Growing Arabidopsis in the Classroom

Arabidopsis can be grown in the classroom, a growth chamber or a greenhouse. Growing Arabidopsis outdoors in not recommended as it is considered a weed species. One of the easiest ways to grow Arabidopsis in the classroom is on grow shelves like the ones highlighted at the bottom of this page. We recommend stock number CS70000, wild type Columbia, for classrooms designing their own experiments.

In general, Arabidopsis grows best at room temperature (71-73˚ F) in continuous light or a 16/8 hour light/dark cycle, with a light intensity of 120-150 µmol/m2. Light intensity can be measured using a commercially available light meter.

The rate of development of individual plants can vary depending on the specific strain planted and/or the growing conditions. In general, Arabidopsis goes through its complete light cycle (from seed to seed producing) in six to eight weeks. You can expect to see germination within 3-7 days after planting. Plants will begin flowering in weeks four or five, and set seeds in weeks six through eight. Keep in mind that plants grown in cooler conditions or low-intensity light may develop slower, while plants that experience certain stress conditions may flower and set seeds quicker.

Shelving Unit with Growth Lights

Shelving units for growing Arabidopsis can be made fairly easily at a reasonably low cost. We have listed some supplies that can be easily purchased at your local building supply store.

Growing Arabidopsis



 Perfect Home™ Shelf 48”W x 18”D x 72”H


 Ballasts: Nine 4ft basic shop light

 Approx. $15 each

 Lights: Phillips™ 40W T12 4100K 48”

 Approx. $15 each or $120/30 pack

 Basic Power Strip


 Light Timer