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How To Propagate Verbena For Beginners

Learning how to propagate verbena allows gardeners to choose from seeds or cuttings to propagate vervain. It’s easy to say that this perennial is a must-have for every garden because its beautiful and numerous flower clusters are enjoyable in summer or autumn. Knowing how to root verbena either from seeds or cuttings will put you at an advantage among other growers. 

To further give you a head start, consider using a greenhouse to sow the seeds or grow the parent plant for propagation. A controlled and ideal environment will ensure the survival of your seeds and transplants. Additionally, starting verbena indoors should get them vigorous for outdoor transplanting.

How To Propagate Verbena For Beginners

2 Ways How To Propagate Verbena Correctly

 

Rooting verbena from seeds

 

Seed collection

Those who have existing verbena plants can get their seeds; otherwise, choose a trusted source. The process is similar to collecting calibrachoa seeds since you’re gathering the dead flowers’ seed pods. Let the flowers in your verbena plants dry and die on the stem, and later you’ll see the brown and small seed pods. 

Timing is very crucial with seed collection because the pods can burst open when you fail to harvest the seeds soon. When you see that your flowers are fading, it’s time to collect the pods. On the contrary, the pods are green if they aren’t ripe yet, indicating that the seeds inside are not yet mature. 

Upon collection, dry the pods further by putting them in a dark area that receives air. After a week, they should be dry enough that the gentle rubbing of the pods will release them. You can then use these small and light brown seeds until spring for germination. 

 

Planting and germination

The best time to propagate verbena by seeds is in early spring or even autumn. You can use pots or sprinkle the small seeds over the soil without covering them. As with other seeds, the ground must be moist to help the seeds germinate. 

With indoor sowing, use compartmented flats with a well-draining and moist potting mix. Contrary to the first tip, some gardeners swear in using black plastic to cover the flats, as darkness can help with germination. Later on, thin the plants after germination. 

You can adjust the temperatures from 64.4 to 69.8°F in the greenhouse since they support germination in a few weeks. Using a greenhouse puts you at an advantage because the outdoor conditions can expose the seeds to very high temperatures. If you live in a cold region, you have no choice but to sow six weeks before the last frost date indoors. 

Sowing seeds indoors at 12 weeks before transplanting them outside should solve your limitation if the weather outside is too cold or wet. Additionally, not all seeds will be the same, so you might need to do cold stratification to help them germinate. But what if you want to sow outdoors?

 

Sowing verbena seeds outdoors

The process of sowing verbena seeds outdoors is similar to what you’ll do in the greenhouse. You still have to wait for the frost to pass and use a fertile and well-draining medium. You can also cover the seeds with black plastic until they germinate, then thin the plants when they grow true leaves. 

Overall, it’s more advantageous to start the seeds indoors, harden them, and then transplant them when the soil and temperatures are workable outside. Verbena will thrive in full sun or partial shade, and you can treat it as annual and perennial, depending on your location.  

 

Rooting verbena from cuttings

On the other hand, propagating verbena from cuttings is more straightforward. Take your cuttings in late spring or summer in the morning when the plant shoots are firm. According to gardeners, summer cuttings are hardier for survival, but spring cuttings root faster. 

A 3-inch cutting below a leaf joint should suffice, but remember to choose the non-flowering side shoots. Remove the lower leaves as you would with propagation by cuttings with other plants. Afterward, you can dip the bare end into a rooting hormone to support its development. 

A moist, gritty, and well-draining soil should be ideal for the cuttings, and then you can seal the pot in a clear bag to help maintain moisture. The greenhouse can protect the cuttings from harsh heat, but remember to place it in a warm position still. The roots should start growing within six weeks, and when this happens, you can separate the plants. 

 

Conclusion

Propagation of various plants is one of those gardening skills that you should equip yourself with.  If you’re interested in flowering perennials and annuals, you can quickly learn how to propagate verbena. This plant is quick to root using seeds or cuttings, and both methods are relatively straightforward as long as you note verbena’s requirements. 

Sowing the seeds in the greenhouse will guarantee germination because you’re avoiding the dangers of extreme temperatures. The same is also true to starting cuttings indoors since the plants can be strong enough for transplanting later on. Overall, remember that you’re not out of the woods yet after proper collection of seeds and cuttings.

Timing, from the collection of seeds and cuttings, planting or sowing, and transplanting is crucial, so mark your calendar accordingly. 

 

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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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