What is tissue culture?
Plant tissue culture is widely used in the industry to produce clones of a plant in a method known as micropropagaton.
For non-variegated plants and plants with "stable" variegation, micropropagation is a very much viable method to produce large quantities of a given plant. The challenge comes when trying to propagate chimeras. Plants such as the Philodendron Caramel Marble, the Philodendron Florida Beauty or the Monstera Albo Variegata are popular chimera plants. Due to this challenge to produce large quantities using tissue culture, prices of these plants remain high.
Tissue culture has been a popular method of propagating wild mushrooms, carnivorous plants as well as other plants such as hemp by home enthusiasts. With the rise in popularity of houseplants, tissue culture has seen a rise in popularity among more hobbyist in order to propagate rare plants.
We've partnered with a lab to provide you high-quality seedlings that you can plant and grow at home with little to no prior experience!
Your purchase of tissue culture seedlings will come with a step-by-step guide to help you be successful growing them. In the meantime, to get you started, here is a quick list of materials that you will need:
Tissue culture plants are grown in sealed containers where humidity is at 100%. When taken out of containers, these seedlings need to adapt slowly to "room" humidity.
The humidity trays are the easiest way to achieve this, and they are relatively inexpensive and fully reusable for any other gardening projects such as seed germination.
There are a lot humidity-tray products. The one linked here is one we recommend for hobbyists as it is relatively compact and has everything you need all in one package (base tray, seedling/seed tray and dome).
Seedlings *must* be kept away from direct sunlight or they will quickly wilt and die. In early stages of growing a seedling, it is best to provide good indirect sunlight. A very easy setup is to simply put the seedlings under a grow light.
The product we linked here is dimmable and has a timer. We recommend setting the timer to 12H for maximum growth. If you wish to skip the grow lights, make sure the seedlings are away from direct sunlight but still get light. A good setup would be near a south-facing window where the light is not hitting the trays directly or next to a north-facing window.
There are lots of choices for potting media but we highly suggest one that does not contain any pre-mixed fertilizer.
We use a combination of Perlite and Vermiculate ourselves because it is inorganic material. However, for small quantity of seedlings, we are recommending a pre-mixed soil like the one we are linking here.
The link is for a 16 qt total (2 bags of 8 qt) but depending on the number of seedlings you purchased, you might consider only purchasing the 1 bag option.
We recommend only fertilizing after the first month of planting. Not providing fertilizer right after planting will encourage root growth because the plant will try to seek nutrients by expanding its root system.
After the seedlings have been planted for a month, we recommend using a slow-release fertilizer. We linked the product Osmocote and generally recommend it for any houseplant! Simply drop 2-3 granules into the seedling tray (inside each of the seedling pots) and you should be set for a couple of months. The humidity/water will slowly leech the nutrients.
High humidity is always a catalyst for mold and bacteria growth. We use Captan Fungicide but that is a controlled chemical in many states so depending on where you live, it may not actually be available to you.
We have linked a more “home use” organic fungicide/insecticide that we recommend to most hobbyist. See instructions for use when preparing to plant the seedlings. This product is also used after planting to control mold that may sometimes buildup in the trays (see tips section).
Growing seedlings from tissue culture and watching them grow is very rewarding. You will see the plant go from a very tiny seedling to a mature plant you might see in a plant shop!
Ready to start growing your own Philodendron Caramel Marble? Or maybe some Florida Beauties? Head over to our shop and order some today!
Enjoy growing your seedlings and be sure to tag us on Instagram with pictures of what you're growing! We'd love to see your plant babies!