Artisan's Blog

George Theodoris

Plant Tissue Culture - FAQ

Plant Tissue Culture - FAQ

We are happy to offer some of our favorite plants we propagated using tissue culture. I wanted to provide some background to answer questions about the process people might have: What is tissue culture? A method to propagate plants.  How did you learn Plant Tissue Culture? I have a background in genetics and plant biology and previous work experience with plant TC. I was lucky to have as mentors two people who are pioneers in the field of plant TC.   How does it work? Plant tissue containing merisitems (for more information about meristems see my previous blog) is sterilized to kill bacteria and fungi....

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George Theodoris

Haworthia as houseplants

Haworthia as houseplants

This column is for the novice growers interested in dipping their toes in the deep fascinating ocean that is Haworthia. By haworthia, I am referring to the "window" haworthia.  For many years the term Haworthia was associated with common hard leaved haworthia, like H. attenuata "Zebra plant". Those plants are now considered to be their own genus "Haworthiopsis," and are no longer considered haworthia (for more, see my previous blog "What is and what isn't a Haworthia"). The "window" haworthia are slower and more challenging than their Haworthiopsis cousins.  "Are Haworthia difficult to grow?" I get asked this question a lot. The answer I...

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George Theodoris

Plant enemy part 1: Mealies-fiends without a face

Plant enemy part 1: Mealies-fiends without a face

As a child I remember loving this weird old 1950s science fiction movie "Fiend Without a Face". It was about oval shaped creatures that attached themselves to peoples' necks and sucked out their life force. Mealybugs are the fiends without a face of plants. They suck out the plant's life force. In this blog post I will try and demystify these fiends without faces and give people information for dealing with this annoying pest.  Mealybugs 101 What exactly are Mealybugs? Mealybugs, also called "mealies" for short, are insects belonging to the family Pseudococcidae. They feed on plant juices. They have a straw-like mouth-part...

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George Theodoris

Secret life of plants 3: Variegation

Secret life of plants 3: Variegation

This is my third science related blog post which is intended to give plant hobbyists a deeper appreciation of the precise nature of how their plants grow as well as a base of knowledge from which to better comprehend phenomena such as variegation and cresting. This post will focus on leaf variegation.  In my first blog post, "Secret life of plants 1: the Meristem", we learned that plants have dome clusters of embryonic stem cells (merstems) at their growing points that give rise to the different structures that make up a plant - leaves, stems, flowers, roots etc. These structures all develop from the edges of the mersitem domes...

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