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How To Propagate Petunias. The Best 2 Ways

You can quickly learn how to propagate petunias from seeds or cuttings and guarantee their survival using a greenhouse. For starters, you can ensure that the seeds will germinate, and your plants will be healthy enough to provide the cuttings by growing them in a controlled environment. The greenhouse will ensure that it stays within the optimal temperatures to support your petunias’ growth and health.

It’s not surprising that gardeners are interested in rooting petunias. After all, they offer different colors and forms and even have an extended flowering period to keep your garden looking magnificent. When grown as summer annuals, petunias can also tolerate drought, making it less likely for you to make errors in caring for them. 

How To Propagate Petunias. The Best 2 Ways

Easiest Ways On How To Propagate Petunias

Propagating petunias is a worthy endeavor for the gardener, whether it’s for personal pleasure or as a source of income. After all, petunias can improve the look of borders and are even useful groundcovers for various landscapes. You can grow them as annuals, but you can also treat them as perennials if you’re in growing zones 9 to 11. 

 

Growing petunias from seeds

Perhaps rooting any plant from seeds is the easiest way, especially for newbie gardeners. The same concept applies to petunias, and you can guarantee success, especially when you grow them indoors. This is because the greenhouse will protect the seeds from fluctuating temperatures and potentially harsh weather that can prevent them from germinating and growing successfully.

To start, you must remember that petunias love sunlight. They thrive well from the heat during summer, which is why early sowing of seeds, especially in the garden, puts you at risk of rotting or sullen plants. Instead, start your seeds indoors at ten weeks before you intend to plant the seedlings. 

Depending on your location, you can adjust the timing of sowing petunia seeds. Those in the north do this in the first week of March, but you can do it earlier when you’re in the south. Using a greenhouse should protect the seeds and very young plants to ensure that they’ll be healthy and ready for transplanting. 

 

How to sow petunia seeds

You can use planting trays or eggshells for the petunia seeds. Fill them with a seed-starting mix of your choice and sprinkle the seeds on top. Moisten the plants afterward before covering the tray with a plastic wrap to ensure that the soil stays moist. 

You want to place this tray in a bright area and not receive direct sunlight to prevent the seeds’ damage. To give you a better understanding, the location should be around 75°F to encourage germination. And then, once you see the seeds sprout, remove the cover and place the tray 6 inches under lights in an area of 65°F.

For maintenance, fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer once every two weeks and check the soil when it gets dry to know when to water. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting after developing two or three true leaves. 

 

Growing petunias from cuttings

There are reasons why gardeners prefer to propagate petunias from cuttings instead of seeds. For example, you have to wait for a year before using the seeds you collected if you’re using hybrid petunia varieties. If you are in the northern US, petunias might also take until the middle of the summer before they bloom and allow the seeds’ collection. 

Petunia seeds also tend to be challenging to use because they are small. Instead, you can use an existing plant to get cuttings for rooting. This method is reasonably straightforward, wherein you’ll collect from the tip of a petunia stem in the morning. 

The cutting should have no flowers or buds, and don’t forget to remove the lower leaves. Dip it in rooting hormone powder and place the cutting in a mixture of your choice. Remember to moisten the medium before putting the cutting and holding it in place by pushing the soil around it. 

The cuttings will thrive under a light shade so that you can cover the container with a plastic bag. Ensure that moisture will still evaporate under this setting, and the bag shouldn’t touch the cutting. Maintain moisture by removing the bag each morning and misting every other day.

 

Conclusion

The long flowering period and eye-catching beauty of petunias make them one of the best plants to propagate. But do you know how to propagate petunias properly? You can either use seeds or cuttings for petunias and put them indoors to strengthen them for transplanting later on. 

The greenhouse is an ideal growing environment for young petunias because it prevents unstable conditions. For the seeds, you can sow in March or earlier, depending on your location. Given that the temperatures are absolute and they are well-hydrated, petunia seeds should germinate successfully.

On the other hand, you can use your healthy existing petunias to collect cuttings for propagation. The seeds might be too tiny for some, so using cuttings is the easier way. Cut in the morning, remove any buds or flowers on the cutting, and cover the container with a plastic bag. 

Like with seeds, moist soil is crucial for the survival of your young plants. Afterward, you can prepare for transplanting on your outdoor garden. 

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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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