Growing Rhododendrons From Seeds
Growing Rhododendrons From Seeds

Video: Growing Rhododendrons From Seeds

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Video: Growing Rhododendrons from Seed 2023, January

The simplest and most economical way to propagate tree and shrub species is to multiply them by sowing seeds.

Seedlings grown from seed have a number of advantages over vegetatively grown seedlings. They have a correct, well-developed and highly branched root system, better tolerate transplants and have greater durability.

It was also noticed that tree and shrub species grown from seeds grow better, give the greatest decorative effect, and they produce slender, beautiful specimens with a symmetrically developed crown. Therefore, in all cases when it is possible to use seed reproduction, it should be given preference.

While selecting an assortment for a small ornamental plant nursery, I opted for rhododendrons. These plants stand out among others for their beauty and seem to many unearthly and mysterious, accidentally found in our climate.

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So it seemed to me, until I decided to try to grow them from seeds. I read a lot of information on the Internet. By that time I already had boxes of seeds of Kavteba rhododendron, and then I also bought Japanese rhododendron seeds from a passionate lover and already experienced rhododendron breeder from the Moscow region - A.V. Sergeeva. They retain their germination capacity for up to 3 years.

And in January I decided to start sowing. At the same time, I tried to strictly adhere to the technology of growing rhododendrons recommended by an experienced master. The seeds of these beauties are very small, and therefore they sow them superficially, without embedding them in the soil. For germination, rhododendrons need a temperature of + 25 ° C, lighting, regular spraying with soft water and daily airing of containers with crops so that the seeds do not become moldy.

The first shoots from seeds are so small that it was scary to take any action. But it was necessary to take care of them. And I started to do the first feeding with very weak fertilizer solutions.

Rhododendrons grow on acidic soils with a pH of 4.0-4.5, therefore, seedlings should be fed with acidic fertilizers specially designed for rhododendrons or azaleas. You can also feed it with Kemira-Lux complex mineral fertilizer.

Of course, it is very troublesome to keep crops of such babies in an apartment. But as soon as the opportunity arose, and this happened in April, they transferred the crops to an unheated greenhouse and there they cut the seedlings into small plastic pots with a volume of 0.3 liters. After picking and watering, the seedlings were set in partial shade and covered with non-woven material to protect from the sun.

The next important step was hardening, maintaining optimal soil moisture and mandatory ventilation of the greenhouse.

With the onset of a stable positive air temperature, we transferred our crumbs to the nursery, placing the pots in boxes, which we then put on the ground. They covered them with non-woven material and tried to feed them with mineral fertilizers every ten days.

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We had to weed potted plants several times over the summer. But still, by the fall, our babies had grown noticeably - up to 10-15 cm, and then the difference in the types of rhododendrons became visible.

The Kavteba rhododendron had shiny leathery leaves, while the Japanese rhododendron had pubescent leaves and turned out to be slightly narrower than that of a relative.

In October, we had to think about where our rhododendron seedlings would winter. I really wanted to hide them in a greenhouse or bring them home, in the hope that they would be better there. But the voice of reason suggested that the seedlings should winter on the street, get used to our climate. Therefore, we had to dig them into the ground and cover them with pine needles, which allow air to pass through well and do not allow our seedlings to resist. And so we did.

And now spring has come, we are monitoring the plantings, so as not to miss the moment of the arrival of stable heat and bright sun, and in time to cover the buried seedlings from the sun's rays, and I also want to know how they endured the first winter, which turned out to be not very favorable. We hope that everything will be fine, and we will be able to see the first flowering of our long-awaited rhododendrons grown from a small seed in three to four years.

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