- Open box in a cool room or office. Do not open in a warm or sunny/lighted greenhouse.
- Be aware of the temperature inside the box upon arrival. If it is warm (i.e., above 75°F) it is beneficial to remove the containers and place in a cooler at 65°F to slowly cool before opening.
- If the TC is not going to be planted immediately, store the unopened containers out of direct sunlight at 65-75°F. DO NOT PLACE IN A COOLER.
- Benches and surrounding area should be sanitized with a quaternary ammonia or hydrogen peroxide product.
- ‘Tents’ should be set up on the benches. The purpose of the tents is to maintain very high (95% +) humidity and significantly reduce the light intensity to <150 f.c.
- Domes can be constructed using lightweight tubing or rectangular frames can be easily put together using PVC tubing and connectors.
- Enclose the tent with plastic sheeting. White greenhouse poly is ideal.
- Shade cloth should then be placed over the tents.
- Open petri dishes or vials to be planted in a controlled environment. Ideal environment would be cool and very humid, on the verge of foggy.
- Remove plantlets and rinse the nutrient agar from the roots (this makes it easier for planting).
- Grade the plantlets. Separate those with only tiny root initials from those with developed roots. These should be planted in separate trays.
- Plant into trays filled with a well-drained media with a pH of 5.5-6.0 and an EC<1.0.*Higher starter charge and/or controlled release fertilizer is not recommended.*Heavier media may benefit from loosening up with additional perlite.
- Water trays well to a moisture level 4.
- Using a small plastic spatula or similar tool, lift the media in the center of the cell to create a hole large enough to contain the roots.
- Hold the plantlets in place while replacing the media around the roots and gently tamping to secure. *Be sure the crown is above the media surface and free of any particles.
- Plant the smallest plantlets the same way but in separate trays.
- Water plantlets in with mist as soon as possible, ensuring the media is wet but not saturated, as this can slow root development.
- Transport planted trays to propagation area.
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- Avoid strong airflow and low humidity.
- Place trays inside tents and lower the sides to contain humidity.
- Ideal media temperature is 72-78°F
- Ideal light level is 100-150 f.c.
- Some air exchange is beneficial, such as through the benchtop, but not air flow.
- For smaller quantities, the trays with the smallest plantlets can benefit from being covered with a plastic lid at 100% humidity until roots begin to develop in 5-7days. The lid can then be removed with the tray remaining in the tent. For largernumbers of less mature TC, be sure to maintain near 100% humidity.
- Mist as necessary to maintain high humidity. Monitor media moisture to maintaina constant level 4 to encourage root development.
REMOVING TRAYS FROM PROPAGATION TENTS
- By the end of the second week plantlets will be rooting into the media.
- Gradually reduce humidity and increase light levels by first opening up the endof the tent, and then by gradually rolling up the sides every 2 days.
- Liquid feed program can begin at very low rates (i.e., 25-50ppm N) by day 21.*Trays with the small plantlets may stay under higher humidity until rootshave reached the sides of the cell.
5=Saturated. Media is wet and drains freely. Water is easily displaced with a light touch.
4=Medium Wet. Media is glistening but water is not draining freely. Water is displaced slightly with a squeeze.
3=Medium Dry. Media is not dark black and glistening. On the verge to changing to light brown. No water is easily displaced when squeezed but moisture can be felt.
2=Dry. Media has changed to light brown. No moisture can be felt.
1=Very Dry. Media is light brown and may be pulling away from the sides of the container. Plant is wilting.