Monday, May 2, 2011

Ansellia africana ex vitro

Ansellia africana ready for deflasking
Large healthy seedlings!
This past weekend I moved my Ansellia africana seedlings ex vitro after 163 days in vitro. The seeds were originally collected from a wild plant in Mpumalanga. The seeds germinated after just 13 days on P6668 full strength and developed quickly. Seedlings were moved to P1056 to develop further.

Seedlings removed from flask
To begin with all the seedlings were carefully removed from their flask with large forceps, taking care not to break any of the roots. Seedlings were carefully teased apart and placed into a plastic bowl into which I added a solution of Margaret Roberts’ organic fungicide. I submerged the seedlings with the solution and left them to soak for about 20 minutes before I carefully agitated any remaining media from the seedlings’ roots.

Seedlings soaking in anti-fungal solution
A seedling tray with milled bark chips was prepared using pre-soaked bark chips. Seedlings were carefully introduced onto a layer of bark chips before carefully adding the second layer to cover the roots at the correct depth. The largest and most healthy looking seedlings were transferred to the large seedling tray while remaining small and clumped seedlings were planted in a mixture of bark chips and sphagnum moss in a small plastic pot. All seedlings were then sprayed generously with a second solution of Margaret Roberts’ organic fungicide mixed with a few drops of Tween20 as a wetting/sticking agent. Both seedling trays were covered to maintain humidity for the first two weeks and were moved to the greenhouse for further development.

Filling up the compot with pre-soaked milled bark
Seedlings planted ex vitro
Once large enough to move to individual pots, the seedlings will be made available for sale.

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