Abstract Conditioned medium (CM) is a general term describing media in which cells have already been cultivated for some time. Such media, usually clarified by filtration, have been used by plant biotechnologists as additives sup-porting the growth of cell suspensions, organs and whole plants. This study examined the effect of CM obtained from green alga Desmodesmus subspicatus on the growth and functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus of Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana in culture in vitro. Plants where cultured on CM diluted 1.25-, 2-and 5-fold with MS medium. The increase in fresh and dry weight was highest in tobacco and Arabidopsis cultured on CM/2 and CM/1.25 media. Those two concentrations also increased the amount of chlorophylls in both plants tested. CM improved parameter PI (reflecting the photosynthetic “vitality” of the organism) and electron transport efficiency, and increased the fraction of active reaction centers. Analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence in vivo suggests that the improvement of these plants grown in the presence of algal CM may result from stimulation of photosynthesis. Algal CM offers a convenient, cheap, universal supplement for stimulating the growth of higher plants in vitro.