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Increasing Plant Propagation Success in Indoor Gardening Featured

Propagation is the key to successful indoor garden. Propagation is the key to successful indoor garden.

 

Vibrant blooms and bountiful yields are the goals of every indoor horticulturalist. In order to continually achieve this, growers must give adequate attention to all stages of their plants’ growth. Growers with perpetual indoor gardens of high-value crops need to master their propagation stage to ensure they are continually producing healthy, young plants.

Although environmental consistency is important in all stages of growth, no stage is as dramatically affected by inconsistencies as the propagation stage. By following a few guidelines, any grower can increase their plant propagation success and thereby their indoor garden’s overall performance.

Temperature

The ideal temperature range for seedlings and cuttings of high-value crops is between 75-82F. It is very important to keep the temperature (especially in the root zone) consistently in this range.

When temperatures are too low, or are continually fluctuating below the desired range, seeds won’t germinate and cuttings enter a state of suspended animation. These cuttings will stay green and look healthy, but will not grow or create any roots. Eventually they will just die. When temperatures are too high, or are continually fluctuating above the desired temperature range, seedlings can quickly turn thin and wilt while cuttings can become soft and wilt.

Humidity

The ideal humidity range for seedlings and cuttings is 80-100%. This high humidity is most crucial as the seedling first emerges or right after the cutting is first taken from the donor plant.

For cuttings, this high humidity keeps the cuttings from wilting. The cutting’s stomata (found on the surface of the leaves) will still expel moisture. Because the cutting has no way of replacing the lost moisture (besides through the stomata themselves), a high humidity keeps sufficient moisture within the plant and prevents wilting. As the cutting is slowly acclimated to the ambient humidity, and as it grows its own root system, humidity becomes less of an issue. After a few days of their high humidity environment, seedlings and cuttings can be slowly acclimated to a lower humidity.

Lighting

Unlike the lighting used for the vegetative and blooming stages in an indoor garden, the lighting for the propagation stage can be pretty basic. Most growers of high-value crops use fluorescent lighting for their seedlings and cuttings. There are many debates as to whether an 18-hours-on/6-hours-off or a 24-hours-on lighting schedule is most beneficial. I have had equal success using both.

Air Exchange

It is imperative that the propagation area has adequate ventilation. This can be tricky when trying to maintain a high humidity. Many growers achieve the best results with a fan on a timer that turns on a few times throughout a 24-hour period. This way the air gets exchanged and the humidity can more easily be maintained.

For seedlings and cuttings under propagation domes, it is important to remove the dome at least once a day to exchange the air within. As you get further along in your humidity acclimation process, air exchange will be less of a concern and a normal ventilation system can be implemented.

Growers of high-value crops who have high success rates in plant propagation generally have greater success with their indoor garden’s growth and yield. In a perpetual garden situation, growers rely solely on themselves to produce high quality stock for future generations of their gardens. By taking some simple measures to maintain environmental consistencies, growers will increase their propagation success and, in turn, better optimize their gardens.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2013



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Last modified on Thursday, 18 April 2013 19:34

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