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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 Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

Want to know how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds? Marigold flowers are a mainstay in most of the gardens. They bloom beautiful flowers all season long and they’re easy to grow from seed. Knowing how to save marigold seeds is essential if you want to continue growing them the next season.

Fortunately, harvesting marigold seeds are quite quick and easy. You only need to take the seeds from the flowers and let them air dry before storing them during the winter season. You can pack it up with a container or seed packets to save even more for the next growing season. Some of the marigold flowers are edible and best to mix in your salads to add a distinct flavor to it.

 

Tools You’ll Need to Harvest Marigold Flowers

The tools you’ll need to harvest marigold flowers include a basket or other available containers that can be used in harvesting flowers. You’ll also need some paper towels, a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, or gardening shears.

Since you need to evaluate or describe the process, get yourself some notes. Seed packets can be envelopes or closed-air containers excluding plastic containers and bags.

 

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Here’s how you can harvest marigold plants for flower arrangements and bouquets:

 

Letting Marigold Flowers Dry

It’s important to wait until the right time to collect marigold seeds. You can harvest the seeds when the petals are dry already (when the base of each flower turning brownish). However, make sure there’s still is a bit of green color left in the base of the bloom. If you also wait until it is completely turned brown, it may start to rot or mold. It’s important to wait for the perfect time to harvest marigolds since the timing is crucial to have the right quality of marigold seeds.

Tip in harvesting: While you are harvesting, simply cut each marigold flower heads using your cutting equipment or either pinch it with your finger. However, be sure not to pull the flowers as it can harm the roots of your marigolds.

 

Opening the Marigold

Get your paper towel and set it on a flat surface. After, hold each bloom’s base, pull-off, and discard the petals and leaves of it. Then, you will easily notice the attached seeds inside the base. In the meantime, set the prepared blooms on your paper towels for bulk removal of seeds. You may also use larger towels to manage and accommodate the abundant blooms of your marigolds.

 

Removal of Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are likely to have a long, slender, and pointed appearance. Divided ends with black color and white color on the opposite edge. Gather your blooms, pull-off all petals, and leaves, and start pulling the seeds from the base. After getting all marigold seeds, discard the base in a single place like in bins or garbage bags. After sorting, put another paper towel on another flat surface and spread the pulled marigold seeds on it.

 

Drying of Seeds

As mentioned above, let your marigold seeds air dry for about a week in an uncovered paper towel. It will enable them to be preserved even in frost season and will prevent it from getting rot and mold.

 

Seed Storing

After drying the seeds, gather them and start placing them inside your seed packets to prolong their lifespan and will still be used after the frost date. Do not use plastic bags in storing your marigold seeds because it will retain residual moisture, which will affect your marigold seeds and even get rot and mold. To avoid forgetting about your marigold seeds, put a label on it to prevent possible disposal if unlabeled.

 

Using Stored Seeds for Replanting

After storing your collected marigold seeds, it is perfect to plant during the growing season. You can enjoy once again the benefits of it from house beautification to an edible ingredient for your salad.

 

Facts about Marigold Flowers

Marigolds are especially good for repelling insects and pests, making them companion plant for tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, and chili pepper because of its pungent scent of some variety. It is amazing having this kind of flow in your plant, imagine you don’t only have a beautiful attractive garden but having also a very natural insect and pest repellent that will protect your plants from any abrogation.

African marigolds have larger flower heads on plants that grow from 10 to 36 inches tall. While French marigolds are smaller and bushier, having only two inches of flower head across on plants and only having six to eighteen inches height. Sizes and colors vary on its classification, having a mixed combination is pretty great, will also add more pleasant and abundant color to your garden.

 

The Benefits of Growing Marigolds in a Greenhouse

Have you ever thought of growing your marigolds in a greenhouse? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider getting a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for keeping your marigolds safe from pests and diseases. Marigolds are susceptible to insects and blight, such as caterpillars, aphids, leaf spots, and mildews. You can lower the risk of plant damage by growing your marigolds in a greenhouse.

Additionally, greenhouses can also keep your plants safe from bad weather that could easily damage your flowers.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Knowing how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds is crucial if you’re planning to plant them in your garden. These beautiful flowers that usually come in yellow and orange colors are a great addition to any garden or flower arrangement.

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