Tissue Culture

Above: N. Clipeata in vitro, ready to be divided.

We often receive a lot of requests to tissue culture various carnivorous plant seeds in our lab. When done correctly, cloning can result in hundreds of plants per year! 

Typically we split fifty percent of the plants produced to help make up for time and lab expenses. If you would like to clone some carnivorous plant seeds please contact us!


Tissue Culture Process 


When seeds are received we begin the sterilization process. Some seeds are easy to sterilize, but some can be more difficult depending on the environment (this is why you should try to avoid touching the seeds -- our hands have a lot of fungi and bacteria on them!) With Nepenthes seeds especially, timing is crucial, since the seeds don't last very long. Certain lowland species, like Nepenthes Bicalarata, often don't last more than a month. 

Media preparation

Next, we prepare cloning media depending on the species. In many instances, media selection is often species specific. Generally highland nepenthes are more sensitive, whereas lowland nepenthes appreciate higher levels of micro-nutrients. The seeds will germinate and grow in this media for about 3-6 months. Slower species may take longer. We have found that the typical nighttime temperature drop for highland nepenthes is not required in tissue culture. 

Throughout this process we keep an eye out for fungus or bacteria contamination and apply fungicide or further sterilization treatment if necessary. 


When the plants reach a certain size, they are re-plated into a medium with plant growth regulators (PGRs). In this media, each seedling will continue to divide. When the desired number of plants is reached, we will replate the plants into a media containing PGRs that encourage rooting. Once each clone has a decently sized rootball, the planted can be removed from tissue culture, potted in clean soil, and "hardened off" in a humidity dome. 


Lab Offerings

We have a large variety of Nepenthes in tissue culture, including some rarer species such as N. Edwardsiana and N. Diabolica. We are working hard to sustainably produce these plants and offer them for sale. 

You can view our current and upcoming ex-vitro plants from tissue culture here. Please note that not all of the items will be in stock. Due to the nature of tissue culture, we may only be able to offer a few plants at first while we refine the process. With Nepenthes, many species and even some hybrids respond in different ways.