Young plant production continues to be a growing segment of the horticulture industry. Over the last several years, many producers have moved from seed germination to cutting propagation. This has become popular for specialty varieties and branded plants. While young plants are still produced with seed germination and plugs systems, the propagated and rooted cutting market has evolved into new processes with specialized equipment. Several companies have developed machinery to wrap paper and other materials around growing medium to form small pots.
Characteristics of paper-wrapped pots for propagating cuttings
These miniature pots are available in assorted diameters, ranging from 15 mm up to 120 mm (5/8” – 4.75”). They represent an interesting practice for organic cultivation as some of these paper-wrapped pots are 100% bio-degradable. They are made by extruding growing medium into ‘tube-shaped’ outer wrapper and gluing the seam inside the wrapped tube. When the medium “tube” is filled, the paper-wrapped tube is cut into a specific length to form paper pots that are placed into individual cells within a growing tray.
The smaller size paper-wrapped pots (15-35 mm) are used mostly for cutting propagation. Larger sizes are used for propagation of greenhouse foliage, woody ornamentals for nursery and ready-plant annuals for the landscape trade. There are different needs for growing medium for each of these applications.