Updated: Aug 8, 2020
On August 12, 2020, we will be a part of a free, informative event to cover hydroponic propagation for seedlings. This free webinar will cover the best in class techniques and methodologies to use to yield results, technology advances, how to create and deliver environmental recipes, and more! We’ll be partnering with other experts who will talk about all there is to know with hydroponic seedling propagation. Still want to know more about hydroponic propagation? We’ll help you understand more in this article.
The 3 Life Stages for Seedlings
Before we can describe hydroponic seedling propagation, you’ll need to know about the plant’s life stages first. Since hydroponic plants don't require soil, seeds have to get their nutrients through other methods. When it comes to seeds, there are 3 life stages that you’ll need to pay attention to in order to have successful yields. The three stages are:
Germination: This occurs when a seedling goes from a dormant state to an active one. The radicle breaks out from the outer shell and becomes a root. However, this usually happens during warm and moist conditions, which is why it’s essential to take note of the temperature when growing seedlings. Once you can see the plant expelling from the seed, it’s time to move them to the propagation system.
Propagation: This stage is when the seedlings start to grow roots and true leaves. The propagation stage ends when the roots have nearly fully developed. Once you notice this, you can begin the transplant process.
Transplant: During this stage, you will move the young seedlings into your growing system to watch them reach their full growth.
The Importance of Temperature
One of the main driving forces to your plant’s growth success can boil down to temperature. Depending on the plant you’re growing, you’ll need to ensure that the correct environmental conditions are met per crop type. This boils down to if you’re planting warm or cool weather plants.
Warm Weather Plants: Basil, oregano, thyme. Typical herbs and fruiting crops such as tomatoes, and peppers.
Cool Weather Plants: Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and other greens.
Tips for Hydroponic Propagation Success
In this section, we’re going to discuss a few tips you can use to ensure propagation success.
Do not overexpose your plants to heat. This is because seedlings are especially vulnerable and sensitive to heat. It’s best to keep in mind that seedlings shouldn’t be overexposed to anything from nutrients to pesticides to fertilizers.
Don’t keep your media too wet. This can lead to damping off which can invite various molds and fungi to form, leading to a loss in stem structure.
Give your plants nutrients after you notice the first set of true leaves. Around this stage, the plant will need more external nutrients from things like soil or synthetic fertilizers. It’s best to use the same nutrient mix you’d use during your grow out, just make sure to dilute way more.