Hydroponics is like a God-sent thing that has offered incredible benefits to the farmers and the people who love gardening. This soilless growing technique provides an easy way to cultivate crops that have better nutritional value than commonly grown plants. Despite of these advantages, hydroponic gardening is the most misunderstood branch of horticulture. It is riddled with some false beliefs that are most common among the growing community. Let’s have a look on some of those beliefs and try to separate reality from fiction:
Hydroponics is not a natural technique:
Hydroponic Systems seem to be strange technological systems to a novice grower. But the truth here is that hydroponically-grown plants take the same kind of dissolved nutrients and in the same way as the soil-grown ones. Also, many gardeners try not to use chemical formulas for their hydroponic plants. Thus, the stuff involved in hydroponic gardens comes out to be more ‘natural’ than that of traditional gardening.
Hydroponics degrades Environment:
Well, this is completely a false belief. In fact, growing hydroponically is more environment-friendly than those traditional ways. One reason is that these systems use only a small fraction of water resources when compared to conventional systems. Secondly, hydroponic garden requires no or very less fertilizers so they have the minimum negative impact on the surroundings. Moreover, there are no runoffs into land or rivers as those in traditional gardening, so minimum chances of environment degradation in their case.
Hydroponics system also allows reusing the nutrient waste by means of another technique called ‘Aquaponics’. In this, the waste is send to a fish tank which acts as a feed for these species. Fishes purify this waste and the purified water is sent back to the hydroponic set-up.
Hydroponics make use of Lights that are Harmful:
Many people are highly mistaken that the grow lights involved in a hydroponic garden is harmful for gardeners. They believe that these lights can pose dangers to skin or eyes. The reason behind this misconception arises because of the effects these lights have on tanning beds of salons. Truth is that grow lights don’t give much ultra violet light and the same is subtle for the plants to grow. So, there is nothing like they are dangerous or harmful.
Hydroponics can be practiced indoors only:
Hydroponics is practiced indoors in a controlled environment but that doesn’t mean the system is not suited to outdoors. It is generally carried inside because there, crops can be grown the whole year. But on a large-scale, this gardening technique is generally practiced outdoors to give more room to the crops. However, many gardeners choose to grow indoors as growing conditions can be controlled there only.
Hydroponics is an expensive technique:
Although the initial set up cost of hydroponic systems is considerable but once it is done, these gardens are far more economical than conventional ones. Also, the growing sector has developed many reusable materials that balance some of the costs. On a small-scale these gardens can prove out to be more affordable than the rest.
Hydroponics is difficult to practice:
Truly speaking hydroponic gardening is not at all difficult to practice. There are many hydroponic kits available in the markets that provide everything that’s needed to accomplish this gardening process – from set-up to equipment to nutrient solutions. Even you have numerous choices in front of you due to the availability of vast variety of hydroponic products. In fact, there are many set-up guides to help you in the way. In other words, hydroponic growing can be carried out very easily.
Plant propagation through cuttings is one of the ways to grow species identical to the parent plant. And to allow cuttings take roots successfully, treating those cuttings with a good rooting hormone is of utmost importance. These hormones facilitate the process of producing root cells that are in turn required for their successful propagation. The following article gives apt information about rooting hormones, their important role in root formation, steps of usage and more. Read on to know:
What is Rooting Hormone?
Rooting hormone is a synthetic compound that helps plant cuttings to take roots after they are treated with it. Although plants can thrive without a rooting hormone, its application increases the chance of plant’s successful & rapid rooting. Apart from this, it increases volume of roots that helps in increasing growth potential of your cuttings, and eventually their life potential after setting in the soil. So, it’s recommended to always treat your cuttings with a good rooting hormone like Olivia’s Cloning Gel. It promotes faster and healthy root development of your plants.
Types of Rooting Hormones
Rooting hormones are available in three forms- gel, powder and solution. Rooting gel is in gel form whereas rooting powder is a talc-based powder. Rooting solution is a liquid concentrate which is premixed with water or alcohol or requires delusion with water before application.
How to Use a Plant Rooting Hormone?
Start the propagation process with a freshly cut branch or stem. Before starting the process, remove any leaves from the cutting (if any). Take the rooting hormone in a container and dip your cutting about an inch in it. But make sure to take some rooting compound in a separate container and dip the cutting in it to save the original container from getting contaminated.
If you are talking rooting powder, dip the cutting in clean water and then its tip into the powder. Dust off the excess powder. For rooting solution, dilute the solution in water according to the instruction label given for the product. Then soak the growing medium (Rockwool or soil) in the solution and adjust the pH of the medium using Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Up’ or Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Down’ for desired alkalinity or acidity.
Next, plant the cutting in a pot filled with moist planting medium. Drape a clear plastic bag over the pot and keep it in a place that receive filtered light. Be sure to keep the cutting moist until leaves form. When they appear, it means the roots have developed and it’s ok to remove the bag at this stage.
One of the best ways to propagate plants or multiply them is asexual propagation, vegetative propagation or simply cloning. Other reason to rely on this technique is that clones involved in this process maintain genetic traits of previous generations unlike in that of sexual propagation. However, advantages of this method are numerous, so whether you are planning to grow a few tomato plants or want to start a nursery with millions of plant species; grow through this plant propagation method and fulfill your gardening dreams.
Well, to start growing plants through asexual plant propagation, you need to learn about the techniques associated with it. Read on this article in order to know them:
Asexual Plant Propagation Techniques:
There are numerous forms of asexual or vegetative propagation – from propagating using cuttings to division to layering and more.
Propagation by cuttings
Cuttings can be taken from plant parts like stem, roots, leaves etc. These cuttings are separated from parent plant and are allowed to regenerate under suitable conditions. To prevent any injury to the parent plant, use a sharp & sterile knife or blade. Also cover the cuttings with a wet paper towel and keep them in a plastic bag before inserting in rooting medium. Best is to take your cuttings on a cooler day and dip them in Olivia’s Rooting Solution for successful propagation.
Types of Cuttings:
Stem Cuttings: In this, a stem is separated from parent plant and is allowed to propagate. Best for ornamental plants and woody shrubs.
Softwood Stem Cuttings: Taken from the shrubs whose branches have not yet become woody. Best time to take – April thru June.
Hardwood Stem Cuttings: Taken from dormant plants after their tissue has grown woody. Best time to take – during winter months or late fall.
Leaf Cuttings: In this method, a piece of leaf is used for propagation. Best method for many indoor houseplants and herbaceous plants.
Root Cuttings: These cuttings are taken when the plant roots are full of carbohydrates or the plants are dormant. Tip – If the plant roots are small or fine, cover them lightly with a potting mix.
Propagation by Division
It is the simplest form of propagating plants through asexual means with almost 100% success rate. It involves digging up the plant from ground and dividing it into two or more clumps that are replanted individually. This method is used for herbaceous perennials like bee balm, daylilies or crown-forming plants such as bamboo, fern etc.
Propagation by Layering
In this method, a part of branch or stem of the plant is buried in the ground until rooting takes place. Here, the new plant takes food and water from the stock plant and once it gets established, it can be taken to another spot.
Types of Layering:
Simple Layering: Generally the plants with low growing stems/branches are propagated through this method. For this, bend the branch to the ground and place it in a hole of about 4” deep. Remove any side-shoots & leaves from it and leave 6 to 12” of its tip outside of the soil keeping the rest covered. Keep the layered area moist and after sometime formation of root mass will take place. Cut that section and transplant it somewhere else. Example – honeysuckle.
Compound Layering: It works best for vining plants or those with pliable branches. In this method, several parts of one stem are buried but are alternatively covered and exposed. Wound the bottom side of every covered section to promote rooting. Once the plants have developed roots, cut and replant them. Example – pothos.
Air Layering: This is advanced technique of asexual propagation that is used for many large houseplants. Select a site on the branch just below a leaf node and remove leaves or twigs both above and below this point. Make a 1-1/2” long cut through the stem and apply Olivia’s Cloning Gel to the exposed part. Surround the wound with moist sphagnum moss, wrap it with black plastic bag and seal the bag. When rooting appears, cut the stem from below the bag, pot the plant and after some time it will get ready to be transplanted outside. Example – guava, litchi.
Tip Layering: It is much like simple layering in which the tip of the plant is buried in a hole instead of keeping it above the ground. Here at first, this tip will grow downwards and then upwards after taking a sharp turn. Example – raspberries & blackberries.
Propagation by Grafting & Budding
This is also an advanced form of asexual propagation method which is widely used for the propagation of many trees. In this method, the scion (stem part) of one plant is joined with the rootstock (root system) of another plant such that they grow as a single plant. The place where both the parts meet or unite is called union and can be seen as a scar throughout the lifetime of the plant. Example – cacti.
In budding, a single bud from the plant is joined with the rootstock of another plant. Example – hybrid tree roses.
All these propagation methods have advantages of their own. Select the method which suits best to the species you are growing.
FIRST TIME CLONING STARTER KIT
Olivia's Cloning Starter Kit is what every grower needs to begin cloning their favorite plant off to the right start.
Olivia's Cloning Gel
First and original plant cloning gel that stimulates rapid root development for all types of plants with 90%-100% success rate.
Olivia's Cloning Solution
Specifically formulated cloning solution that stimulates rapid root development for all types of plants with 90%-100% success rate.
Olivia's Growing Solution
Specifically formulated nutrient solution that promotes nutrient rich growth of all indoor and outdoor plants.
Olivia's pH Adjusters "Down"
Easily control optimum pH levels, minimize growing problems and maximize plants' full potential with Olivia's pH Adjusters.
Olivia's pH Adjusters "Up"
Easily control optimum pH levels, minimize growing problems and maximize plants' full potential with Olivia's pH-balancing aids.