Growing plants with roots in liquid media

Dave Yoder yoderda at
Fri Jan 10 14:06:25 EST 2003

Hydroponics could be the solution you are looking for.  I have successfully
grown Arabidopsis under this condtion.  All you need is a plastic shoebox
sized storage box painted flat black on the outside to inhibit algal
growth.  Drill 3/8" holes in the lid evenly spaced apart.  The cut 1/2"
cores of rock wool and insert them into the holes.  Let about 1/2" of the
rock wool to stick out above the lid.  Next wet the rock wool and apply a
few seeds to the top of each plug.  I used 0.5 X Hoogland's as the growth
medium and kept the rock wool covered with plastic until the seeds
germinated and the cotyledons were fully expanded.  Be sure that you use
something to keep the plastic wrap from actually touching the rock wool or
seeds.  The plants were grown on a 16/8 hr cycle with 75% or greater
humidity in a growth chamber.  I also had an airstone in the bottom of each
of these boxes to be sure there was proper gas exchange, running from a
standard aquarium pump/gang valve system.

Dr. David Yoder
Department of Plant Biology
166 Plant Biology Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1312


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