked that one can propagate elephant ears from seeds. This isn’t a common method because gardeners often use root cuttings for starting these plants. However, it’s worth learning how to propagate elephant ears from seeds if your plant ends up developing a seed pod

 

Step #1. Seed collection

You can collect the seeds and opt to grow them for the next spring. How to collect elephant ear plant seeds? Take the seed pod from the plant by holding it at the base and twisting it off. 

You should be able to open the berries over a bowl to collect the tiny elephant ears seeds. Collect plenty of seeds to ensure that you’ll have enough seedlings if some were not viable for growing. Once you have the seeds, rinse them off the leftover pulp and consider growing them on the ground or in the greenhouse. 

You can spread them on the soil with the former, but you have a higher chance of germinating them if you grow indoors in a planting tray. 

 

Step #2. Sowing

Press the seeds onto the surface and cover with some soil before misting the medium. Ensure that the soil is always moist but not soggy, and you should expect germination by three weeks. Thin your seedlings, so only the healthiest remain for transplanting after growing true leaves. 

 

Division

The more common method of propagating elephant ears is from division. Remember that elephant ears can grow runners, and you can divide them to start new plants. However, it’s important to emphasize the importance of wearing gloves when handling elephant ears for division. 

The sap of these plants can be irritating, so you must avoid directly touching it. After you have put on the gloves, you can dig out the roots by loosening the soil around the plant. Allocate some distance around the plant, so you don’t risk damaging the roots.

 

Step #1. Separation

You can separate the roots by hands and use a sharp and sterile knife to separate the tubers from the main plant. Each tuber should have one bud to ensure that it will grow well after planting. The bud looks like a sprout on the potato-like tuber. 

It would also be best to prepare the planting site beforehand to keep the divisions from drying up. You can grow the elephant ears in the greenhouse or the garden, but only if the conditions are stable. Choose an area with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil for growing the tubers.  

 

Step #2. Planting

Space the tubers at two feet apart with a depth of around three inches for each hole. Plant the tuber in a way where the bud is facing upward to help it develop later on. You can also plant tubers horizontally if you can’t find the buds. 

Mulch the soil after you cover the tubers and maintain soil moisture as they are growing. You can then fertilize each month as maintenance. The plants should produce new tubers after eight months. 

 

Growing Elephant Ears In Pots

Did you know that you can also grow elephant ears in pots? Instead of transplanting in the ground, use large containers to anticipate the size of elephant ear plants. Fill them with fertile and moist soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0. 

Place the pots either in full light or partial shade, depending on the variety. You can keep the pots in the greenhouse if your region is cold as elephant ears thrive somewhere humid and warm. As maintenance, keep the soil moist and start feeding them when you notice growth. 

It’s worth noting that some species of elephant ears can also grow in water. These plants naturally grow in swamps, which means you can mimic these environments when propagating them. The difference will be placing the pots in shallow water, so it reaches their rim. 

 

Conclusion

Don’t let the sap of elephant ears keep you from producing new plants for your garden. Wear gloves and learn how to propagate elephant ears either from seeds or tubers. While it’s not common to start elephant ears from seeds, you can still collect your plant’s pods and sow them indoors. 

Press the seeds on planting trays and ensure soil moisture to encourage sprouting. You can then thin the seedlings and transplant the strongest from the bunch. On the other hand, you can divide the roots of your mature elephant ear plant and plant the tubers. 

If your climate is still unpredictable, you can plant the tubers indoors. Ensure that their bud is facing upward when you grow them and keep the soil from drying. You can also fertilize each month, and your plants should produce tubers after eight months. 

 

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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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