Q&A: Propagation and tissue culture

Siebe Streekstra answers the questions he receives most frequently about Grow-Tech products.

March 22, 2017
Matt McClellan
Propagation by Grow-Tech

Siebe Streekstra started with Grow-Tech in 2014 and holds degrees in both horticulture and mechanical engineering. Before joining Grow-Tech, Siebe worked as a marketing consultant to the horticulture industry.

We asked Siebe a few questions about Grow-Tech’s line of propagation products.

What makes FlexiPlugs a good choice for a propagation growing medium?

The roots don’t meet any barrier when growing out of the plug, like for instance paper or mesh; this creates the perfect circumstances for optimal root pruning and great root architecture.

The product can be transplanted or selected at any given moment after roots begin to grow. The plug holds more water while aeration is maintained. Finally, the dry down period of the plugs is gradual, so you have maximum control over the moist in the plug.

What are the most frequently asked questions you receive from customers about FlexiPlugs (and how do you answer them)?

The no. 1 question I get is ‘What is the product made of?’ The answer is peat moss and a hydrophilic binder.

The second-most frequently-asked question is ‘How much water do I need to give?’ Most growers are used to giving more water than what the FlexiPlugs need. The plugs have a great water holding capacity so give less water than you would with a loose soil, and keep monitoring.

The ZenPlug is Grow-Tech’s newest product for tissue culture propagation. What differentiates the ZenPlug from other tissue culture propagation options?

The ZenPlug provides a perfect growing environment like the FlexiPlug, but the ZenPlug has the extra benefit of wrapping around the tissue culture plug in one movement. Transplanting tissue culture is much easier and faster with this plug. And, of course, the product has the benefit of an even dry down period, which is important for any plant.

How exactly does the shape improve the tissue culture transplanting process?

When transplanting delicate tissue cultures, protection of roots and callus is critical. Balancing this with speed and efficiency can be tricky and stressful. With this in mind, Grow-Tech created the ZenPlug for tissue culture starts. An open plug shape allows for the precise and rapid placement of large callused plants such as orchids and trees in the center of the plug. With a single hand motion, the ZenPlug easily folds around fragile roots. The s-shaped interior holds the roots firmly but gently in place and gives young plants the optimal environment for root growth.

Siebe Streekstra is an account manager with Grow-Tech. If you have questions, reach him at sstreekstra@grow-tech.com.