Preparing in-vitro plants
What to consider before planting

You have bought in vitro plants and now want to plant them into your aquarium? In this article, we will explain exactly how to prepare plants from in vitro culture properly. More general information on in vitro aquarium plants can be found in our main article.

Aquatic plants from in-vitro culture usually grow in their cups on a gel-like nutrient medium. Although its composition is completely harmless for other aquarium inhabitants, it contains many nutrients and sugar. Particularly in small aquariums, this can contribute to bacterial water turbidity during the cycling phase. It is therefore advisable to remove the nutrient medium thoroughly before planting.

In order to prepare the in vitro plants for their use in an aquarium, they are first removed from their cups. Individual plants such as Cryptocorynes and Bucephalandra can often simply be removed from the nutrient medium (see picture below) and planted directly without further cleaning.

plucking an in-vitro plant out

Ground cover and strongly rooted portions, on the other hand, should be freed from their nutrient medium with water. This can be achieved easily and quickly under running water.

in-vitro-Pflanze abspülen

A particularly convenient, but somewhat more time-consuming variant is to simply place the plants together with the medium in a bowl with lukewarm water (20-25°C). After a while the culture medium detaches itself from the plants. This process can be accelerated by gently shaking the plants every now and then.

in-vitro-Pflanze in water bath

While more pronounced root bales can be shortened in in-vitro goods (e.g. cryptocorynes) to facilitate the planting process, stems and very tender, tiny roots on in-vitro plants should remain as untouched as possible. The special conditions during in-vitro cultivation usually lead to dwarf growth, which makes pruning stems and small roots superfluous or even counterproductive. For later planting, however, it is very helpful to divide large portions into smaller pieces.

dividing an in-vitro plant

Further basic concerning the preparation of aquatic plants of all cultivars and species can be found here.