The Life and Times of Tissue Cultured Cryptocoryne

Crypt. Wendtii GreenIve shown the photos of the agar gelled tissue culture vessels that line the shelves in our makeshift laboratory.  Many people have contacted us asking what happens to them next.  Most often times they are deflasked and planted into an aquarium, wabi sabi, or terrarium if they aren’t traded off.  These plants had been neglected for quite some time, left to their own in a couple deli tubs for I don’t know how many months.

This is what we often do with the rest of them when they are taken out of the vessels.  They last quite a long time in the vessels filled with nutrients but when the nutrients run out its time to either take them out or to replate them.  Planting them out is easier.

The tubs pictured here had been taken out and dumped into the deli tubs with substrate.  They quickly grew over and filled the tubs using up the last bit of hormones and nutrients while adapting to the new environment.  They needed something with more legroom.

The plastic shoebox is one of the most utilized containers we have.  Shelves holding all sorts of plants sit covered in plastic shoeboxes.  We added a few inches of substrate and stuck these Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘green’ in to let them grow out until someone wants to trade or we find a use for them.

IMG_6414Each deli tub came from one vessel and sometimes the amount of plants varies.  Typically we get about 20 to 50 plants out of each vessel and that’s about what came from these with a total of about 90 in all.  There were a couple big rhizomes but they were cut and made into separate plants just for the sake of making them all more uniform in size.

Carefully the roots were coaxed apart and trimmed down to a tidy and manageable length.  Any loose leaves were pulled off, as were excessive ones to prevent them from dying back.  I’ve found that crypts don’t tend to melt terribly bad when handled like this emersed.  Its when you get into harsh aquatic conditions or heat mostly from our experience.

IMG_6424Using 12 inch tweezers each newly separated plant was gently planted in the substrate.  The rhizomes shouldn’t be too deep but they aren’t at finicky as anubias or lagenandra might be.  Spaced evenly and uniformly they will sturdy up and begin heading upward again, now that the small deli tub isn’t inhibiting their upward growth.

A small amount of time release fertilizer was added to the substrate as well as a small amount of fertilizer aimed at keeping plant growth compact and full.  There wont be any new substrate fertilizer added once it dissipates and a foliar spray and a liquid fertilizer will take over in a couple weeks when the plants get acclimated to their new digs.  Soon enough I expect there will be spathes forming and unrolling.

Learn more about how to practice plant tissue culture in Plant Tissue Culture: A Home-Based Guide (How to Practice Plant Tissue Culture on a Budget) by ordering from Amazon either printed or ebook.


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