Tissue Culture Plant Acclimation Complete Guide

Welcome to the wonderful world of tissue culture plant acclimation! Tissue culture plants offer several advantages over traditionally propagated plants, such as superior quality and disease resistance. However, acclimating tissue culture plants can be a challenge even for the more experienced grower.

tissue culture plants

Acclimation is the process of transitioning young tissue cultured plants from laboratory conditions to outdoor or indoor environments where they will grow to maturity. To ensure successful acclimation and maximize plant growth potential, it is essential to follow specific guidelines. In this article, we will discuss how to acclimate tissue culture plants successfully by providing a comprehensive guide for growers. Once your plants are acclimated, follow our tips on caring for houseplants to keep them thriving!

Shopping List for Tissue Culture Plant Acclimation

We suggest acquiring the following items before your tissue culture plants arrive.

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Scalpel or X-acto knife
  • Seedling tray with a dome of 4-6 inches
  • Low intensity grow light
  • SuperThrive or B1 (root stimulant)
  • Seedling heat mat with thermostat (especially useful in the winter to help promote strong and fast root growth)
  • Forceps or long tweezers (helpful for handling plants)
  • Betadine
  • Growing media – 70-80% milled sphagnum moss and chunky perlite
  • Rubbing alcohol
tissue culture plants

Step-by Step Tissue Culture Plant Acclimation


Step 1: Allow tissue culture plants to rest for 24 hrs before opening

Your plants just had a pretty bumpy ride through the mail and need a day or so to rest before attempting to do anything else with them. Allow the still sealed container to sit for 24-48 hours at room temperature. During this time, provide the plants with a small amount of light. No direct sun and no strong grow lights!

If your container, flask, or plastic bag arrives open or the seal has been broken, then you should immediately start step 2.

Step 2: Prepare Media

Place media in a microwave-safe container and heat for 2 minutes. Do not place the seedling tray in the microwave. Allow it to cool in the bowl before use. If the media is too dry, spray with distilled water to rehydrate.

Step 3: Prepare 3 bowls of distilled water

The first bowl should be plain distilled water. In the next bowl, add 3 drops of SuperThrive or B1 to your distilled water. In the final bowl, add 5-7 drops of Betadine solution to the distilled water.

Betadine is an antiseptic and helps to prevent fungus and bacteria from killing your tissue culture plants. The Betadine solution is not 100% necessary but it helps to increase the chances of your tissue culture plants acclimating without mold or rot setting in first.

Step 4: Prepare a sterilized environment for tissue culture plant acclimation

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Wipe down any surfaces in your work area with rubbing alcohol. Remember, these plants have been in a sterile laboratory environment and are very susceptible to bacteria, mold, and fungus. It is extremely important that your work area, tools, containers, and your hands are sterile. You may want to even consider taking a shower and putting on clean clothes before starting.

Make sure that you have all of your supplies that you will need in your sterilized work area. Now is a good time to sterilize all of the tools, the seedling tray, and outside of the container that your tissue culture plants arrived in.

Step 5: Add growing media to seedling tray

Once your media has cooled and you and your space are clean, you can add your growing media to your seedling tray. If your growing media has dried, spray it with distilled water.


Step 1: Deflask your tissue culture plants

Carefully remove plants from the bottle, container, or plastic pack using forceps or tweezers (this is called deflasking). Gently grab each plant with forceps or tweezers and remove the all of the agar (the gel that the plants are attached to).  Don’t neglect this part or you risk promoting microbial growth. Some root loss is expected because the platelets are fragile. You should also discard any old, discolored or mushy leaves at this time.

Step 2: Rinse your tissue culture plants

Place your plants one at a time in the bowl with plain distilled water. Rinse off any remaining agar.

Step 3: Betadine solution for tissue culture plants acclimation

Transfer plants to the bowl with distilled water and Betadine. Allow them to soak in this solution for about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse with SuperThrive or B1 solution

Gently rinse each plant in the SuperThrive or B1 mixture, allowing them to soak for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Planting

Tap off the water, and transfer each plant to the growing medium. You can use a chopstick or the end of your forceps to help make holes in the media for your plants. Cover the plants with the dome, making sure all the vents are closed.

Step 6: Place under grow lights

Place your seedling tray about 18-24 inches away from a low intensity grow light on the heat mat if using. Your seedlings should remain at about 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If using a heat mat, make sure that it is not too warm. If it is, it could actually cook your tissue culture plants!

Hardening Process

Tissue culture plants acclimate very slowly and we have found that if you try to rush it, you usually end up with fewer plants in the end. If at any point during this process, you notice your plants wilting, go back to the previous stage and continue for an additional 5 days. Take your time with this part and you will have great success!

Stage 1:

Keep the humidity dome closed to maintain a humid environment. Remain at this stage for 10-14 days.

Stage 2:

After 10 or so days, you should start to see some new growth. At this time, you can remove the dome for 30 seconds then replace the dome and open the vent for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to close the vent back completely after the 30 minutes are up. Do this for 5 days.

Stage 3:

Open the vent for half the day (8-12 hours). Continue this for 5 days.

Stage 4:

Remove the dome for 30 minutes to 1 hour each day and keep the vent open all day and all night. Continue this for 5 days.

Stage 5:

Remove dome for 3-4 hours each day for 5 days. Continue to keep the vent open all day and all night. Do this for 5 days.

Stage 6:

Remove the dome for half of the day 8-12 hours and continue to keep the vent open. Do this for the next 5 days. During this stage, you can begin to gradually increase the amount of light that the plants are receiving.

Stage 7:

Remove the dome for the entire day and night. Great work, your tissue culture plants are acclimated!

Transferring Tissue Culture Plants

Once you can see roots forming along the side of the seedling cell trays, transfer plants into a 2-4 inch pot. You can now fertilize and water your plant normally.


We know this is quite the process but taking your time is the best way to ensure success. Shop for tissue culture plants and supplies on Plant World Marketplace.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Buy, Sell, Trade & Discover plants as cool as you! 😎

Plant World Marketplace

Share via
Copy link