Germinating and Growing

Common African Indigenous Trees

 

 

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Mopane

Colophospermum mopane
 

 

 

 

1/ Seed can be sown while still in the pod. However, removing the pod speeds up the process. Take care not to damage the seed when easing it out of the pod. Fill flat seed trays with river sand and place the seed on top of the sand and keep it moist. As soon as the seeds germinate, reduce the amount of water or else the seedlings will damp-off. Seedlings are initially slow-growing but the growth speeds up considerably when the plants reach a height of 200 mm. Transplant seedlings into black nursery bags filled with a mixture of compost, sand and loamy soil (1:2:7). Take care not to damage the roots while transplanting. The trees are sensitive to frost and it is therefore primarily a plant for frost-free areas.

 

 

2/ It is best grown from seed. Seeds can be removed from ripe pods or sown in the pod. Removing the seed from the pod does speed up germination but needs to be done carefully. They should be sown in flat seedling trays in river sand. Place the seeds on the sand surface. Keep the trays moist so that the seed can absorb water to germinate. Once the seed has germinated they will be susceptible to infection from damping-off fungi, therefore reduce the amount of water. It also helps to use clean, new river sand, sterilize it if possible. The seedlings are initially slow growing but the growth rate speeds up once a height of about 200 mm is reached. Transplanting will need to be done with care, try to avoid damaging the roots. Use loamy soil with some sand and compost added, in black nursery bags and water well after the transplanting operation.

 

 

3/ The seeds are plentiful and germinate very easily if planted whilst still in the pod. They should protrude slightly when planted or sometimes they germinate readily above ground. They will not germinate if buried in deep soil. Germination takes 1-2 weeks. The tree prefers good, sandy soil. Young plants damp off easily. Do not over-water. It grows slowly and cannot withstand cold.

 

 

 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 07 August, 2012