How To Trim Coleus. The Best Technique You Need

If you want to know how to trim coleus correctly, you only need to learn pinching. The technique itself shouldn’t intimidate you, even if you’re a beginner gardener, because you only need to remember a few tips. More so, take comfort with the fact that the University of Florida dubbed coleus as hard to kill. 

Ensuring the proper care and maintenance practices of coleus is crucial to keep them happy and to perform better. If the plants stay healthy and stress-free, you can help yourself propagate coleus to your heart’s content. You can also consider keeping the plants in a protective environment, such as the greenhouse if the current climate is challenging. 

 

How To Trim Coleus. The Best Technique You Need

How To Trim Coleus Correctly

Knowing how to trim coleus properly will benefit the plant’s health and overall look. Remember that coleus is one of those plants that will thrive best if you frequently pinch it back while still growing. In turn, this will encourage better foliage growth compared to leaving the growing stems be. 

Besides pinching, you can also help the plants to have an extended blooming period if you remove the faded flowers. This will help rejuvenate the plant and prevent seeding that can affect flower development during the season. However, it’s important to note that some varieties don’t require these practices to branch and produce flowers. 

 

Pinching

 

For branching

The only technique that you have to master to learn how to trim coleus is pinching. You can use your thumb and index finger to do this on the stem above a node. Choose one that has an axillary bud and where the leaves meet the stem to encourage branching.

 

For rejuvenation

You can also continue to pinch your coleus plants’ growing tips if you notice that an area is looking leggy. As mentioned previously, you want to squeeze where an axillary bud is present to ensure that the plant will grow new shoots. Pinch back to a leaf node to rejuvenate spindly growth. 

 

For recovery

Pinching is also useful for the leaves of your coleus plants. If your plant has been infested by pests or is undergoing a disease, you can pinch off the affected leaves to slow down the problem’s progression. Do this practice in addition to the treatment and isolation practices you’re doing for the pests or disease. 

 

For growth

Do you need to pinch the flower spikes of coleus plants? Some gardeners pinch back to a leaf node when they notice these flower spikes. The reason behind this is to prevent seeding and save the plant more energy for growth instead. 

Lastly, don’t forget to water your coleus plants every time you pinch them. The soil must always be moist but not soggy to help the plant recover from pinching. 

 

How To Maintain And Care For Coleus

Besides trimming, you must always check your coleus plants’ maintenance practices and conditions to keep them happy and healthy.  If you are just starting these plants, you want to start them indoors and wait for the weather to warm up outdoors before transplanting. Perhaps the most significant nemesis of these plants is cold temperature. 

 

Ideal location

You can easily keep coleus in the greenhouse, especially if your area experiences challenging and extreme climates. Choose an area that provides shade and keeps the plants in fertile and well-draining soil. The spacing isn’t a problem with these plants because you can keep them close even in containers. 

In general, coleus will be happy somewhere hot and humid. Use these conditions as signs of when to propagate the plant as well. Remember that frost will damage the plants, so any practice like propagation is suitable under warm conditions. 

What to do with coleus in winter? Overwintering in the greenhouse is necessary for these tender annuals. You can repot them or dig up the plants every winter to protect them from the cold temperatures. 

 

Water and fertilizer

Like most plants, moist soil is necessary for coleus health. Make the necessary adjustments depending on the climate and location to ensure that you aren’t overwatering or underwatering your plants. You don’t want to keep them in soggy soil, leading to root rot and other diseases.

On the other hand, you can encourage growth in spring and summer by feeding the plants with diluted fertilizer. Doing a soil check would also be helpful to check the nutrients and avoid problems. Remember that overfertilizing can affect the color of the coleus leaves.

 

Common problems

The great thing about coleus plants is that they are not prone to diseases and pests. However, be mindful of the conditions and their stability to avoid problems like scale, mealybugs, and whiteflies. An unstable, extreme, and fluctuating environment can also lead to mildew and other fungal diseases. 

 

Conclusion

Coleus is generally easy to maintain, but they will benefit from certain practices. For example, if you know how to trim coleus properly, you can reap as many as four benefits. First, pinching your plants’ stems can encourage branching, while pinching the growing tips rejuvenates leggy areas.

On the other hand, you can pinch leaf nodes if they are infested by insects or infected by diseases. You can also pinch the plant’s flower spikes if you want to prevent seeding. This way, the plant saves more energy and continue growing instead. 

 

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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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