How much should I water my plants?

You should always water your plants from the bottom by pouring water into the open space in the tray. How much you need to water will depend on your classroom, and how fast the water evaporates in your environment. DO NOT overwater the planting trays as Setaria prefers pretty dry soil, and warm temperatures. Add 1.5 L of water to the bottom of the tray, using the empty spot. You may want to briefly tip the tray slightly away from the empty spot, to allow the water to reach all pots on the other side of the tray. After watering the tray, wait about one hour and then pour off any excess water into the sink. Setaria does not like to sit in standing water. The soil should feel moist, but not dry or too moist/muddy. If the soil in one pot ever feels dry, you should slowly and gently water that pot from the top as well.

My young plants have thin stems and are starting to fall over! What should I do?

Don’t worry, many young plants do this. As they grow and establish a more supportive root system, they should be able to grow upright. Make sure you are watering the appropriate amount- sometimes this can be caused by over watering. For now, you should prop your plants up using arched twist ties. See the picture below.

Prop up young plants with bent twist ties.
Prop up young plants with bent twist ties.


When do I record the date of panicle emergence?

When the plants are ready to produce panicles, bristles will emerge from inside the leaf sheath (See the* in the picture). This is the day of panicle emergence.


The emerged panicles will develop spikelets and bristles/awns. Inside the spikelets, the female (ovaries) and male (anthers with pollen) reproductive organs are located.

This is a fully-emerged panicle. Spikelets, once self-pollinated, will develop into green immature seeds.

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