Tissue Culture in South Africa?

Hey growers,

Does anyone from South Africa do Tissue Culture?
I’m struggling to find a chemical supplier for my gels, and it would be nice to find someone to bounce ideas off of.

Thanks in advance!


@chrisj you know a little about South Africa, yeah?

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Im not in south africa. But ive been doing tissue culture. Also @charlieseeds has quite a bit of tissue culture work under his belt. I ask him questions occasionally.

@preybird1 Do you find that the PhytoTech agar combinations work well? I believe there are 3 separate mixes for different stages of development, rooting/multiplication etc.
I don’t want to spend all the time and effort (and cash) acquiring the chemicals when there is a better formula out there for clone development.

I wanted to touch on which part of the tissue you use in cloning.
I have read an article on how cutting the apical meristem prevents the plant from passing on any viral elements as opposed to using random lengths of shoots. already infected. HOWEVER this test was not done on Cannabis or Hemp. Ran along the lines of how the nutrient flow rate is constricted within meristems, so this doesn’t allow virual elements to enter the tissue at that point.

I also wanted to ask how you go about testing your gels and strains with regards to over-exposure to humidity, temperature fluctuations, and bacteria overall. Obviously we all want something that grows well and excels in terpenes, flavonoids, and THC/CBD levels, but if you are in the business of growing and selling clones, then you are looking for something trustworthy that isn’t going to fall over itself as soon as the conditions are less that PERFECT. Environmental conditions in Africa are fairly erratic.

Thanks in advance!


Well interesting questions.
The Parts of the plant i use are only the very tops or the 1st node below it. And virus in cannabis plants are not really applicable here because that study was about flowers and how they got around the virus issue. There is a simalair issue right now threatening the worlds bananas. Because the bananas are a clone of sorts. google it youll see what i mean.
Phytotech mix is as good as anyones. There basically just chemical elements in the recipe. And you only need to add or remove 2 chemicals in small amounts to control it. Also you need the chemicals to make any of it. And yeah there may be a better formula. But when somebody makes it for you and provides ready to go mix your going to spend upwards of triple on cost of procurement of those neccessary items. Glass tubes, larger jars are re-usable and the recipies arent hard. And really baby food jars are what you want. But are you a huge producer of plants? When starting to tissue culture you need to ask yourself a question…WHY? Are you trying to preserve strains, mass produce clones for sale? The upkeep is ridiculous with all the agar swaps and the sterility factor.
I have been testing currently.

  1. How long the cuttings can go without agar change.
  2. Temperature effect on growth rate.
  3. Optimal time to dissect the multiplication clone. For either further multiplication and or rooting phase.
  4. Rooting phase.
    There is more steps after this but this needs to be managed 1st.
  5. When to swap agar gel optimal time. There is a point when the agar will be used up. And the plant will tell you. I have seen it and now i know what the signs are when it happens And about when it happens.
    There is always moisture present and there are ways to negate its affects if you get a lot in your culture vessel.

Im trying to learn all of this now myself. I have spent the cash and i have now done more testing. 3 weeks is max time in 25ml of agar mix. I need to do more testing of the amount of agar and how far i can go without an agar swap. if say i forgot or went on vacation. Im really just feeling it out also. I hope to be able to do real micro meristem tissue culture and id love to see some protoplast culture. But im working on it. @charlieseeds has lots of knowledge DM him also. Hope that made sense.

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These are the main ingredients needed. And there about $85 shipping $100

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Thanks for the info @PreyBird1, I appreciate it!

Ive attached a PDF from a university in New Zealand which touches on some of the subjects we are both interested in.

These guys are set on keeping the tissue in 0-4 Degrees Celsius, just above freezing during the 3rd stage. They say that you can keep the plant in agar for up to 3 months like this because the plant doesn’t use any nutrients.

I work for an agricultural seedling company and temp completely slows down plant metabolism in the nursery, and they can actually handle ridiculously cold temperatures without internal cell damage (Obviously TC and regular propagation is different but the same principles apply to the plant internally).

The conditions are that the plant is not exposed to below freezing temperatures, there is a high intensity of light, and the tissue is kept in these conditions ONLY during stage 3: Preparation of propagules for transfer to soil, right before root elongation. After you have hardened the plant, normalized humidity levels and want to transplant, the plants are then exposed to average temps and very low light intensity in SOIL, this drop in light stimulates root growth and stops leaf and stem growth.

Take a read, super interesting!

I want to get in to tissue culture because the company I work for is wanting to get involved on a commercial scale (not in cannabis, but in other plants)…thats one reason, and I like weed… a lot… I love the science behind retaining one specific genetic variety for years to come :slight_smile: . Its also a great plant to use in tissue culture because of the relative ease in growth, and the ease in maintaining one genetic strain for testing gels and environments, takes one variable out of the picture.

All the best!
35463377.pdf (686.1 KB)

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@PreyBird1 OH they also talk about adding vermiculite to the gel to open up more pockets for rooting, I thought that was interesting. You would have to sterilize the SH*T out of the vermiculite though.

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Very very cool thankyou. University of new zealand huh? Have you been there? I was born there tokoroa!

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No stress, I’m huge advocate for collective knowledge.

Niiiice! I have been to New Zealand a few times actually, I used to fly with an airline before I “settled down”. Been to Auckland and Christchurch quite a bit. I found the article online while searching university papers for TC info.

Let me know what you think! I am keen to get your perspective seeing as you are already experienced in this stuff.

Nice. Yeah i know the temp affects the growth rates…i appreciate the extra bit of cold temp knowledge you just told me. I noticed when the temps were higher is when i had issues.

Yeah I mean if you can push from 3 weeks to 3 months in agar prior to transplanting it will be a huge relief in time and money.

I’m still on the search for the growing hormones, it’s surprisingly difficult to acquire around here. Suppose it’s not everyone who wakes up thinking of TC as a hobby.

Here is my current thread.

Looks sick! Nice setup, must have cost you a pretty penny.

How do you manage to keep your airflow sterile?

You mean in the. Lab area?

Yeah in your lab setup

That laminar flow hood is really expensive! All air in this tent sterilzed through this unit and only the fresh air in it comes out of the hood area. I wear a full suit and clothes and slippers specifically for this.


While reading this I am imagining what sound money makes when it burns.

Hats off to you! I’ll keep in touch with any new developments my side, perhaps we can both learn a thing or two from bouncing ideas around.

All the best!


Hi @Heisenberg

From SA and glad to hear you are looking at developing a cannabis industry here. Personally I am not or ever have been involved in tissue culture. I use aloe as a rooting gel and that is as technical as I get. I have heard a couple knowledgeable folks speaking about it, and sure there are people doing it.

You getting 420% professional advice here. I am very good at sourcing products, so get your shopping list and recipe ready and I would be happy to help you bake that cake, but I wont be sitting in the kitchen!


Hi @chrisj

I’m familiar with Aloe gel, forms a sort of natural antibacterial covering for root development in standard cloning. Adds a little extra % in survival rates.

I’m happy to hear that you are keen to help, I’ll work on a list and get back to you in the next few days. Great that there are people from SA on here.

All the best