Introduction to Aquatic Plants with Brandon McLane of Florida Aquatic Nurseries

Dr. Roy Yanong on Pet Life Radio

A beautifully aquascaped planted aquarium or outdoor pond easily rivals even the most complex of reef aquariums. In fact, a school of fish swimming through an underwater forest in a small home tank, or spectacular water lilies in a koi pond can brighten up an space.  But where do many of these plants, come from?

My guest today is Brandon McLane, Vice President of Florida Aquatic Nurseries,  one of the largest producers of aquatic plants in the United States. Join us, as Brandon explains the ins and outs of this fascinating aspect of the hobby!.


Brandon McLane is the Vice President of Florida Aquatic Nurseries, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one of the largest producers of aquatic plants in the United States. He has been with Florida Aquatic Nurseries since 2006.  Brandon works in all aspects of the company from discovering and hybridizing new plant varieties to developing websites and business plans.  

Brandon attended the University of Florida where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a specialization in Landscape and Nursery Management in 2003. He also studied micro propagation under Dr. Michael Kane. After graduation he joined Pikes Family Nurseries in Atlanta, Georgia where he was a retail store manager from 2003 until 2006.  Pike Family Nurseries is one of the largest independent retail nurseries in the United States and the knowledge gained from the retail side of the industry is extremely valuable today.

Hybridizing waterlilies has always been a passion and working with great mentors like his father Brad and uncle Bruce McLane, Brandon has had excellent training.  Many award-winning waterlily hybrids have been developed through the years by Florida Aquatic Nurseries such as William McLane, Moon Dance, and Key Lime.  The past few years have been very successful for Florida Aquatic Nurseries with Brandon doing most of the hybridizing and screening of new plants resulting in the Best Overall Lily in 2008 Nymphaea ‘Ultra Violet’, the Best Overall Lily in 2009 Nymphaea ‘Tanzanite’, Best New Tropical in 2010 Nymphaea 'Bimini Twist', and Best New Tropical in 2011 Nymphaea 'Scarlet Flame' as awarded by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society.

Brandon has written several articles on aquatic plants and provided information and photographs for many others. He is a member of the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association and Florida Nursery and Growers and Landscapers Association, and is on the board of directors for the Florida Aquaculture Association and the International Waterlily and Water Garden Society.

Brandon has traveled extensively throughout the world visiting remote areas of Thailand as well as Central America. There have been many trips throughout Europe including Germany where aquatic gardening is highly advanced. These trips afford Brandon the opportunity to share information with other aquatic plant growers and to search for new varieties to propagate.

When away from work Brandon spends most of his time fishing for saltwater sports fish in the Florida Keys, scuba diving, or relaxing with his wife Jessica and children William and Charles.