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How To Propagate Vinca From Cuttings For Success

It’s essential to learn the four steps on how to propagate vinca from cuttings because not all varieties of periwinkles will be best if you root them from seeds. For example, the evergreen ground covers, Vinca major or common periwinkle, and Vinca minor or little leaf periwinkle, are suitable for propagation by cuttings. However, there is nothing to worry about because rooting from cuttings is simple, even for newbie gardeners. 

Vinca or periwinkle will spread best in an ideal environment. Therefore, using a greenhouse for starting these plants will ensure that the cuttings will root and survive. Additionally, the parent plant that will provide the softwood cuttings should be healthy and stress-free, so those that you’ve raised in the greenhouse make the best candidate. 

How To Propagate Vinca From Cuttings For Success

How To Propagate Vinca From Cuttings: Comprehensive Guide

Newbie or not, you can simplify the propagation of vinca from cuttings into four steps. Cutting or collecting, preparing growing medium, planting, and transplanting should get you the vinca clones of your parent plant. As mentioned earlier, you can propagate your vinca cuttings in the greenhouse or cultivate the parent plants themselves indoors to ensure that the plants will be vigorous and stress-free.

 

Cutting

Before you collect the cuttings from your periwinkle plants, you must know the difference between the horizontal and upright stems. The former are non-flowering, and they have the leaf nodes that will form roots. Therefore, the erect stems with flowers are not what you need for propagation.

Choose an actively growing parent plant that is healthy and showing no signs of stress. You can collect vinca cuttings in spring or early summer, but do note to avoid doing so when it’s scorching. Experienced gardeners also recommend cutting from May to July or when the softwood has sprouted.

Additionally, choose the secondary cuttings at the lower end of the stem instead of the terminal cuttings at the tip because they root quicker. The branch should have various leaves but no flowers and use a sanitized and sharp shears to get a 4-inch cutting. Remove all leaves from the bottom one-third, so it’s bare for rooting. 

 

Preparation of growing medium

The growing medium for your cuttings is crucial for them to root, and a combination of coarse perlite and sphagnum peat moss would be ideal. And similar to growing cuttings of other plants, ensure that this medium is moist to support roots. Once you’ve prepared the medium, you can plant anytime if you’re in zones 10 to 11.

 

Planting

Before you plant the cuttings, remember that there should be no leaves at the lower half of the stem. For the leaves at the tip, only half of them should remain. Once the cutting is ready, dip the severed end in rooting hormone to encourage rooting. 

Remember that sanitation is essential, so use a separate container for dipping the cuttings in the rooting hormone. You can then insert one cutting per pot so that the leaves’ lowest remaining set is above the ground. Don’t also forget to firm the medium around the stem to keep it stable.  

The ideal location for the cuttings is indoors and choose the greenhouse area that gets bright light. However, the plants shouldn’t get hit by direct sunlight. To further promote rooting, cover them with clear plastic bags and check the medium’s moisture every day. 

Mist your cuttings twice a day with particular attention to the underside of their leaves. In two to four weeks, lightly tug the stem’s base to check for resistance that will indicate roots. Once they have rooted, open the plastic bags to help with air circulation. 

 

Transplanting

Four weeks after the cuttings have rooted, you can transfer them in a larger container with potting soil. You can harden them before transplanting by putting them in a sheltered area with partial shade. Once they are ready, the plants will grow best five feet apart in a bed with full sun for the following growing season. 

 

How To Grow Vinca

Growing vinca will be successful as long as you meet the plant’s optimal requirements. You will also have a higher chance of getting more robust parent plants for your cuttings if they are in the greenhouse. If you plan on only using the greenhouse for starting vinca, do so at 12 weeks before the last frost

Periwinkles will grow well in full sun, and they are even drought-tolerant. They are not picky with soil, and the spacing for them can be 12 inches apart. Water them well but once established, you can lessen the frequency unless there is drought, and you can maintain soil moisture by mulching. 

You can fertilize twice per season for feeding, and you can stimulate growth in midsummer using liquid food. You can then feel confident against diseases and pests because vinca is not vulnerable to them compared to other flowering plants. 

 

Conclusion

You can root periwinkles either from seeds or cuttings, depending on what you’re growing. But for evergreen ground covers, it’s essential to know how to propagate vinca from cuttings. It will take you four steps composed of cutting or collection, preparing growing medium, planting, and transplanting to get your periwinkle clones. 

It’s worth noting that using a greenhouse for the parent plants or starting the propagation will provide more benefits for you. The consistent and ideal conditions indoors will create vigorous parent plants that you can confidently get your cuttings from. On the other hand, starting the cuttings indoors will help them root quickly and ready for transplanting. 

 

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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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