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How To Propagate Purslane In 3 Practical Ways

Do you want nothing more than to learn how to propagate purslane (Portulaca Oleracea)? If so, then today’s your lucky day. This delicious yet versatile plant may be considered as a weed simply because it can grow without much help at all, but it offers plenty of health benefits!

 

How To Propagate Purslane In 3 Practical Ways

A Brief Historical Background

Purslane’s origins can be traced to North Africa and Southern Europe. Historical evidence shows that this plant was cultivated and foraged for by native people across North Africa even before the Europeans set foot on the continent. Eventually, this plant was brought and cultivated in the Mediterranean area, Europe, and Asia.

 

Interesting Facts About Purslane

Others may think that purslane is nothing but a useless weed. However, this annual succulent also happens to be a very powerful medicinal plant.

In case you’re not aware, this nutritional powerhouse has rightfully earned its place in American pop culture. So, don’t be surprised to find this superfood in fine dining, as well as farm-to-table restaurants.

It’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants. You might be surprised to know that purslane practically has seven times more beta carotene than your favorite carrots!

The common purslane may look like a tiny jade plant, but the best thing about it is that you can eat its seeds, stems, leaves, and flowers! What’s more, you can enjoy it raw or cooked!

In case you’re wondering, purslane leaves taste a bit salty, peppery, and citrusy at the same time. Compared to arugula, purslane is juicier and crunchier.

Purslane’s flowers are small and each has about five petals, as well as yellow stamens. In most cases, they blossom between midsummer season and early fall. At this point, their flowers become fertilized and they produce their own seeds.

When grown wild, purslane can be more pungent with an intense flavor. However, when cultivated, they’re sweeter. When they’re grown in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10, they usually grow more upright with larger leaves.

Unfortunately, not everyone seems to like purslane. In some parts of the country, cultivating this plant is not encouraged. In fact, the USDA considers purslane as a noxious weed.

 

How To Propagate Purslane

Most gardening enthusiasts choose to propagate purslane from seed. However, you can choose to grow them from stem cuttings or transplants. No wonder, these plants are such super spreaders!

 

Seed

Trying to find purslane seeds or plants at the local nursery may be a challenge. However, once you’ve bought some seeds to get started, you won’t ever need to purchase more seeds again because a single purslane plant is able to produce more than 50,000 seeds within its lifetime.

If you plan to sow the seeds outdoors, make sure that you wait until the last frost has passed and the temperature of the soil has reached approximately 60˚F. Sow them onto moist soil by sprinkling the seeds and pressing them in ever so lightly. Avoid covering them because they need to be exposed to sunlight in order to germinate.

You can expect the seedlings to sprout after 7 to 10 days after you plant them. As soon as you see them produce a few true leaves, you may thin them to about 8 inches apart.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to start seeds indoors, make sure that you do so at least three weeks prior to the last frost to make sure that all risk of frost has passed. Once they’ve grown one set of true leaves, you may transplant them. They’d need to be hardened off for a couple of days before you can plant them out in your backyard garden.

Before you plant them out, expose them to the sun for 1 additional hour each day of the week. Should you decide to place them in a sheltered area such as your patio, make sure that your young seedlings won’t be exposed to the sun for too long.

 

Stem Cuttings

Did you know that each purslane stem has the ability to create a new version of itself? If you choose to propagate purslane from stem cuttings, simply use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut a stem from its parent plant. It’s best to maintain the cutting’s length at about 6 inches and remember to get rid of the leaves from the bottom half of the stem.

Next, you may use potting soil to plant the stem onto. Bury half of the stem underground and place it in an area where it can get bright and indirect light. Make sure that the soil is kept moist but not to the point where it’s waterlogged.

A week after you plant them, you’ll begin to see your cutting’s first few signs of growth. By this time, it should remain stable enough to hold firm in the potting soil as you give the plant a gentle tug. You may transplant the purslane at this point.

You may cut pieces of the stem with each piece measuring at about an inch. Bury these stems entirely at about 1/4 inches deep into the garden soil. You should be able to see your new plants popping out in a few weeks.

 

Transplanting

When you’re transplanting purslane, all you need to do is to dig it up with the use of a trowel. While you’re at it, be sure to keep the plant’s roots and stems attached. Next, you may dig a new hole that’s about twice the size of the plant’s root ball.

As you place the uprooted plant in the hole, make sure that you set it no deeper than it was previously planted. The next step is to use dirt to fill the hole back in.

 

Grow Your Plants In a Hobby Greenhouse!

Now that you’ve finally figured out how to propagate purslane through these 3 different methods, it’s about time that you consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening. Aside from protecting your plants from inclement weather, destructive insects, and animals, a hobby greenhouse also allows you to extend your plants’ growing season by creating an optimal growing environment. Experience the benefits of growing your plants in a hobby greenhouse!

 

 

 

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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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