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Lots of growers are propagating ornamental plants on their own even though it’s not an easy task to do.
The key to a healthy and high-quality crop is to have uniformed, well-rooted and vigorous plugs or liners that are not overgrown.
This article contains some tips that can lead to successful and healthy propagation.
No matter what the instructions say, the unrooted cuttings should be inspected out of the box as soon as possible and this tip is especially important for plants like geranium, sweet potato vine, lantana, heliotrope, and thunbergia.
For example, the Northern growers with hairy and fleshy stems require a little water and often, mistakes are made because of too much water and ass a result, they lack oxygen, That’s why it’s really important to use perlite in cold weather.
Vapor-pressure deficit (VPD) control is really important too. It’s used for water loss and naturally, as the VPD increases the plant loses more and more water. Humidity at 85-90 % is recommended at 73 F for the early stages. That’s about 0.3/ 0.4 kPa so, the VPD should increase as the plant starts to grow in order to receive the nutrients and to encourage the roots to grow.
In order to avoid flopped cutting, the mist, which by the way is also very important in controlled dose, should be present just a little, otherwise, the plant will be overwhelmed. Of course, every individual plant requires a certain amount of mist and it also depends on the light and humidity levels. As I mentioned before, as the plant grows and develops roots, the mist should be reduced. But, as it drops, the nutrients are less and less present too.
Because of the water’s individual cooler temperature, the roots need a slightly warmer environment along with light leakage. The ideal temperature should be from 72 top 75 F.
5 to 8 mol·m–2·d–1 is the perfect daily light integral for the darkest days of the year. As you know, the lighting is very crucial for the roots but the sudden lighting should be controlled up to 200 µmol·m–2·s–1 and it should be indirect. More light will be needed as the roots start to grow.
Pests, diseases and other harmful agents can be prevented with good sanitation, proper environment and the right amount of water.
Plant growth retardants (PGRs) are needed as soon as the later phase of propagation starts, along with a careful amount of spray so that the PGRs aren’t removed. Also, the overgrowing of the plant can be slowed down even with the PGRs included in the plant routine.
Economical investment can be crucial for a quality environment in order to reduce and even stop the plant defects because it will have the right heating and just enough light for the cuttings to grow into healthy plants.
For more information on how to get started, freephone the Herbal House Team on 0508 4 4372257 or email Matt@herbals.co.nz.