Fishyfish
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What is the best way to slow down growth?

Hello,

Growing impatients hydroponically. They are growing way to fast. It is February and they will not be able to go outside until May. They look like they are ready to plant in soil outside now. Should I reduce the amount of artificial light they receive, reduce the amount of fertilizer, reduce oxygen or? Open to suggestions Thank you in advance.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Lower the temperature, especially night time temperature. If it gets down to around 55 degrees at night growth will be very slowed. Less hours of light. Less nitrogen fertilizer.
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applestar
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Agree, Also make sure the lights are not too high, causing lanky, spindly growth.

...I think as a remedy for the situation, impatients could be pruned to encourage branching and bushier growth. This will (1) make them shorter, (2) make them stop and regroup before resuming growth, (2) delay budding and blooming

...BTW did you say you are growing these hydroponically ...AND... Intend to plant them out in the garden --in soil-- later?
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Fishyfish
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Yes applestar. The plan was to grow them hydroponically in the winter and plant them in soil in the spring. Very very new to this. First time ever doing this. I have used a 3 part general hydroponic nutrients and am completely blown away by the speed of growth. Why do you ask about growing hydro and then planting in soil? The general hydroponic chart shows a plan " for feeding to waste" (in soil). Once again what are you thinking?

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applestar
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Water roots and soil roots are different. As far as I know your plants won't be able to transition from hydro to soil, and established plant won't be able to grow soil roots fast enough to support it. It's hard enough for water-rooted cuttings.

If you start off hydro until full root system grows, I think you'll have to continue with hydro through rest of its life.

I haven't researched to confirm this opinion/theoretical conclusion and have no experience. So if you do decide to grow (some of) them this way, please come back and let us know how they do. :D
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Fishy - can you give us a link to what you are talking about (the "feeding to waste" reference)? I think it is possible you misinterpreted something.

I have an Aerogrow which is a little self-contained hydro system. I have moved basil from the Aerogrow to soil, but it is difficult and takes a lot of care. As applestar said, the plant at that point does not have the right kind of roots for getting water and nutrients from soil. So what you need to do is plant it in some kind of very free draining medium, basically like potting mix with extra drainage materials added (sand or vermiculite, etc) or cactus mix. Then keep it protected from hot sun and water it frequently, like twice a day. The free draining mix is so you don't have waterlogged soil excluding oxygen (hydro systems are water but highly oxygenated). After you have done that for a couple weeks, or until it is putting out new growth, then you can move it to regular potting soil and less frequent watering. But the transition period helps it grow some soil roots.
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

Impatients grow from cuttings quickly! I would cut part of the plant and plant more of the cuttings if you have the room and double your amount. The cutting will also slow down the plant! Trimming the plant will also work to slow it down!!
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Fishyfish
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Re: What is the best way to slow down growth?

You guys are awesome. What a great forum. Excellent suggestions. Rainbow gardener. Why would the mixture you suggested soil, extra sand vermiculite etc. be only an interim medium? Pretty much sounds like what I normally use. Maybe with more sand than usual. Taking cuttings is a fantastic suggestion. Excellent suggestions. I am going to try to post some pics if I figure out how. Thank you again for the suggestions. P.S. The nutrients I bought cost me a whopping $50 which killed me. At the time I figured I could buy a lot of impatients and marigolds for that much coin. But look at how little I have used for these results. Thank you again. If you look close enough you can see I used some old k cups (keurig coffee system) that use a mesh instead of net pods. I would not suggest this. For the .30 you save by not buying net pods it is not worth the frustration of them falling through the cut out hole. I used coconut coir as my medium. Rainwater, fish tank water and tap water. Once again I do wish it was the first week of May instead of the second week in February. Oh well I will know next year to start later.
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