Help save plants from the Rondebosch Common!

Feb 01, 2018

In a well-intended but unfortunate incident, the indigenous vegetation growing inside a traffic circle along the Rondebosch Common was removed. Some of the plants that were cut can still be saved, but we need everybody's help. Join these efforts by caring for some of the offcuts at your home!

Earlier today, February 1st, all vegetation was accidentally removed from this traffic circle, at the southern side of the Rondebosch Common. This traffic circle was carefully planted with indigenous vegetation, and the removal is unfortunate. However, Communitree was alerted of this loss by Friends of the Rondebosch Common, and we have been asked to help recover and regrow some of the plants.

The good news is that the mistake was noted before the vegetation was disposed of. So right now, there are a lot of offcuts that do have a chance of surviving. But due to the drought, it will not be possible to plant them back on the circle right away. Instead, the offcuts should be nurtured so that roots can regrow, so that they can be planted out again when the rains start.

We need your help with this!

We need all the help we can to take care of these plants. There are a lot of small offcuts, and to give them the best chance we need to cut them in small pieces. Each piece (generally 5-10 cm long) needs to be put in a pot or bottle (see more below), so that it can grow new roots. Do you have some space at home? Please pick up some offcuts to help restore the vegetation! The species include Pelargonium capitatum, Carpobrotus edulis, Tetragonia herbacea, as well as some Lampranthus species.

Growing plants at home

At Communitree, we work with volunteers who run home nurseries. These are regular people interested in greening public spaces in Cape Town. They have a corner, windowsill, terrace or garden space that holds some pots or other containers, in which seeds or offcuts are being grown. These will grow until the rains come, and they will then be planted out in public spaces.

In order to help restore the vegetation at the traffic circle of the Rondebosch Common, please consider starting your own home nursery! It is fun, it doesn't take a lot of time, and you can do it even if you have little space. We have hundreds of offcuts that need a home for the coming 4-5 months. Once the rain starts, they can go back in the soil.

Water requirements

The good news is... you don't need a lot of water to take care of your home nursery! In fact, if you have empty plastic bottles then you may only need to water your plants once! We can highly recommend you use empty bottles, cut them in half, and then put the plants in. You can then put the top part back on, and create a mini-greenhouse. This will ensure that water gets trapped inside and that very little is lost  due to evaporation. We have successfully grown roots by only watering plants once in 3 months!

Here is a tutorial.

Alternatively, you can use regular pots and use grey water to moisten them. They won't need much water, so you can use a spray to moisten the soil just enough to encouarage root growth.

Sign up now!

Are you keen to help? Please come pick up your offcuts tomorrow, February 3! They won't survive too long without being planted so quick action is key. We are based in Rosebank, and offcuts can be fetched at the following times:

  • Friday February 3, 09.00 at Arundel Court
  • Friday February 3, 13.00 at Arundel Court
  • Friday February 3, 18.00 at Arundel Court
  • Saturday February 4, 09.00 at Arundel Court
  • Sunday February 5, 09.00-10.30 at the Rondebosch Common. More information

2 Arundel Court
Arundel Road
Rosebank 7700

(in front of Alma Cafe)

Please bring a container with you, so we can give you sand from the Rondebosch Common as well

Contact Frances Taylor at for more information or questions.

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