How To Prune Phlox. The Best Way

Knowing how to prune phlox is as simple as knowing the practices for summer and winter. Besides deadheading, pruning is another maintenance technique that you must do to phlox to encourage blooming and extend it. More so, you might notice a difference in growing phlox in the greenhouse because they don’t experience fluctuating conditions. 

Remember that phlox grows best in growing zones 4 to 8, which gives you an idea of where they would thrive best. Phlox is also a large group of perennials, so choose the ones that will thrive best in your region. Otherwise, the plant is relatively easy to grow and maintain. 

 

How To Prune Phlox. The Best Way

How To Prune Phlox Successfully

Pruning phlox doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you get the timing right. In general, you can prune phlox in summer and winter as part of maintenance. However, note that there are different types of phlox, so you may need to do additional practices. 

Overall, pruning phlox will not only keep the plants from overgrowing and looking untidy. Preventing overcrowding will also avoid diseases like powdery mildew out of poor air circulation. More so, you can prevent the spread of fungi if you always cut back the stems after flowering. 

 

Summer pruning

Phlox blooms in the summer, and you can cut back the flowering stems throughout this period. You can also do this once a month to lengthen the blooming period and encourage bloom production. A useful signal for cutting dead flowers and trimming stems is when more than half of your plant’s flowers have died. 

As for maintenance, you can also prune in summer when your phlox has overgrown its space. Remember that some phlox species’ creeping habit will require you to prune them to keep them within their area and at the desired height. You can do this from spring to summer as they grow. 

 

Winter pruning

Besides summer, winter is also another excellent time to prune phlox. Specifically, you can maintain creeping phlox in late winter to keep them from overgrowing the mat. You can cut back their edges to maintain the width. 

More so, you want to remove the old non-flowering stems of your phlox in late winter. You’ll see these woody stems at the plant’s center, and you can cut them at the base. Don’t worry about losing this old part of the phlox because this technique will rejuvenate the plant in summer with new flowering stems. 

Pruning is also a part of winter care. You want to cut back the plant until it’s above the soil after the first killing frost. You can also use this as an opportunity to remove the parts with powdery mildew. 

 

Caring And Maintaining Phlox

Perhaps you are already aware that phlox requires regular watering, especially during the summer. Keeping the soil moist is essential for their health, so you can mulch the area to conserve water. However, do not keep the plants in standing water that can encourage diseases. 

How do you fertilize phlox? You will fertilize at planting time, and you can also feed the plants lightly before the blooming season. Some gardeners even repeat feeding after the flowers fade to encourage repeat blooming. 

You can use a greenhouse to maintain phlox as well and use a slightly alkaline well-draining soil. You can encourage healthy blooms by placing your plants somewhere that receives full sun or light exposure for around 6 hours daily. The environment itself doesn’t have to be cold as some phlox species tolerate dryness and humidity. 

 

What Is The Difference Between Tall Phlox And Creeping Phlox?

When researching pruning and caring for phlox, you can get confused if you don’t know the differences between tall phlox and creeping phlox. You can easily understand the two by remembering that the tall phlox is also the garden phlox, which means they are not ground-hugging like the creeping phlox. On the other hand, creeping phlox has needle-like leaves and are meant to be ground covers and stays green throughout winter. 

Overall, tall phlox can work as a part of the perennials you show in the garden because of their height. Creeping phlox is meant to add texture or color close to the ground because their size isn’t obstructive. But regardless of which phlox you grow, pruning and caring for phlox are mandatory for healthy blooms and a neat look. 

 

Conclusion

Phlox species are one of the best plants to grow if you don’t want numerous maintenance practices. However, it would be best if you still learned how to prune phlox correctly to keep them from overgrowing and getting overcrowded. More so, regular pruning would rejuvenate the plant and even encourage blooming or extend the season itself. 

You can prune phlox in summer and winter. Summer pruning will extend and encourage the flowering of your plants. In contrast, winter pruning can be an opportunity to remove the dead parts of the plant or those potentially infected by powdery mildew. Lastly, you can maintain the soil moisture and fertilizing in an ideal environment to keep your phlox plants happy and blooming without issues. 

The greenhouse makes an excellent option for growing phlox, especially if your region experience fluctuating climates. It would also be best to identify the type of phlox you have to adjust the conditions for them and required maintenance practices. Start by learning the difference between tall phlox and creeping phlox, and do your research 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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