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New Product Research – Fertiss® ES

New Product Research – Fertiss® eS

Vijay Rapaka, Ph.D. Manager, Corporate Research and Technical Support Manager, Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, OH  

Brenton Williams, Senior Greenhouse Research Technician, Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, OH

Devyn Rothbrust, Greenhouse Research Technician, Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, OH

Fertiss® with PlantPaper– A case study with propagation of Osteospermum using vegetative cuttings and lettuce, and basil using seed material.



ogs_fertiss_es_researchsheet_1-9-17_page_1Fertiss® Propagation Plug System is a ready-to-use plugs in a pre-filled propagation tray. The plugs are stabilized in a non-woven wrap. The unique manufacturing process results in production of plugs without any compaction and maintains optimal air porosity for rapid rooting. Sticking is easy because of no compaction and high moisture content in the plug. Fertiss® plug system works well for fast and also slow to root crops of seed and vegetative annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, silviculture, and tissue. The unique tray design promotes natural air pruning and encourages development of a dense fibrous root system, which minimizes transplant shock and grows rapidly after transplant.
OASIS® Grower Solutions is introducing Fertiss® eS. This product is composed of Fertiss® made with PlantPaper, a 100% natural and certified bio-based wrap. The wrap contains no glue and is certified compostable. The following fact sheet demonstrates the rooting performance and growth of vegetative and seed propagated plant material.

Materials and Methods

Vegetative Propagation Study: Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ were received in Kent, OH, from offshore locations on 4/07/2016. Cuttings were dipped in 1000 ppm IBA and inserted into Fertiss® eS plugs on the same day. The cuttings were propagated under an intermittent misting regime. For the first 24 hours, the mist system was turned on for 8 seconds every 8 minutes. After the first 24 hours, the misters ran between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The first week after insertion, misting frequency was further reduced. After the second week, the mist system was totally shut down and the plugs were watered as required with a hose and breaker using clear water.

Seeding and initial watering: Fertiss® eS plugs were thoroughly watered and Lettuce ‘Rex’ and Basil ‘Genovese’ were seeded. The Fertiss® eS plugs were not watered for the first two days and after that misted for the following two days. From day 5 onwards, the seedlings were watered as required.

Greenhouse conditions: The day time venting and heating set points were 75°F and 65°F. The night time venting and heating set points were 70° and 60°F. The bottom heating on the propagation bench was set at 80°F. The propagation was conducted under diffused light environment and greenhouse was shaded when the PPFD was higher than 350 µmoles. m-2. Sec-1.

Rooting evaluation was conducted 20 days after sticking. A 0-5 scale was used for evaluating the rooting performance, 0 – Poor Rooting, 3 – Medium or acceptable, and 5 – Best Rooting.


Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ propagated in Fertiss® eS plugs. Photo for evaluation was taken 20 days after inserting. The rooting was 100% and very consistent.


Lettuce ‘Rex’, propagated in Fertiss® eS plugs. Photo for evaluation was taken on 14 days after seeding. The seedling growth was consisted with good root growth.


Basil ‘Genovese’, propagated in Fertiss® eS plugs. Photo for evaluation was taken on 14 days after seeding. The seedling growth was consisted with good root growth.



  • The rooting of Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ were very uniform and various
  • The seedling growth and shoot growth of lettuce and basil were also very uniform and vigorous.
  • The PlantPaper held extremely well during the whole propagation and transplant process (data not shown).
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