How we set up a motherstock for our successful production

It takes more than a good Mandevilla breeding programme to offer our customers a successful Diamantina® and Sundaville® series. Our motherstock plays a very important role in this. We talked to Rachael about the set up of the Mandevilla motherstock greenhouse at her location in Kenya.

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Rachael Nzilani joined Florensis Kenya seven years ago as a Junior Supervisor. During her career at Florensis she was involved in the construction project of the state-of-the-art Elite Greenhouse and has worked her way up to her current position as a Production Supervisor in which she is in charge of several projects including Mandevilla.

In 2018, we began Mandevilla trials on tables in a small area” she tells us. “The entire process, which included planting, crop maintenance, picking and cutbacks, was conducted on a trial-and-error basis. In this process we gained a lot of knowledge that enabled us to later grow Mandevilla on a larger scale and with less challenges. Today, Mandevilla stand to be the most tested crop here in Florensis Kenya”. 

At present we grow the motherstock on raised tables, in a state-of-the-art greenhouse where unique hygiene protocols are applied to ensure the mother plants are clean. The containers used for growing are wide enough for proper root development since it is a long staying mother plant. The cuttings root for six weeks after which we transfer them to small pots, where they grow into big uniform plants”. 

“Mandevilla stand to be the most tested crop here in Florensis Kenya” - Rachael Nzilani, Production Supervisor Mandevilla

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To guarantee cuttings of top quality, a lot of knowledge is required from the team. Rachael explains how this is ensured: “We have provided expert training to the pickers who apply special picking procedures to ensure top quality. Quality management systems, including quality checks, are also adopted to provide uniform cuttings. Proper scouting procedures ensure the mother plant is clean of pests and diseases”.  

In addition, there are a few things to consider while growing Mandevilla. “Based on our experience we know that crop maintenance and application of plant growth regulators are very important. These two processes assist in strengthening the crop while ensuring the cuttings are of desirable profile”. 

As Florensis we strive, among other things, to be the most reliable breeder and propagator. This also applies to our products. Rachael continues her story: “We ensure that Mandeville reliability is guaranteed through bi-weekly productivity checks, quality feedbacks from rooting locations and weekly PGR checks. By doing this, we remain up to date with the situation on all the mother plants and adjust where necessary”.