Western Cape Fuchsia Society
The Western Cape Fuchsia Society meets at 2pm on the first Saturday of each month beteween February and November at the St Thomas Church Hall, Campground Road in Rondebosch. Every month there is a practical workshop during which an experienced grower demonstrates a particular aspect of cultivating fuchsias relevant to that time of the year. Afterwards members have some practical experience, for example, in June and July they can bring any of their own plants that need potting-up and they will be guided through this process on these plant/s.
The Society also invites a guest speaker to some meetings to talk about an interesting aspect of gardening, not necessarily connected to growing fuchsias.
Visitors are always welcome to participate and at the end of the meeting, they have the opportunity to discuss any aspect of fuchsia growing with the members over tea and cake.
Should you wish to join the Society, please contact the secretary (details provided below) for all relevant information.
A membership form may be downloaded here.
2021 - Monthly Schedule for Meetings & Workshop
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WESTERN CAPE FUCHSIA SOCIETY – NEWSLETTER : 5 June 2021
We were welcomed by Brian with 21 members and 3 visitors
Brian then introduced Andy Hackland of Frontier Laboratory in Brackenfell,a micro propagation business with a global reach. They produce between 1 million to 2 million plants per year with a staff of 19
World wide production of plants by tissue culture is estimated than more than 300 million annually.
Micro culturing of plants gives a more uniformity of the plant than sowing seeds and is faster than conventional cutting propagation. When using micro culture the plants return to their juvenile state and will be bigger and disease free. It also reduces the risk in plant distribution globally.
They are contracted to produce from a client’s plant and the information related to the production is strictly confidential. The company also offer a range of ‘tried and tested’ plant plugs and pot plants are produced on specification.
Micro culturing of plants is done with the reliance on sterile techniques and variations on Murashige and Skoog medium ( or MSO) This medium was developed by plant scientists Toshio Murashige and Folke K Skoog in 1962 during Murashige’s search for a new plant growth regulator.
There are 4 defined stages in the process:
Stage 1 : Initiation of ex plant material ( stem, leaf, bud, root meristem or seed. A preferred part is to use the flower peduncle as there are more viruses and bacteria in leaf material. The laboratory runs between 22 and 24 degrees C
Stage 2: Multiplication of the plant material starts here.
The ratio of hormones is high cytokinin that promotes cell devision and prevents senescence and low auxin levels. Auxin is involved in tropisms and apical dominance
Stage 3: in this stage rooting takes place and the medium has low cytokinin and high auxin. Rooted plants can be freighted ex agar to the customer.
Stage 4: this is where the plants are planted out to acclimatise and hardened off.
Stages 1 - 3 happen under aseptic conditions in a laboratory laminar flow cabinet. Staff can do up to 2000 plants per day per person.
In Stage 4 the plant soil mix is pre-wet using clean water
Some plants are dipped in a fungicide ( Benlate)
The plants are then planted, not watered again. The trays are covered in plastic bags. When hardening off it is important to maintain a high degree of humidity to prevent loss of turgidity.
Plants can be shipped in tubs and agar bags or tubs ex agar.
After the very informative talk which everybody loved, the raffles were drawn and again a lot of delighted winners. The raffle made a whopping R690!
Pruning was demonstrated by Joy, Jill, and Felicity. Felicity brought a Fuchsia paniculata which grows into a tree.
Other plants that were pruned were Billy Green, Frosted Flame and Put’s Folly
The day was a huge success and one of the guests (Barbara Perkin) decided to join the Society.
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For more information about the Western Cape Fuchsia Society:
Please contact Brian Gouws (Chairman) on 021-919-1673
Merry Freeman (Secretary) on 021-761-5863