When I first came across these plants at the Botanical Garden in Tenerife I was convinced they’d be perfect for chlorophyll printing. It turned out they were pretty bad.

In this post I’ll share with you my research on suitable plants, and what went wrong with each one of them.


Spathiphyllum- Also known as Peace lily. This plant belongs to the Araceae family, which is often very appropriate for chlorophyll printing. Its big green flat leaves, which might occasionally turn yellow, made me believe this lily was perfect to work with. However, the outcome was really disappointing. First of all, it takes a lot of time to get any outcome with this plant,  and then, the resulting prints, lack of contrast and definition.

Philodendron imperial- Philodendros are a dysfunctional family. While some of them are absolutely fantastic for this process such as philodendron selloum and philodendron giganteum, the royal branch from this family are terrible for chlorophyll printing; avoid using philodendron imperial and pink princess.  Climbing philodendros are also pretty bad, including scandens and elongatum.

Devil’s Ivy –   Ivy tends to work very well for chlorophyll printing.  You might be able to get a quite good print in 2 Summer sunny days. Its green flat leaves are very convenient. It is very easy to source Ivy leaves from the streets and I used to think Ivy was the most convenient plant for the process until I came across the Devil’s variety. It just doesn’t work at all!




This blog post is an archive of things that didn’t work. Realising the 3 facts described below had a very strong impact in my research.

I hope you enjoy my archive of failures and that it saves you some time if you decide to practice the bleaching technique. Enjoy!


UV lamps

UV lamps release very little light compared to the Sun, and they mainly release UVA light. In order to bleach a leaf one needs UVB light mainly, as well as large amounts of visible light.

If you use a UV lamp, it will cook your leaf, as this lamps release much more heat than light!


Black back printing frame

The majority of the photographers working with printing process use printing frames with black backs.  It doesn’t work for this process as it helps to rise temperature, and again it will cook the leaf in your printing frame rather than bleaching it!


One layer of acetate

One needs to print the same image twice onto different acetates. This is very important because the Sun bleaches everything including the ink pigments on the acetate. If one wants to have a successful outcome then it is mandatory to have a double layer.

I hope sharing my research journey with you was useful and encouraging :)




Yesterday’s workshop was attended by 300+ people. 226 people view the workshop on Facebook and 90 people view on Instagram!

Thank you all, I hope it encouraged you to try this organic photographic process!

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