A step by step guide for growing Henna plants:
Today, we learn the growing Henna (Mehndi) from seeds and cuttings. This also explains you about henna seeds germination, henna planting procedure, henna plant care, and harvesting techniques of henna leaves. Henna plants can be grown outdoors, in pots, containers, on the terrace and home backyard.
Henna which is scientifically called as Lawsonia inermis is a tropical plant which is perennial. It has beautiful flowers which are yellow, white, pink and red in color and these flowers also have a very good fragrance. The leaves of the Henna are usually crushed and made into a paste for the creation of a hair dye. Henna can also be grown in houses by providing an adequate amount of warmth and sunlight. Now let us get into the details of how to grow henna plants.
Collection of necessary things for growing Henna:
- You can purchase seeds of Henna from any nursery available in your locality or from any of the supplier who is reputed. Do not try to buy Henna seeds at the garden center in your locality as they will not be available. The seeds of Henna are considered to be items of specialty. If you find them in online stores, then you are lucky.
- You will need to choose a perfect container for the seeds of Henna. The seeds have to be stored in a container which has an airtight lid and is also opaque. The storage has to be done until the time you are prepared to sow the seeds. The container has to be kept in a place which is cool and also dark. If the seeds undergo exposure to sunlight and moisture, there are chances that the sprouting of seeds happening prematurely which will, in turn, lead them to rot.
- Several paper towels and a ziplock bag made of plastic have to be taken. Make sure that you are using paper towels which have a high quality so that they will not undergo disintegration when they become wet.
- Buy seedling pots which are small in size. New Henna plants have to be started in small pots even if you are planning to gradually plant them in the outdoor locations. Always ensure that the pots are having holes for drainage at the bottom.
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Germination of Henna seeds:
- In growing henna, for the germination of Henna seeds, you will have to first start with the preparation of the growing surface. Several paper towels which you have collected have to be layered on one another. The main goal behind this is the creation of a sturdy and thick cushion which will act as an incubator for seeds.
- Now you will need to add water. Cold water has to be sprinkled on the paper towels by making sure that you are saturating them. Paper towels have to be moist but it should be sufficiently solid that you can pick them up in an easy manner.
- Now you will have to add seeds. You can sprinkle a tiny number of seeds down the middle of the paper towels which are in a moist condition. Add a good number of seeds, but make sure that you are not overdoing it. You will have to be able to see an adequate space in between the paper towels and the seeds. The paper towels have to be folded in half down the middle by placing the seeds inside.
- The seeds have to be chilled. The paper towels which are folded have to be placed in a Ziplock bag. If you require to fold the paper towels an extra number of times to make them fit, then it would be fine. The bag has to be sealed and has to be placed in a refrigerator. The refrigerator will replicate the temperatures of winter and will help in the preparation of seeds for the season of spring and also the germination.
- The seeds have to be transferred to a spot which is warm and sunny. After 3 to 4 days, you will have to remove the Ziplock bag from the refrigerator and keep it in a spot which is warm such as a porch or sunny windowsill. The light and heat have to create condensation which will, in turn, lead to the germination of seeds.
- The ziplock bag has to be left open as soon as you take it out from the refrigerator. This will let the circulation of air and will decrease the disadvantages like the seeds becoming moldy. The main goal behind this is the encouragement of an atmosphere which is somewhat moist and warm inside the bag.
- You will have to wait until the seeds become seedlings. After about seven days, check the seeds. Continue monitoring the seeds until you see that they have raised into seedlings. If you notice that they are turning white in color, you can understand that there is some improvement. The seeds will sprout quickly when the environment is warmer. When the seedlings reach a length of a half inch, it is time for the plantation.
Planting procedure of your Henna plants:
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- For growing henna, The Henna plants have to be planted in a soil mixture which is available in a soil mixture which is suitable for succulents and cacti. The Henna is a plant which will survive in the soil whose pH is ranging in between 5 to 8. The organic matter has to be added like garden manure to the soil for the promotion of growth.
- The seedlings have to be planted in small pots. The plantation of multiple seedlings has to be done in a pot. The number of seedlings is completely based on the size of the pots. You will have to ensure that you are leaving an adequate amount of space in between the seedlings so that you would be able to dig them up and later transfer them.
- Even though you are planning the plantation of the seedlings of Henna in the ground in an eventual manner, you will have to start them in pots. You can transfer the plants in a careful manner into the ground, if you wish, after approximately 4 to 5 months.
- The seedlings which are immature have to be kept in a pot so that it will let you protect them from the elements. You can bring the pots in the indoor locations as required until they are sufficiently strong to tolerate strong rain, wind, etc.
- The Henna has to be grown as a houseplant if you are residing in a climate which is cooler. Henna plants will not survive in the outdoor locations if the climatic conditions are dropped below 10ºC. When your Henna plants are kept in the indoor location, you can place it in a spot which is sunny and warm such as a windowsill.
- Even if your plant is a houseplant which is potted, you can keep it in the outdoor location in the sun while the temperatures are warm.
- For the protection of your plant from a cold front which is unexpected, you can bring it to indoor locations in the early stages of autumn.
- The Henna plants have to be placed indoors until the time of spring after the danger from cold fronts is managed.
- Remember that the Henna is mostly grown as a tree or a shrub. If you are planting the Henna plant in the outdoor locations, ensure that it has adequate space to grow tall and wide as it reaches the stage of maturity.
- Always keep in mind that the Henna which is mature is spiny. The Henna plant should not be planted in the ground in a space where there is a lot of foot traffic. The people who are passing by the Henna plant may be pricked by the spines. A Henna plant which is matured can serve as a natural protection for the discouragement of intruders.
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Care and maintenance of the Henna plant:
- The Henna plants have to be watered when the soil becomes dry. Henna plants will survive in the heat and are also resistant to drought in a very good manner once their establishment is done. Let the soil of your Henna plant get dried in a complete manner, then you can saturate it by making use of water all at a time.
- Make sure that you are avoiding to water the Henna plants a little on a daily basis. The plants of Henna will prefer dry environmental conditions. When the soil of the plant is moist in a constant manner, then the development of scale or root rot takes place.
- Ensure that the pot of your Henna plant which is grown in the indoor locations has a good drainage system. After the watering is done, an additional amount of water has to be drained out from the pot. A saucer or a plate has to be placed under the Henna plant for the collection of additional water and clean the saucer after the completion of watering.
- The Henna plant which is potted has to be transferred to the indoor locations if you are not living in the warmer climatic conditions. Too much exposure to the cold climatic conditions will either damage the plant or kill it.
- If you see that your Henna plant is developing aphids, you will have to spray a solution of water and soap for killing the insects. If you see that there is scale developed on the plant, you can visit a well-known garden center so that they will suggest you an insecticide which would be suitable for killing the scale without causing any damage to your Henna plant.
- If there is the development of aphids or scale on the plant, the stems and leaves which are affected have to be trimmed and have to be discarded immediately.
- Now, it is the time for fertilization of the plant. For maximizing the growth of leaves and flowers, your plant has to be fertilized. You can make use of fertilizers at suggested dilution strength. Make sure that you are never going with an application of more fertilizer which is recommended, mainly to seedlings and to the plants which are young.
- Always use a fertilizer which has an n-p-k ratio of 1-2-1 for the encouragement of balanced growth.
- Perennials which are established have to be fertilized once at the time of spring when you see new growth starting. Fertilizing them too much will kill the plants or even burn them.
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Facts about Henna:
- The Henna plant can also be grown in your houses. It is actually grown in the outdoor locations. If you have decided to grow indoors, then you will make sure that you are placing it where there is sunlight falling on the plant directly. However, it is very easy and simple growing henna plants in the home garden.
- Coming to the Henna History, it is a native to North Africa, and it will grow at its best in the tropical climate which would be dry with soils which are well-drained. It is mostly grown in India, Tropical regions of America and Egypt. The plant can be grown from the seeds and also the cuttings.
- Henna will grow up to a height of 5 meters. It will be a juvenile plant for the starting two years. The leaves will not have a high amount of lawsine and the branches also will not have any thorns. In the Henna plants which are matured, the development of thorns will take place at the leaf buds at the time of dormant stages.
That’s all folks about henna growing methods, tips and ideas. keep gardening!.
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