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Once the seed has germinated it is removed from the tray (hotbed) and planted in a community pot. The young seedling is allowed to grow for about 6 months forming one leaf, when the leaf has hardened off it is removed from the community pot and planted into its own miniature pot. The seedling will stabilize, the root will strengthen and it will develop two to four leaves.
Once the seedling has developed to this stage it will then be taken to Cycad Africa’s lowveld nursery near Hoedspruit ( 50km from the world famous Kruger National Park) and replanted into 10L pot where it will be nurtured i.e. fertilized, watered and given optimal growing conditions.
The seedling will remain in this container for about two years before it is either replanted into 20L container or directly into the open ground. Depending on the species it is possible for the plant to achieve a caudex of 15cm within two years of being planted in the ground.
Seed Viability Test:
Place the seeds into a 5 litre container of water ( about 20 cm deep ). Seeds that float are normally not viable. Seeds that sink should be taken out, dried & put into a paper packet & put into a cupboard where they will mature over 6 months
Scientific Researchers use these "living fossils", the Cycads, as the key to go into our biological past, with the advantage of working directly with surviving species in "full life and full colour."
Studies on their preservation, reproduction and cultivation have been carried out for more than 100 years.
What brings our attention to these species and their longevity is that being seed plants, their reproductive organs are separate. In other words, their sexual functions occur in two different plants, according to their gender, male or female. The study of this reproductive model is expected to cast light on how the process of experimentation and development of these seed plants have allowed their survival as an important part of our world flora.