Growing And Propagating Bidens Easily

growing Bidens

Bidens, Tickseeds, originate from Southern and Central America and are a genus of summer flowering annual and perennial gardening plants.

There are over two hundred species within the genus.

Masses of brilliant yellow star shaped flowers are produced throughout summer.

They have attractive deep green fern like foilage that compliments any hanging basket or container planting.

They are a favourite for hanging baskets either on their own or mixed with other trailing plants.

Bidens plants

Essential info

Genus: Bidens

Family: Asteraceae

Species: Ferulifolia

Common Names: Tickseeds, Beggarticks, Burr Marigolds.

Classification: Half hardy annual.

Height: From around 25cm to 30cm (10in to 12in).

Flowering: From July to September.

Where to plant info

Where: Ideal for hanging baskets, containers and ground cover.

Site: Bidens prefer full sun, they thrive in it!

Soil: Any free draining soil that is moist and light.
Propagation info

By seed from January to April.

By division from late September to April.
Preferred Propagation Method: Seed sowing achieves best results.

Bidens Propagation By:
Seed Sowing

Sowing Time: – Indoors January to April.
Equipment For Sowing Seeds:

*USE ONLY CLEAN EQUIPMENT *(BY DOING THIS IT WILL INCREASE YOUR PROPAGATION SUCESS RATE)

  • Full or half size seed tray/s, (plus inserts – if you are using them), plug pots or plant pot/s (depending on how many seeds you are sowing).
  • A thermostatically controlled propagator would be ideal, but it is not essential. You can make do without one.
  • Clear seed tray cover, cling film, glass (with ground edges – to prevent cut fingers – size depends on tray or pot you are using) or rigid plastic (with filed edges – to prevent cut fingers – size depending on tray or pot you are using).
  • Plant Label and indelible pencil or pen.
    Tools For Sowing Seeds:

    AS WITH ANY TOOLS – CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH THEIR USE – BE SAFE!

  • Potting bench or potting tidy/caddy.
  • Sieve.
  • Tamper.
  • Mist Sprayer.

    growing Bidens

    Compost:

  • Any good quality commercially available multi-purpose compost, or seed and cutting compost. A peat free compost is ideal.
    Filling Trays or Pots with Compost
  • Now this is the time to decide if you want to sow your seeds in trays, inserts or pots.It is also time to calculate how many trays, inserts or pots you will need to sow the number of seeds you are going to sow.

    As rule of thumb, you can easily sow up to 5 Bidens seeds in a 75mm (3 inch)pot. Or up to 25 seeds in a half size seed tray. 50 in a full size seed tray and any combinations in between.

    *Or better still use plug pots and sow one seed per plug pot.

    Sieve enough compost, on to your potting bench, or potting tidy/caddy, to fill all your trays or pots.

    Don’t discard the sieved out lumps and bits. These can be used in the bottom of larger patio pots when planting them up with your own home grown plants. (Save the lumps and bits in an old compost bag until needed).

    Fill the seed tray/s or pot/s with compost to about 5mm below the rim (this does not need to be exact – about 5mm will do).

    Lift the tray or pot to a height of about 15cm (6 inches) and gently tap it on the bench. Do this about three times. This will settle the compost into the tray or pot to about the correct level.

    The compost should now be about 10mm (1/2 inch) from the top of the tray or pot. This does not have to be exact so don’t worry if it is a couple of mm higher or lower. It will make no difference to the end result.

    Take your correct size tamper and gently level the surface of the compost. DON’T push the tamper with any force. All we want to do here is level off the surface of the compost, NOT compact it.

    *This gives an ideal surface to sow the seed on. *(By doing this correctly it will increase your propagation success rate).

    That’s it. You have now successfully filled your first tray or pot with compost.

    Now Fill the rest of your trays or pots in the same way.

    Sowing Your SeedsThis is the fun part, sowing the seeds.

    Bidens seeds large enough to handle individually.

    So it easy enough to sow seeds one at a time in your trays, pots, quantity as above, or preferably individually in plug pots.

    Place the seeds evenly on the surface of the compost. Take your time here to make sure you do not bunch the seeds up at one end or in the middle of your trays or pots.

    All that is needed now is to cover the seeds with a very light “dusting” of sieved compost. Just enough to cover the seeds and no more.

    When you have sown all your seeds don’t forget to label them with plant name and date of sowing.
    Watering

    Water your trays or pots with great care.

    With you mist sprayer, set at it’s finest spray, filled with tepid water and held at about 100mm (4 inch) from the pot or tray, lightly spray the surface of the compost. Don’t get to close, or overdo it here, you will disturb the seeds which is exactly what you don’t want to do!

    The idea is to settle the surface of the compost with the fine mist from your sprayer. This prevents the seeds being disturbed.

    Now fill a container, large enough to put the tray or pot in, with tepid water *(preferably water that has been standing in a warm place for about twenty-four hours) and definitely NOT rainwater, use good old tap water!

    Stand the tray or pot in the container of water and leave it until you see the surface just becoming moist.

    This usually happens fairly quickly so don’t be tempted to go off and do something else.

    *Do not overdo the watering process, you don’t want the compost saturated, or your seeds may rot and not germinate.

    *(By doing this correctly you will greatly increase your chance of success).
    Germination

    Cover your trays or pots with glass or clear plastic (or preferably, for ease of use, place in a propagator – unheated will do).

    Keep your tray or pot in the light, (not direct sunlight) and maintain a temperature of 15C to 20C (60F to 68F).
    After Germination

    When your seeds have germinated and are large enough to handle transplant them into seed trays.

    Be very careful handling the seedlings. Do not handle them by their stems as this will cause irreversible damage resulting in the seedling collapsing.

    Handle the seedlings very gently and only by their leaves.

    Tease the seedlings roots out with great care ensuring not too many roots are damaged. Time and care taken hear will really pay dividends giving your seedlings the best possible chance of growing on successfully.

    Plant them in your seed trays about 5cm (2in) apart or singly in 75mm (3inch) pots or if you have used plug pots plant the straight in 9cm (3 1/2inch) pots with out removing them from the plug pot (that’s what they are designed for)!

    Use a good quality potting compost. A sieved peat based or peat alternative compost will be fine.

    When you have transplanted all your seedlings don’t forget to label them with plant name, sowing date and transplanting date.

    Water your trays or pots with great care.

    Fill a container, that is large enough to put your seed tray in, with tepid water *(preferably water that has been standing in a warm place for about twenty-four hours) and definitely NOT rainwater, use good old tap water!

    Stand the tray of seedlings in the container of water and leave it until you see the surface just becoming moist.

    This usually happens fairly quickly so don’t think about going of and doing something else.

    *Do not overdo the watering process, you don’t want the compost saturated, or your seedlings will rot and die.

    *(By doing this correctly you will greatly increase your chance of success).

    Keep the transplanted seedlings in good light (not direct sunlight) until they are large enough to be harden off.

    A nice healthy Bidens grown from seed in a plug pot. This is an ideal way of growing plants such as Bidens from seed.

    This seedling is just the right size for transplanting into a 9cm (3 1/2inch) pot.

    Grown in plug pots or cell trays is a highly recommended way of growing plants such as Bidens from seed and is much preferred to sowing in trays or half trays.

    Remember this when you come to sow your Bidens seeds. It will increase your chance of success!
    Aftercare

    Plants should be gradually hardened off by placing them outside, in a sheltered position, during the day.

    A cold frame with the lid open is ideal for this. If it is very cold during the day close the lid, but watch out for excess condensation.

    If there is excess condensation prop the cold frame lid open slightly until the condensation disappears.

    Bring them in at night to avoid severe frosts.

    When they are ready for planting out, make sure it is after the last frosts.
    If you want any further information on this plant or how to propagate and grow any of your favourite gardening plants successfully please feel free to contact us

 


Gladys
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