vedanta
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How to Grow Orchids from Seeds?

Hey everyone, can anyone give me simple guidelines to growing orchids from seeds? i've read a lot of material online but i'd like to get a simplified version; if it's not too much to ask. Thanks!!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Orchid Seeds

There is not a simplified version, because it is not simple. Orchids are very difficult to grow from seed.

Here's an article about it:

https://www.users.on.net/~gmcorbin/BOS/A ... 0Seed.html

Here's a quote from the article:

The question you now need to ask yourself is ‘Do I really want to grow from seed?’ You are looking at three to twelve months for the pod to ripen, one to four years of growing in the flask followed by one to ten years or more of growing the young orchid before you see your first flower if growing by flask. If growing symbiotically, you will still need 3 to 12 months for the pod to ripen, followed by two to 10 years of growing the orchid to achieve a flower. All up, you are looking at about 3 to 15 years, including years of watering, fertilising and repotting before you see a flower.
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applestar
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Re: Orchid Seeds

Wow that sound pretty serious. :shock:

What kind of orchids? Clumping kind can be divided pretty easily, and I have babies growing from ...um... the (not) phalaenopsis that starts with a "D" -- anyway a moth orchid. They develop baby plants after blooming on the flower stalk.
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imafan26
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Re: Orchid Seeds

Orchids from seed is a complex and long process and usually done in a lab. Unless you want to wait 10 years for the result try it with a Phalaenopsis and not a Catleya.

First you need to do the cross. Pollination is usually done with a toothpick. If you are selfing then Use the toothpick at the right time and lift the pollen and place it on the sticky part just behind it. If you did it right the flower will go to sleep the next day, so will the rest of the spray. Make sure you label the tag with the plant's name x self and the date.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJrEh7pDj10

The ovary will swell and a few months later the pod will be ripe.

In the meantime look for an orchid club and see if anyone has a lab. Some orchidist do their own crosses. An active lab will probably not let you in since everything in the lab needs to be very clean. They can show you the process.

This video was well annotated but this is not the set up I know. The video I found had no sound but it showed how the orchid pod is sterilized.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFn1cqbTXqI

Most people now don't do their own flasking anymore. It is cheaper to send the pod to Thailand and have them do it. Orders are usually about 10,000-50,000. Realize an orchid from a seed is a crap shoot, 99% won't be award winners. If you want a predictable plant then clone it instead.
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vedanta
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Re: Orchid Seeds

ah shoot! it really does sound too complicated. I wanted to try it since there are 2 different kinds of orchids growing on my mango tree and they both have seed pods. guess i'll just take them down and wait for them to sprout new offspring. Thanks a lot though!!
Even the sweetest rose has its thorns.

imafan26
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Re: Orchid Seeds

Seed pods means you have active bees. As hobbyists we really do not want the bees to pollinate them since a spray that may last three or four months will go to sleep soon after the flower is pollinated.

As far as the orchid is concerned the seed pod is more valuable than the flowers.

In nature, there are a complex blend of conditions that must exist for the flower to naturally propagate. It has to be pollinated and ripen on the plant. The pod needs to become infected with a certain type of mycorrhizal fungal symbionts to penetrate the seed's testa and carapace in order to provide the nutrients the embryo needs to begin the process of a successful germination. The mychorrhizal fungi that many orchid seeds rely on are in the complex of fungi collectively known as Rhizoctonia. And these conditions need to be maintained for a very long time for the endosperm to develop. Each pod contains millions of undeveloped seeds. Even in nature only a few survive.

Orchids are amazing considering how hard it is to germinate them naturally, enough managed to survive and the orchid family is the largest plant family and there are orchids native to many habitats all over the world and on every continent except Antarctica.
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lexusnexus
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Re: Orchid Seeds

Yeah, orchids are a very different critter altogether. They live in the crooks of branches, in cracks in rocks, and every place in between. Some plants like to essentially dry out between waterings, others enjoy a more moist environment. Some need bright sunshine all day while others live in shade. They aren't planted in soil, rather mixtures of bark or sphagnum moss in a well drained container. You get the idea. You are best buying something like a phalaenopsis in bloom and learn from there.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How to Grow Orchids from Seeds?

In nature where they are adapted to their surroundings and the fungi and whatever they need are common in the environment, they may spread themselves partly by seed. But I would guess even then, a lot of how orchids spread and keep surviving is vegetative propagation, spreading from the roots and new offsets.
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applestar
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Re: Orchid Seeds

vedanta wrote:ah shoot! it really does sound too complicated. I wanted to try it since there are 2 different kinds of orchids growing on my mango tree and they both have seed pods. guess i'll just take them down and wait for them to sprout new offspring. Thanks a lot though!!
How cool is that -- to have orchids naturally growing in your backyard MANGO (even :D ) tree 8)
I bet my seed grown, <stay inside for 6-7 months of the year because it's too cold> Mango tree wannabes would love to be decorated like that. :cool:

They are starting to grow new leaves since it's getting warmer and days are getting longer.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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