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Sterile Plant Cultures—Terms and Instructions

Flytrap Store culture containers and sizes

Terms and Conditions

  • Tubes (small container) normally contain between 2 and 5 plants and flasks (large container) contain 25 or more plants (usually many more). These numbers are subjective because plant tissue in vitro can be divided a lot when potted out to create more plants.
  • A phytosanitary certificate costs $25 and MUST BE added to EVERY international sterile tissue culture order. Phytosanitary certificates can be purchased here at FlytrapStore.com.
  • Please be aware that in some cases, it may take a few weeks to a few months for cultures to be grown out to fill orders. It is not possible to always keep plants sitting on a shelf waiting to be shipped.
  • Please only order sterile cultures if you intend to pot them in soil upon receipt. Cultures will be sterile upon leaving the FlytrapStore.com Lab, but sterility is not guaranteed upon delivery. We ARE NOT responsible for contamination or damage that occurs while in transit. If you intend to use the sterile cultures for further propagation in a tissue culture lab and you find the cultures to be contaminated upon arrival, we will NOT send replacement cultures. After many failed attempts to send cultures internationally and maintain sterility we have found that it is extremely difficult to nearly impossible to do.
  • The growing medium in tissue culture flasks is a gel that will break up during transit. The gel will likely completely cover the plants when you receive them. If you plan to pot out the plants, this gel must be completely rinsed off of the plants prior to potting. Additional potting and care instructions for deflasking tissue culture plants will be included in the shipment.
  • The sterile containers will be well packaged for transport and be mailed in a carton that will protect them well during shipment. They should arrive in good condition. If they do not (if they arrive broken for example), please take photos of the cultures immediately when they arrive and send those photos along with as detailed a description as possible about how the plants were handled upon receipt. Replacement of cultures is at our discretion. to us at sales@flytrapcare.com.
  • There is a necessary waiting period before plants can be shipped, because the plant cultures first must be initiated into sterile culture conditions after being ordered, then observed and examined for at least 7-10 days to ensure that there is no microbial contamination. After that they are allowed to grow out for a few weeks to fill in the tube or flask. And once per month, the agricultural inspector is called to examine all plants destined for shipment outside the United States before he issues a phytosanitary certificate for the plants in each and every order. Only then can the plants be shipped. This means that there may be a delay of up to a month or in some cases up to 3 months or more (if the cultures must be grown out and the destination country requires multiple inspections several weeks apart before shipment, for example) before an order can be shipped.
  • If import permits are required for your country of residence, you are required to get them yourself and we aren't held responsible for plants seized by customs. If you are unsure about whether or not your country requires import permits for sterile cultures, contact your government's department of agriculture. If you don't know how to contact them, email us at sales@flytrapcare.com and we can assist you.

Deflasking, Acclimation & Instructions for Sterile Cultures

WARNING— Plants in sterile containers are extremely fragile and will die quickly without proper care. We are not responsible for plant death due to negligence, so please read the following guidelines and instructions carefully.

Plants should be removed from sterile cultures IMMEDIATELY upon receipt. However, plants inside sterile culture containers have been growing in 100% humidity and under very gentle artificial light. Therefore the leaves of the plants will be relatively thin and weak and will need to be hardened (acclimated) gently, comfortably and slowly at first to life outside the container and under different conditions.

The leaves of plants taken from their culture containers and planted in growing medium can dry out and die within hours (or in extreme cases possibly in minutes) in conditions of lower humidity, direct sunlight, or both. Instead, the plants should be kept moist by spraying fairly often with a mist of water (distilled, reverse osmosis or rainwater) or by covering the containers they are transplanted into with clear plastic of some sort. In addition, they should be kept out of direct sunlight, which can be too harsh for these delicate plants during the first several weeks of their acclimation, and should be grown in either artificial light or in bright but indirect sunlight. Because the plants will be very moist but outside their previous sterile environments, fungus can occasionally be a problem. Therefore, it is recommended to have a fungicide nearby (one that does not contain a copper compound) to spray the plants before covering, or at the first sign of a flush of fungal growth.

Acclimating Plants to Life Outside Sterile Culture

For the first 2-4 weeks, please observe the following—

  • Keep plants moist with mist or covering, gradually decreasing the frequency of misting or opening the cover or removing it more often.
  • Keep plants out of direct sunlight, especially when they are covered (in which case heat could rapidly build up under the clear cover to the point of damaging the plants) and keep them instead under artificial light or bright indirect sunlight.
  • Use a fungicide spray or have one nearby to use as a preventive for or rapid response to any fungal growth or outbreak.

Shipping and Importing Sterile Cultures

Most countries and collections of countries such as the European Union require that a shipment of live plants, including live plants in sterile tissue-culture containers, be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate which certifies that the plants are free of disease and disease-carrying organisms and insects. In addition, many countries require that a recipient of sterile cultures apply for and receive an import permit, usually before a shipment is initiated.

Shipping costs start at $15 and go up from there depending on the size of the order.

Photosanitary Certificate and Import Permit Requirements, by Country

If your country is not listed in the following table,
please contact us at sales@flytrapcare.com

An asterisk (*) indicates additional notes below the chart

Import Requirements by Country
COUNTRY Phytosanitary
Certificate?
Import
Permit?
Argentina Required Required
Australia Required Required
Canada Required Not Required
European Union Required Not Required
Hong Kong* Required Required
Indonesia* Required Required
Japan Required Not Required
Malaysia* Required Required
Mexico* Required Not Required
New Zealand* Required Not Required
South Africa* Required Required
South Korea Required Not Required
Taiwan Required Not Required
Thailand* Required Required

NOTES for the above chart

* Hong Kong — although normally requiring an import permit, a statement can be accompany the phytosanitary certificate that specifies "no import permit presented," in which case there is a risk that the shipment would be confiscated by the customs agency.

* Indonesia — although normally requiring an import permit, a statement can be accompany the phytosanitary certificate that specifies "no import permit presented," in which case there is a risk that the shipment would be confiscated by the customs agency.

* Malaysia — although normally requiring an import permit, a statement can be accompany the phytosanitary certificate that specifies "no import permit presented," in which case there is a risk that the shipment would be confiscated by the customs agency. Apart from a Phytosanitary Certificate and Import Permit, the importer is required to obtain an import license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry which issues the license after the Import Permit is received from the Department of Agriculture, Malaysia. (The import license is shown to the customs agency in order for them to release the plants.) Information about import permits and licenses for Malaysia can be obtained from the following—

Director General
Department of Agriculture
17th Floor, Wisma Tani
Lot 4G2, Prescint 4,
62624 Putrajaya
Malaysia
Tel: (60-3) 8870-3002
Fax: (60-3) 8888-5069
E-mail: roseley@doa.gov.my
Contact: Datuk Roseley bin Dato haji Kahid

Director, Plant Protection and Quarantine Division
Third Floor, Wisma Tani,
Jalan Sultan Salahuddin
50632 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: (60-3) 2030104200/20301402
Fax: (60-3) 26913550
Email: wanis@doa.gov.my; wan54@yahoo.com
Contact: Wan Normah Wan Ismail

* Mexico — shipments of sterile cultures must be routed through an official port of entry.

* New Zealand — requires that sterile cultures be in transparent containers (sterile cultures from FlytrapStore.com are always shipped in transparent containers).

* South Africa — requires a spray treatment unless the import permit allows otherwise.

* Thailand — although normally requiring an import permit, a statement can be accompany the phytosanitary certificate that specifies "no import permit presented," in which case there is a risk that the shipment would be confiscated by the customs agency.