Hard-to-start plants such as micro cuttings, tissue culture plants and those created from somatic embryogenesis are extremely vulnerable when going from laboratory conditions to greenhouse conditions. Growers know all too well how frustrating that can be.

The wrong choice of media can slow down the development of the fragile root system right from the start, which can lead to delays in production and can have a serious impact on profits.

So, how can growers maintain these fragile plants during the transplant process all while maximizing efficiency? It begins and ends with the right type of growing media.

How Grow-Tech products can help

For more than 25 years, Grow-Tech has been a leading designer and manufacturer of stabilized growing media. Grow-Tech has worked to produce a range of plugs that are designed to improve the success of the vulnerable transplant process. The FlexiPlug® and the CatEyePlug™, along with two of the company’s newer offerings, the AeroNT and the Horse-Shoe Plug™, provide the stable growing environment that commercial growers need in today’s competitive market.

For cuttings, look to FlexiPlug® and AeroNT

A polymerized peat plug such as Grow-Tech’s FlexiPlug® provides a stable environment that will not compress, meaning roots always have access to air and moisture.

The result? Faster rooting for cuttings while providing the consistent moisture needed for seed germination. Plus, FlexiPlug® is a pH balanced plug that also contains micronutrients and active biologicals, so it has all the elements needed to promote healthy root growth.

When working with cuttings, growers need a plug that can do it all: provide high drainage, fast development of callus, optimal root growth, great root architecture and fewer problems with mold. Luckily, the AeroNT is able to tackle all of those issues.

The AeroNT is built by blending high-quality peat with coir fibers, perlite and a binder. The dibble hole of the plug is filled with fine, soft peat which ensures optimal contact of the cutting with the plug. The Grow-Tech team created a plug that can stand up to constant watering thanks to its fast dry down capabilities. Together, this creates the ideal circumstances to steer the growth of the plant. This ensures that the roots of the plant are never too wet and are kept healthy throughout the transplant process.

Transplanting of pre-rooted cuttings and tissue culture

When talking about delicate plants, Grow-Tech’s CatEyePlug™ is a product that should be part of the conversation.

The plug’s unique eye-shaped dibble allows for the precise and rapid placement of small and delicate plant material, making it possible to open the plug with one hand. Once squeezed, the CatEyePlug™ creates an ideal spot for the placement of young plants. When the plug is let go, it closes and holds tissue culture plants perfectly in position.

The Horse-Shoe and ZenPlug™ are the solutions for growers who transplant stage 3 TC plants and are looking to minimize root damage and improve overall plant health.

Named after its horseshoe-like design, the plug features an open top and is immediately ready for growing. The Horse-Shoe makes it easy to put a TC plant in — without causing root damage, either. The plug is then is closed and put into a tray, which creates the perfect environment for plant growth.

For growers using an automated process, the Horse-Shoe plug keeps plants well-hydrated and uniform, allowing commercial growers to get the most bang for their buck.

Those interested in conducting a trial with a product from Grow-Tech’s line of stabilized growing media can request a sample on the company’s website.

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