FAQs - Plant-In-A-Bottle

PIAB (Plant-In-A-Bottle) Care Instructions

Plant-in-a-Bottle is a green innovation for the next generation. Taking the laboratory technique of Plant Tissue Culture and commercializing it; In Vitro has created a product that moves nature into our homes. The product begins with a reused glass bottle in which agarose gel is placed, in an effort to reduce material wastage here in Singapore.  And in the agarose gel is placed Nepenthes alata or the Philippines mountain pitcher plant, an endangered species quickly losing its habitat in Asia.  Once the bottle is reused and the pitcher plant has been saved, then Plant-in-a-Bottle’s third purpose is realized: namely, getting the children of today interested in botany and horticulture by presenting them with a product grown in bright, man-made, soil, and well lighted for effect.
Care is not a concern with Plant-in-a-Bottle as it only requires man-made lighting instead of direct sunlight, and indoor conditions of between 20-24 degrees. Plant-in-a-Bottle uses a method of plant enrichment that can only be done in a clean-room at the In Vitro laboratories, as the agarose gel is two years of nutrients in a small space, this means that if you break the seal on the product bacteria will flood the product and suffocate the pitcher plant. If this happens or if the agarose gel has been depleted, you need to immediately wrap Plant-in-a-Bottle in a towel and break the bottle with a hammer, before carefully removing the pitcher plant and transplanting it into a container of stagnant moss and a slight amount of water.  Given two weeks to acclimate before you put it outside, the pitcher plant can thrive and you and your children can have your very own insect devouring addition to your garden or home, and save an endangered species in the process.
Plant-in-a-Bottle, a product for the little gardener in all of us, brought to you by the green minds and green thumbs of In Vitro.

Plant-In-A-Bottle - Care & Operations Manual


What happens when the plant outgrows the bottle?

If you are interested in keeping the plant, you can repot it to the outside environment.

You can call us to seek our advice at +65 68966758 and we will teach you how to do it over the phone for free. Alternatively, you can watch the tutorial video on how to repot the plant at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOWURyoKp_A.

Is it necessary to break the glass bottle open?

Yes, in order to repot the plant, it must first be removed from the bottle. As the bottle mouth is too small for the plant to be removed, it is best to break the bottle to prevent hurting the plants. Please make sure safety measures are in place before you break the glass bottle.

What is in the gel?

The gel is a special medium formulated by In Vitro Pte. Ltd., specifically for the plant inside the bottle. The gel provides adequate nutrients for the plants inside, thus allowing the plant to grow with indoor light alone. The actual composition of the gel is our trade secret and we do not sell the gel separately.

Do the plants require sunlight or artificial lighting is sufficient?

Please do not give this product any sunlight as the heat from the sun will kill the baby plant.

However, the plants in this product require artificial lights, either from fluorescent lights or table lamp lights. In fact, the more artificial lights provided for them, the better the plants grow. Take note that there should not be a lot of heat generated in the environment from the artificial lights around the plant. One example are common cheap bulbs that emit a lot of heat.

Do the plants have enough oxygen to survive in a sealed glass bottle?

All that is needed is already provided. The seal at the bottle mouth has micropores which allow air to flow in and out of the bottle for the plants. DO NOT break open the seal if you are not intending to repot the plants as bacteria will enter and contaminate the product. The gel medium is nutrient rich and bacteria will grow very well on it.

How long can Plant-in-a-Bottle last?

The product, if well-taken care, can last 3 to 5 years. When they grow to around the size of the bottle, the plants will sense the restriction in space and inhibit/slow down their growth.

Typically the concern would be the plant being overgrown and confined in the bottle, which may not be pleasant looking anymore, thus you might want to repot it.

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