Plant tissue culture couldn’t be practiced without sterile vessels to hold your media and plant material. Luckily there are many types of containers that can be used which are easily sterilized and used. Most of them are also reusable and can be found easily to repurpose.
Being creative when looking for potential vessels can save a lot of money. Friends and coworkers often will save their glass containers for you if you notice they have a habit of drinking or consuming from suitable containers. Certain sizes have benefits in certain stages and paying attention to the best use of materials and space will provide the most return.
Thin test tube vessels make great initiation phase vessels while wide-mouth canning jars make exceptional vessels for multiplying fast growing bushy plants. Baby food jars are in the middle of the aisle as they offer good space saving potential while keeping plenty of plantlets safe and happy. Both are easily found and autoclavable heatproof lids are available from tissue culture supply houses.
The supply company Magenta makes a lid for use with baby food jars. They offer vented and non-vented plastic caps that slip on over the glass baby food jars. Magenta B Cap lids help make the job easier by allowing the cap to be easily put on after plating. Even some smaller commercial labs use baby food jars with Magenta B Cap lids. The vented lids are my favorite.
For more information grab a copy of Plant Tissue Culture: A Home-Based Guide. There’s a lot of resources about how to get going with inexpensive vessels to get you started. Inside the book are instructions and tips on what to look for to get cheap vessels. Find out how to make tons of various vessels work, and cheaply.