Hortilab is a biotechnology company based in Croatia that specializes in large-scale production of various types of disease-free plants for all types of markets (fruits, ornamental plants, aquarium plants). We are a company that has a deep focus on the development of modern agriculture which includes using state-of-the-art technologies to produce millions of contaminant-free plant seedlings with considerably less use of energy and space than in conventional agriculture production. Our goal is to contribute to sustainable agriculture that encourages environmental health, economic profitability and socioeconomic equity.

Hortilab was founded in 2010 in Velika Gorica, Croatia by Vilim Elez. We started as a small company following the vision of its founder who invested his private capital to build the first laboratory in the basement of his own house and to rent 300 m2 of greenhouses. In the beginning, we produced around 20 different species of aquarium plants that were sold solely in Croatia. However, in the last eight years, our market has significantly expanded. In 2014, soon after Croatia became the part of European Union, we started to ship our products abroad and in less than one year we expanded our sales to the EU market and just few months later to the whole world. We currently export to 42 countries on five continents across the globe.




Tissue culture micropropagation is a technology increasingly used worldwide in the agricultural sector to propagate various types of plants as a more sustainable alternative to conventional methods such as seeding, cutting or grafting. It describes a process of rapidly multiplying stock plant material in a controlled environment to produce and grow a large number of progeny plants under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium. The general procedure includes the choice of suitable plant, its disinfection and elimination of contaminants from the explants, preparation of the suitable culture conditions such as media ingredients, light and temperature and finally, acclimatization of plantlets. Success in producing large numbers of plantlets requires the most sterile facility, an ideal culture media, and experienced and skilled staff to follow stringent protocols, and the Hortilab advantage is its 12 years of experience in this field.

Plant tissue culture is a method invented more than 100 years ago and due to the development of technology in the last 30 years, an increasing number of TC plants are produced every year. Tissue culture (TC) is extensively used for large-scale industrial or commercial needs in agriculture. Its advantages include:

     production of strong and healthy plants that are growing faster compared to the ones produced by conventional techniques due to the reproduction of genetically identical plants sharing particular characteristics and traits beneficial to optimal growth and success; 

       producing rooted plantlets ready for growth, saving time for the commercial grower; 

      multiplying plants which produce seeds in uneconomical amounts, or when plants are sterile and do not produce viable seeds or when seeds cannot be stored;

       the more efficient production 365 days a year in comparison to conventional methods as the operation in the laboratory is not limited or influenced in any way by seasonality or climate conditions. 

The plant TC micropropagation is the only production method to obtain disease-free plants (without viruses, fungal or bacterial pathogens) that are desirable or sometimes even essential in agricultural production. Virus-free TC plants have up to 30% higher yield than plants produced by conventional methods.