How To Prune Lobelia. The Best Guide

There are three factors to consider when learning how to prune lobelia. However, it’s worth noting that you must research the lobelia species; you have to know if it has specific maintenance requirements. More so, pruning itself should not be where maintenance stops, and the ideal environment for the plants should be stable like what a greenhouse offers. 

Nonetheless, pruning would be beneficial to keep the plants healthy and keep the location tidy. Remember that lobelias are prone to overtaking an area without proper care. Just remember to handle lobelia with care, especially with pets and kids around, as they can be poisonous.

 

How To Prune Lobelia. The Best Guide

How To Prune Lobelia For Beginners

 

Pinching

The first thing that you have to learn when pruning lobelia is pinching. You don’t have to immediately trim or cut back your plant, especially when you have just planted it. The act of pinching the tips of a new plant will encourage branching and lead to bushy growth. 

You can pinch every stem of your newly planted lobelia until the second bud or top leaves. Simply use your fingers to squeeze the stem’s tip. This way, these points will grow new branches with flowers for a fuller lobelia plant. 

The best time to pinch lobelia plants is in early spring. You can check for new growing stems around six inches long and pinch them back. Otherwise, newly planted lobelias should establish themselves first before you pinch them. 

 

Trimming

Besides pinching, you will eventually need to trim your lobelia plant, and you can use scissors for this. This is part of your maintenance routine to keep the plant tidy and encourage a healthy bloom. And unlike pinching, you are not limited to spring as a time for trimming lobelia; you can do it any time of the year. 

However, do note that some lobelias, especially the spiky types, should finish fading entirely before you clip their stems. You can also trim off your plant’s faded blossoms and use the wilting flowers as a signal to trim the plant by half of its height. Much like pinching, trimming will encourage a fuller look by cutting close to a leaf or a bud. 

 

Cutting back

The final practice for pruning lobelia is cutting the plant back. Compared to trimming, which is essentially a light practice at any time of the year to keep the plant tidy, cutting back is a major pruning. You can do this after the plant stopped blooming or after every flowering period. 

Cutting back lobelias will help encourage and extend blooming because you’re removing spent flowers that will produce seeds. Major pruning is beneficial not just for the plant’s appearance but also for its health. Some gardeners even leave some lobelia types in the garden during the summer and then cut them back to encourage fall blooms. 

 

Caring For Lobelia

Maintaining and caring for lobelia doesn’t stop with pinching, trimming, and cutting them back. Besides knowing how to prune lobelia correctly, you also want to place them under ideal conditions. This can be easy to achieve in the greenhouse because the conditions indoors are not fluctuating, and you can adjust them according to the climate outside. 

You can start growing lobelia plants in the greenhouse 12 weeks before the last frost and wait for the danger of frost to pass before transplanting them in the garden. A space of 6 inches between the plants is ideal, and an area that receives full sun should encourage growth. 

Lobelia is generally easy to grow, especially in moist and fertile soil. Of course, you will need to adjust watering when the climate is hot, and you can fertilize once a month to encourage blooming. Just be mindful of overwatering and exposing lobelia in extreme and harsh temperatures. 

 

Best Lobelia Varieties To Grow

Like with other plants, you want to identify the type of lobelia that you’re growing and give its specific needs. Some of the most common varieties you’ll see are edging lobelias, great blue lobelias, cardinal lobelias, and a hybrid of the latter two. Edging lobelias are known for their trailing habits, and sometimes, they won’t need deadheading. 

On the other hand, the great blue lobelia is probably what comes to mind when you think of blue lobelias, and they’re loved for the extended blooming period. The cardinal lobelias are also quite popular from their scarlet-red flowers. Lastly, these two hybrids can give you many color options and will bloom for a long time in the summer. 

Do note that there are many species of lobelias, and they are not only perennials. You can also find tender annuals, mounding lobelias, and half-hardy annuals. Besides blue, you may also find lobelia plants with lilac and tropical-colored flowers. 

 

Conclusion

Maintenance plays a significant role in the appearance and health of lobelia plants. Therefore, learning how to prune lobelia plants is crucial if you want to keep your plants happy. In addition to growing them in a stable environment like the greenhouse, check the plants you have and identify if they’ll need pinching, trimming, or cutting back. 

Remember that some lobelia types are self-cleaning, so you may not need to deadhead them. On the other hand, trimming to keep the plants neat and cutting back for maintenance are beneficial for their blooming and overall health. You can also pinch back your newly planted lobelias to encourage branching and fuller growth. 

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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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