Proteus and Other Feinworld Species: Beautiful Cut Flowers and Stunning Landscape Specimens
The Proteus and other feinworld species are some of the most stunning flowers that can be grown not only as cut flowers but also as landscape specimens. These flowers are so beautiful that growers can earn an income from both the flower harvests and from selling plants and containers to the public or other retailers and landscapers. This article will explore how renowned Protea and Fein boss grower, Nicotinesmart, grows these plants in his nursery, Madibri, located in Kalinin, in the Caution Province of South Africa.
Propagation of Proteus and Feinworld Species
Depending on the species, the fine-stemmed fynbos is most often propagated from very small cuttings. Using clean shears, multi-stemmed branches are harvested from the plants and cut into smaller pieces. The semi-hardened growth works best, so the very soft upper growth is removed, and the cuttings are planted.
Polystyrene trays are filled with a propagation mix made up of peat, perlite, and small pieces of polystyrene. For all Protea and fynbos cuttings, it is essential that the propagation mix be well-aerated. Any waterlogging will kill the cuttings. In this nursery, this method of rooting cuttings works so well that no hormones need to be applied. As the cuttings are still quite soft, holes should be poked into the medium before the cuttings are stuck.
The cuttings are kept under a mist system. In this stage of the propagation cycle, humidity is key. The mist system is more important to keep the cuttings tortured than it is to supply them with water. The more humid the environment is, the less water will evaporate from the cuttings, and therefore, they will not need as much water from the propagation mix, which is good because any water login will spell doom for the cuttings.
On most days, misting occurs four times a day for 30-second intervals. On very cold days, however, no misting is applied. The trays are placed on polystyrene beds covered by netting. This means the trays are protected from the cold concrete underlying the polystyrene beds. It also promotes drainage of excess water, yet another method that helps keep the trays aerated. Depending on the season, roots start to develop in about two months.
Root Development and Planting
Once the roots have grown enough to bind the propagation mix, they are transferred to larger trays where they can continue to grow. As they are still young and sensitive to environmental fluctuations, they can be kept in the mist beds with the other cuttings. In this nursery, Trichoderma is sometimes applied through irrigation water. Trichoderma is a genus of fungi that can be found in all soils to help suppress pathogenic fungal species that may be harmful to plants.
Once the roots have bound the soil in the large trays, they are planted into containers. To encourage the branching of the roots, cuts are made into the root ball. In their containers, acid-loving compost is used. Protea and fynbos must be grown in acidic conditions to mimic the low pH of the soils from where they originate. Generally, a pH of 5.5 works well for most species.
Importance of Marking Your Cuttings
Once the flowers have been harvested, the plants are then pruned back to stimulate new growth, which will result in more flower production the following season. However, if the plants are not being grown for cut flower production, they will be sold in Nicu’s retail nursery.
In Nicu’s retail nursery, customers can purchase a wide variety of proteas and fynbos in various sizes, from small starter plants to large landscape specimens. Proteas and fynbos are not only stunning as cut flowers but are also beautiful landscape specimens that can add an exotic touch to any garden or landscape design.
In addition to the retail nursery, Nicu also sells his plants and containers to other retailers and landscapers. This means that a protea and fynbos grower can earn an income from both the flower harvests and from selling plants and containers.
Exporting cuttings to maximize revenue from international currencies
If you are a protea or fynbos grower looking to maximize your revenue, exporting your cuttings can be a great way to do so. Nicu shares some advice on how to export cuttings to maximize revenue from international currencies.
First, it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and documentation to export your cuttings. This will vary depending on the country you are exporting to, so it is important to do your research beforehand.
Next, it is important to package your cuttings properly. Nicu recommends using a well-ventilated box with a layer of moist peat moss or vermiculite to keep the cuttings moist during transit. It is also important to label the box with the contents and include any necessary documentation.
Finally, it is important to be aware of the exchange rates and to price your cuttings accordingly. By pricing your cuttings in the currency of the country you are exporting to, you can maximize your revenue and take advantage of favorable exchange rates.
Proteas and fynbos are not only stunning as cut flowers but are also beautiful landscape specimens that can add an exotic touch to any garden or landscape design. By following the expert advice of Nicu and his team, you can successfully propagate and grow these unique plants for both personal enjoyment and commercial purposes.