How Michael used PPM to save his Cryptocoryne x Timahensis plants
1 Jun 2020

How Michael used PPM to save his Cryptocoryne x Timahensis plants

Zaire Williams

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Nothing makes us feel better than getting emails from customers who have used PPM, and rave about it's success! Check out how Michael used PPM to save 2 of his favorite plants:

I went to SUNY ESF for plant biotech. Thats where I was introduced to PPM; the professor who taught me all I know about tissue culture used it in his labs. I ended up not working in plant research for a living but was determined to do so. I purchased equipment piecewise at auction until I was able to find the rest of the money (borrowing half of my 401k) to finish setting up. I grow all aquatic plants right now. I wanted to specialize in the rare and hard to find plants. The first (and thus far only successful) one I tried was Cryptocoryne x timahensis. It is one of the more rare crypts in the hobby, and is only known to still be alive in the wild in one pond in a national park in Malaysia. I bought 3 of them, at $150 each. I had them growing emersed in a terrarium setup I built; complete with heated substrate and an ultrasonic humidifier. They died. I went in to check on them and they had all died and the leaves fell off when touched. I dug in the soil and managed to recover a few pieces of plant material; a couple of leaves, root, and rhizome fragments. That is what is in picture 1. I did not want to risk killing them by treating with alcohol or bleach or peroxide, and the only thing I thought safe enough for explants in such a delicate condition was PPM. I washed them under running tap water, and put into liquid medium (MS+vitamins, 25g/l sucrose, 8ml/l PPM). It was above the normal recommended concentration, but below what I had read on your website as the maximum usable. I had to switch to fresh medium twice, as the contamination was high enough still that even at that level the PPM did not quite kill it, but in that third container of medium, the plant survived and was clean of fungus and bacteria. It took a while but a few weeks later I had a small pair of green leaves, then a few more. Now I have dozens of healthy cryptocorynes, recovered from the worst possible explant I could have used (a half rotted assortment of plant parts pulled from the mud with no prior surface sterilization).
To date, PPM is the only biocide that does not also seem to rapidly kill my aquatic plants, and has made it possible for me to recover contaminated cultures and clean plants to establish them in culture. I may be operating on a 3 digit budget, but PPM is something I always aim to keep on hand because it has made the work I'm trying to do possible.

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