How To Start Hibiscus Seeds. 4 Steps To Success

Knowing how to start hibiscus seeds is not limited to getting and germinating them, but you must thoroughly tackle four steps. This article will help you ensure that you’ll end up with vigorous hibiscus plants that start from seeds. One shouldn’t be intimidated in growing any plant from seeds because it’s relatively simple. 

Being a tropical plant, you have to remember that hibiscus seeds will only grow successfully if you mimic their natural environment. You can use a greenhouse for starting the seeds and provide the conditions that they prefer. This way, you will grow strong and healthy seedlings that will survive outdoor transplanting later. 

 

 

How To Start Hibiscus Seeds. 4 Steps To Success

Step #1. Seed preparation

After you collect hibiscus seeds from your flowers after they faded, you have the option to sow them in your garden immediately. However, this is only doable in areas where their fall season still provides a frost-free condition. If the risk of freezing climate is higher in your location, it’s best to start the seeds indoors. 

Prepare the hibiscus seeds first by nicking them with sandpaper. This step is crucial, or moisture won’t enter the seeds, thus preventing germination. It should also shorten the waiting time for sprouting into only a month or less. 

After you have nicked the seeds, don’t forget to soak them overnight in warm water. An hour should also suffice, but soaking them overnight before planting the following day is more advantageous. Seed scarification combined with soaking in water should jump-start the germination process and prepare them for sowing. 

 

Step #2. Sowing

After you have prepared the seeds, you should be ready to sow them in a container. You can use any pot as long as it has a drainage hole, but you can also use seed trays to grow multiple hibiscus plants. A suitable medium is any seed-starting mix as long as it is free of any fertilizer. 

Ensure that you have moistened the medium first to help the seeds sprout. However, the mix shouldn’t be soggy as this can cause rot. Once you’ve checked everything, sow the seeds at half an inch deep. 

 

Step #3. Germination

Germinating hibiscus seeds shouldn’t intimidate you because you have already nicked and soaked them beforehand. More so, those who have placed the containers or trays in the greenhouse should have an easier time sprouting the seeds because the conditions are stable. Remember that fluctuating and extreme climates is problematic for seed germination. 

Therefore, when starting hibiscus seeds indoors, select a warm location, and cover their containers to keep the environment humid for them. Your maintenance at this point is monitoring the medium and preventing it from drying. Once the seeds sprout, remove the cover and place them under grow lights to hasten their development

 

Step #4. Thinning and transplanting

You should be ready to transplant your young hibiscus plants in their individual plants once they develop leaves and woody stems. However, be careful in handling the seedlings since their stems are still not strong and can bend easily. To further help with their establishment, start fertilizing with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer as well. 

According to Clemson Cooperative Extension, you can expect the hibiscus plants to bloom immediately in their first year if you sow them indoors before the last frost in spring. However, remember to monitor your plants and move them to suitable-size containers as they grow and only plant outdoors when the climate is not at risk of frost.  

It wouldn’t be a problem to keep the hibiscus plants in the greenhouse, especially when the outdoor conditions are still freezing or fluctuating. But if you choose to transplant, remember to acclimate your plants gradually to prevent transplant shock. Mature and well-established healthy hibiscus plants should survive the outdoor garden without setbacks. 

 

How To Transplant Hibiscus

To help you ensure that you’ll grow healthy hibiscus plants, learn how to transplant them correctly. You must select an area that will mimic their natural tropical environment. The plants’ hole should anticipate the growth of the plant’s root, and the top part should be at the same level as the surface. Fill the hole after planting and soak the soil to help with establishment. 

 

Caring For Hibiscus

 

Location

Hibiscus plants will bloom well if they receive at least six hours of sunlight every day. You must also ensure that the temperature is always between 60 to 90°F since cold conditions are detrimental for hibiscus. However, be mindful of scorching conditions and provide shade if necessary. 

 

Water and fertilizer

Besides sunlight, water also plays a significant role in the blooming of hibiscus. Ensure that they won’t dry up during the summer season and then lessen the amount once the climate begins to get cold. Remember that overwatering is also damaging to plants. 

You can boost your blooms by feeding with high-potassium fertilizer in the summer as well. Some gardeners also feed once a month and then stop fertilizing in the winter as part of maintenance. A slow-release fertilizer would be best for this regimen. 

 

Conclusion

Hibiscus plants offer many propagation techniques, but you can also consider starting them from seeds. Learning how to start hibiscus seeds is not even complicated, and it’s possible to grow vigorous plants for transplanting. The best way to do this is by sowing indoors and allowing the stable conditions and practices to encourage germination. 

Once the seeds sprout, you can transplant them in individual pots and acclimate before permanently planting outdoors. The required conditions of hibiscus are no different from other tropical plants. Be mindful of watering and extreme climate, and your plants should thrive successfully. 

 

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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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