How To Propagate Russian Sage. 2 Best Ways

Learning how to propagate Russian sage is easy, and you have three options to choose from. This perennial can satisfy those who want to have something low maintenance but still add color to the garden. And because you have three propagation methods, you can select the technique that works well for your situation. 

While Russian sage is generally hardy and will thrive well from growing zones 5 to 9, you can also consider growing it in the greenhouse. Among the extensive list of plants that you can grow indoors, this flowering perennial will surely benefit from stable conditions. Remember that with propagation, you want to provide the ideal environment to encourage the germination of seeds or establish the cuttings and divisions. 

 

How To Propagate Russian Sage. 2 Best Ways

How To Propagate Russian Sage For Beginners

 

Option #1. Seeds

According to the University of Wisconsin, the best time to sow Russian sage seeds is any time of the year. You will even benefit more from using a greenhouse because you protect the seeds from extreme climate and temperatures. This is why, while the university mentioned the flexibility of the sowing time of this plant, you still need to cover them with the medium. 

You can buy Russian sage seeds, but you can also collect them from your plants. You’ll wait at the end of the flowering cycle and cut off the pods intact. You can then store the seeds in an airtight container until use. 

 

Cold stratification and germination

Propagating Russian sage from seeds is not a favorite among gardeners because the germination can take anywhere between one to four months. However, you may have no plants to source cuttings from, so it’s useful to know how to start Russian sage from seeds. More so, the seeds require cold stratification to break them off dormancy and produce a healthy and compact plant. 

To treat the seeds before germination, place them in an area with temperatures between 35 to 44°F for ten days or more. Another method is to put them in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator for a month to increase the sprouting rate and germination. And for the sprouting itself, maintain the greenhouse around 60 to 65°F to encourage germination. 

 

Sowing and transplanting

Sow the seeds in potting soil and maintain moisture. Once the seedlings are large enough, you can transplant them in another container and wait until you can transplant in late spring. However, remember to harden the plants first to avoid stress. 

 

Option #2. Cuttings

The second and perhaps the best option to propagate Russian sage is by cuttings. It takes a shorter time to grow the plants from cuttings, and you don’t need to do a treatment to get them rooting. With this method, you can take cuttings in early summer or late spring. 

 

Gathering 

Make sure to select a healthy plant and gather softwood cuttings around 4 inches long. The greenhouse is also beneficial for this method because it can grow healthy parent plants that can endure the cuttings. Once you have the cuttings, you want to remove all the leaves at the end and dip it in the rooting hormone powder. 

 

Planting

Dip the cutting in a loose and moist potting soil and compact the soil around it to keep it stable. The cuttings should root well if you keep it somewhere bright but out of direct sunlight. You must also maintain soil moisture to encourage the establishment and protect the cuttings from wind and high temperatures. 

 

Option #3. Division

The final option for Russian sage propagation is by division. This is best for those with older plants because you can do it every three years for maintenance and a chance to clone more plants. The best time to do so is spring or fall when the Russian sage plants are not actively blooming, with distinguishable dry buds. 

 

Digging

To divide, cut down the plant to 8 inches to make digging easier. You can then use a shovel and dig around the plant so you can get the whole rootball. And once you have dug out the plant, remove the soil on the rootball to make the division more comfortable.

 

Planting

The sections you can produce will depend on how big the plant. Use your hands to separate the roots and place the sections in water to keep them moist. Starting divisions in the greenhouse will also give you a headstart because the environment is stable. 

The new hole for these transplants should be as deep as the length of the roots. You also want to stabilize the plant, especially around its roots when planting. Use fertile soil and ensure moisture as you would with the previous propagation techniques. 

 

Conclusion

Low maintenance plants like Russian sage will surely add color to your garden or greenhouse. And best of all, learning how to propagate Russian sage is even simple and gives you many options to choose from. If you don’t have adult plants yet, you can sow Russian sage, given that you have stratified them first. 

On the other hand, you can take cuttings in early summer or late spring from your existing plants. Those who want to maintain Russian sage can also divide every three years and produce more plants by digging one plant and planting the new sections. Whichever method you choose, you will have a higher success rate in maintaining the ideal growing conditions using a 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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