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Our Journey: From a Pet Shop to Your Plant Oasis

Our story at Aquatic Plants SA is not just about a business; it's a journey filled with solutions, growth, change, and most importantly, a steadfast commitment to our core mission – providing top-quality plants at affordable prices right here in South Africa. Let's take a personal dive into our story, one step at a time, and discover how we've come to offer a wide range of aquarium, terrarium, and pond plants that bring a touch of nature to your world.

The Tissue Culture Leap:

Our adventure commenced with a bold leap into tissue-cultured (TC) propagation of aquarium plants. As a long-time pet shop owner, I envisioned TC plants as the future of the plant hobby, extending beyond aquariums to terrariums, houseplants, and exotic flora. The scope and potential were vast, so when I bid farewell to my pet shops, I embarked on the TC journey. We certainly faced unforeseen challenges, but each obstacle only fuelled our determination to find solutions.

Why Does It Matter to You?

The most crucial benefit of our TC approach is the speed with which the plants travel from our laboratory to your aquarium. In under a week, they're at your doorstep, and the direct delivery simplifies the process, compared to the imported product/plants. Moreover, we've detached the prices from the unpredictable Rand-Dollar exchange rate, and we save on hefty shipping fees – a win-win for you!

From Lab to Potted plants:

Our journey didn't stop at TC. The need to import explants (the plants we disinfect for introduction into TC) for the laboratory. This forced us to import extra plants to offset ever dreaded shipping costs. We needed to sell these extra plants to offset the costs and began offering the surplus to our clients, and the response was heartwarming. You started to demand more regular imports even though we did not need more explants. Leading to an extension of the business into potted aquarium plants, but this quest led to questioning the sustainability and affordability of this. It quickly became clear we needed to find a better way, especially if we wanted to make it affordable and sustainable on the long run.

Into the Earth:

To meet your demands for more frequent imports, stable prices, and enhanced quality, we ventured into the local production of aquarium plants via hydroponics. It may have sounded like an impossible task, but we embraced the challenge. But during our experimentation we found that by growing the plants in soil lead to much healthier plants, although production was a bit slower the quality easily made up for it and this give the best results where it counts, for you our clients.

But how does these plants adapt to aquarium conditions? EXCEPTIONALY WELL! Was the answer, we found that plants produced in soil adapt much better to aquarium conditions than plants grown in rockwool pots. So today we produce 80% of our plants in soil and less and less in rockwool pots.

Our local production has empowered us to deliver consistent quality, a broader variety of species, and regular availability.

Why Soil Matters to You:

By cultivating plants in soil, we've gained control over quality and consistency, ensuring our plants adapt to aquarium conditions more swiftly. This groundbreaking experiment spanned two years, but the results are nothing short of stunning.

Expanding Horizons:

We also started to sell pond plants, with our extensive range of irises (over 90 variety’s), pond/water lily’s (over 40 variety’s) and loads of other plants available, this became a substantial part of the expansion of our business.

Our journey led us to construct a substantial tunnel with multiple levels, providing over 400 square meters of production space. This expansion introduced an exciting development - the introduction of terrarium plants.

Terrariums, being an increasingly popular stress-relief hobby, naturally harmonized with our current production system.

Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond:

Today, we proudly produce over 700 aquarium, terrarium & pond plant varieties and ship numerous boxes daily (Fridays being our brief respite).

As we look to the future, we're in the final stages of crafting a retail shop/nursery, where you can personally handpick your plants. Keep an eye out for our "NOW OPEN" announcement, coming your way in the next few weeks!

Our journey has been a dynamic one, and our commitment to providing you with the finest plants remains unwavering. We're excited to continue this journey with you, adding a touch of greenery to your personal world.

What is waiting around the corner??!!!!


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