Malanseuns Plesierplante celebrated their 110th anniversary this week with a trade show where they introduced the deep blue agapant Midnight Sky.
This special agapant is the brother of Blackjack, a deep purple flower, which was named the new plant of the year this year at the Chelsea flower show in London, England. Local planters Andy de Wet and Quinton Bena have grown the perfect agapanthus and it is now grown and distributed on a large scale at Malanseuns.
According to Jimie Malan, the fourth generation of the Malans who are at the helm of the nursery, it is their mission to create one of the largest breeder and new genetics networks that give them access to exceptional plants. In this way they can once again offer these genetics to the South African market.
“Agapanthe probably only blooms for about two months each year, but Blackjack and its bluer brother, the Midnight Sky, will now flower for up to nine months of the year. You might even have flowers all year round if you give the plants enough love,” said Jimie.
It’s all part of Malanseun’s dream to make gardening fashionable again by making it easy, convenient and affordable for every gardener.
“We are a big supporter of the use of technology to improve our production. We currently have a fully automated greenhouse which means we can supply plants of the best quality throughout the year because we are no longer seasonally bound as in the past.”
Malanseuns Plesierplante was founded in 1913 by Danie Malan on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg between Akasia and Rosslyn outside Pretoria. It was originally a fruit farm and surplus fruit trees were sold to the public to plant on farms and in gardens.
Later, the business grew so much that four of Danie’s sons started growing ornamental plants to supplement the sales of the fruit trees. Today, Malanseuns is considered a world leader in the cultivation and distribution of ornamental plants.
Jacques Malan, Jimie’s father and the third Malan who previously ran Malanseuns Plesierplante, told at the show how the plants were first planted in a tin, but then plant production was refined and the containers changed to modern nursery bags and pots. The family introduced the use of a sustainable organic growing medium, which meant that the demand for topsoil for plants grown in containers was reduced. They also developed the first nursery with irrigation in South Africa – previously plants were watered by hand. All this innovation is proof of the Malans’ pioneering spirit.
Jimie emphasized that Malanseuns are also ready for the next 100 years. “We already plant more than 6,000 plants every day and the English saying says ‘to plant a tree is to believe in tomorrow’. We definitely believe in the future because we plant a hundred trees every day and the fifth generation Malans are already testing their green fingers in the nursery.”
Malanseuns say that the new main season for nurseries is now precisely from August to October and gardeners and plant lovers can look forward to the following new plants:
Apart from the agapante Blackjack and Midnight Sky, the stronger and lusher growing HibisQs range has also been introduced. All HibisQs varieties bear new flowers weekly in the summer if planted in the right place in your home or garden and the HibisQs are just as at home indoors as they are outdoors. There is also the Hydrangea Endless Summer Love, a compact Christmas rose, on the way that boasts bright red and deep flowers, which bloom all season long year after year.