Slide #2


Latest News from Europe

Alecia planting Phalaenopsis tissue cultures at Anthura Arndt, Germany Tissue cultures are graded according to outer leaf spread Zig zag planting to avoid leaf overlap Foam provides open but humid mix With the pot lower than the table, back filling is made easy

Sprint’s Sales Manager, Alecia Green, recently returned from Europe where she received one week of specialized training with Anthura BV and Corn.Bak BV. Sprint is the Australian agent for these world leading companies, representing Anthura’s Anthurium and Phalaenopsis, and Corn.Bak’s Bromeliad varieties.

During her stay Alecia worked “hands-on” with their production teams to gain technical knowledge on crop production techniques.

Phalaenopsis Production in Europe
The purpose of my trip was for Phalaenopsis, Anthurium and Bromeliad training with the intent to advance our technical advice to growers of these crops in Australia.
At Anthura’s Phalaenopsis facility in Germany I joined the production crew to gain grading and transplanting insights and techniques. Intense grading at the propagation stage is one of the most important aspects in order to produce a premium product. Sometimes the simple details make all the difference – we just need to be reminded by the experts. They emphasized that planting the same grade of tissue culture together in community trays provides each plant with the same micro climate within the tray or bench space.

I also observed that planting in a zig zag pattern, rather than straight lines avoided leaf overlap with neighboring plants. Shading can be a problem with large leafed varieties so it is important that all large leaves are facing the same direction.

Phalaenopsis propagation media is important to get right because their roots are very sensitive to rotting from water logging. I noticed that a granulated foam material was incorporated into the growing media to improve drainage. It was similar to what you would find in a lounge chair. I was told that the open structure of the foam holds water droplets but does not become saturated, providing the open but humid environment necessary for rapid root development.

A pine bark called Pinus maritima is used as the main component for Phalaenopsis potting mix. It is a hard pine bark, which does not break down quickly or hold excess water. When soft bark is used it has the tendency to breakdown too quickly and simultaneously extracts nitrogen from the mix. The roots of Phalaenopsis are stiff and brittle so the method of potting is paramount to avoid root damage. The barerooted plant is first placed in an empty pot with the mix back filled. A specialized potting table makes this an easier process.

Keukenhof Flower Display
Having come from a Dutch background I grew up hearing stories about the magnificent spring flower displays in Holland. Consequently it was a long-time wish of mine to see them with my own eyes. On visiting Keukenhof, Holland’s world famous park, I experienced some of the most impressive scenes of Tulips planted in rainbows with the scent of Hyacinth and Jonquil wafting through the air. Not to mention the poffertjes (mini pancakes) along the way!


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