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test tube of cannabis seeds

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Keep your work area clean and organized.

As anyone who has ever spoken to a group of cannabis growers knows, any process concerning this plant can be as simple or complex as the grower makes it.

Sterilize everything you are planning to work with, except for the paper towels.

Begin with a sterile environment and a methodical process

Prepare everything you will need BEFORE you start.

Purple Caper Seeds’ genetics facility has six air purifiers, and Frank does all his cannabis seed germination work in a sterile room with a laminar hood.

Do your best to create a clean room. We used a kitchen island disinfected with 91% alcohol.

Cannabis seeds aren’t cheap. Higher germination rates save growers money and time. The process a grower uses to germinate can have as much of an impact on their success rate as the seeds themselves.

A modest tissue culture lab with just three full-time employees can easily produce more than 200,000 clones per year. It then becomes a personal choice whether to grow the plants yourself or sell the tissue-cultured plants to growers who are willing to pay extra for guaranteed clean stock.

The trick is to start in a clean, uncontaminated environment with special attention to aseptic processing techniques. Rooting gels are rich in vitamins, nutrients and plant growth hormones, so a single speck of dust or mold can quickly grow and contaminate the culture jar.

Just reaching your hand over an open jar of tissue culture media can cause problems. A single skin cell can contaminate the jar with bacteria and fungi and eventually overrun and kill the plant, but once a transfer is done correctly and the container is properly sealed, it is easy to handle and transport.

Plant Tissue Culture Care

If you just want to play with tissue culture and you don’t want to invest in expensive facilities and a lab, tissue culture kits are available that can be done in a home kitchen. Premixed rooting media can be mixed in hot water, poured into baby food jars and sterilized in a standard pressure cooker.

One of the biggest problems with conventional propagation from mother plants is the spread of disease. Long-term plants are prone to infection by many common pests and diseases, and moving infected clones from place to place can quickly spread diseases across the country. Tissue culture eliminates the spread of disease.

Since tissue-cultured plants start in a sterile environment and are kept in closed containers, there is almost no chance for the seedlings to have pest, mold or mildew issues. If the plant tissue is contaminated with a fungus, it will quickly show up on the growing medium and the contaminated culture can be easily identified and destroyed.

Soon, little shoots start to pop up, without roots. Those shoots can then be transferred to other jars filled with multiplication media, and more shoots will appear. The multiplication process continues exponentially, and what started as a small clump of plant material soon turns into hundreds of un-rooted plantlets.