How To Grow Orchid Seeds At Home - In this masterclass, you'll learn why you can get your orchid to bloom again, how to get started, and what you can do now to grow a healthy, blooming orchid!
Orchids are beautiful and precious. Most cultivated orchids are found in tropical, subtropical, and cloud forest climates, but they are found worldwide. As a valuable plant, you can divide orchids or propagate them from seeds or cuttings.
How To Grow Orchid Seeds At Home
Growing orchids from seed requires a highly sterile environment as a source of orchid seeds. You will also need a place to clean and store the seeds. Prepare the agar medium where the seeds will be sown. After germination, the plant is separated and transferred to a pot.
Wild Orchid Seed For Sale
Growing orchids from seed is a delicate process that requires a highly sterile environment (which is why most seed growers work in laboratories). However, in this guide you will learn how to grow orchids from seeds at home.
There are two ways to germinate orchid seeds. In nature, orchid seeds fall into the soil. However, unlike other plant seeds, orchid seeds do not store nutrients and cannot survive and grow without an external source of nutrients. Orchid seeds form a symbiotic relationship with fungi to compensate for nutrient deficiencies.
Mycorrhizal fungi in the soil have a high ability to absorb nutrients. The fungus attaches to orchid seeds and promotes germination. In turn, the growing orchid uses photosynthesis to produce food from nutrients.
What happens in nature is that the seeds fall to the ground and are exposed to fungi. In some cases, the fungus decomposes the seeds until the seeds die. In other cases, the seeds feed on fungal nutrients until the fungus dies. Then, due to lack of more nutrients, the seeds die after a while. In other cases, the seeds die because the fungus rejects them.
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However, in a small number of cases, fungi attack and the seeds deteriorate and the fungus eats them. A symbiotic relationship blossoms and orchids emerge.
In the laboratory, symbiotic germination mimics what occurs in nature. Symbiotic germination is a complex process carried out by highly trained botanists in specialized laboratories. This guide will focus on symbiotic germination that can be done at home.
Vitrification is the in vitro germination of orchid seeds using agar. Agar is a jelly-like mixture containing nutrients and growth hormones. Flasking is the most common method of growing orchids from seed at home because it is cheaper, easier, faster and more reliable.
As mentioned earlier, growing orchids from seed is a delicate process; Therefore, the environment for growing these seeds must be right. Consider the following.
Tutorial: How To Grow Orchids From Seed
Orchid seeds are very small. Consider this, an aspirin tablet weighs 500,000 times more than an orchid seed. An orchid seed pod can contain anywhere from a thousand to three million seeds.
The seeds are small enough to spread long distances and are blown high into trees by the wind. This small size makes it difficult to obtain orchid seeds.
Also, orchid seeds are susceptible to infection. Bacteria and fungi spoil the seeds, so if they are treated badly, the seeds will not grow. For this reason, avoid buying from inexperienced herbalists.
Don't buy your seeds through sites like eBay or Etsy. Buy orchids from known or reputable orchid farmers. However, the best way to obtain seeds with a high probability of successful germination is to harvest them from cracked but thick-walled orchid plants.
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After you buy the seeds, you need to clean them. Orchid seeds are tiny particles of dust, so make sure there is enough air to blow your seeds around. Using a sterile scalpel, open the pods and remove the seeds.
Use 3% hydrogen peroxide to clean your seeds. Add the hydrogen peroxide to the seeds in a small flask. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and shake well. Let the mixture stand. After a few hours of exposure to light, hydrogen peroxide decomposes to form oxygen and water.
Store your fresh orchid seeds in a small, secure container, such as a 3ml (0.1oz) Eppendorf tube. Store in a cool, dry place away from light. Do not refrigerate as this will condense moisture and promote mold growth.
Seeds can be stored for months or even years, but using them immediately increases the chances of successful germination. To dry the seeds, bury an Eppendorf tube in a pot of oven-dried rice.
What Is Orchid Flasking?
The final pH of the agar at room temperature is between 4.8 and 5.2. To make nutrient agar medium, you will need agar powder and warm water.
Start boiling water. You will need 25 grams (0.8 oz) of agar to make one liter of agar. Pour about 100 ml (3.4 oz) of hot water into a glass. If powdered agar is slowly added to 100 ml (3.4 oz) of water, stirring constantly. After mixing well, add the rest of the water.
Bacteria, fungi and algae are enemies of orchid germination, so you need to disinfect your workplace. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) for flasks, bottles, and shells. Leave them for at least 10 minutes. Allow the flasks to cool before capping.
Choose a clean room with an easy-to-clean desk. Use bleach to clean all surfaces in the designated room. If you can afford a glove box, creating a safe, sterile environment is your best bet. Although you cannot achieve laboratory-level sterility, your goal is to kill all bacterial cells and fungal spores.
Growing Orchids In Leca & Water: 5 Steps For A Great Set Up
Place all flasks, droppers, tweezers, prepared feed and seeds in the glove box. Include a spray bottle filled with bleach.
If you have a filter or fan in your glove box, turn them on now. Put on gloves and spray everything inside the box with bleach. Wash gloved hands and forearms with bleach.
Give the bleach a few minutes to work, then prepare the seed pot and dropper for the next step. Dip the dropper into the hydrogen peroxide mixture and drop approximately 3 ml (0.1 oz). Add approximately 100 ml (3.4 oz) of liquid to the agar nutrient mixture in the flask. Close the flask immediately.
Take a Ziploc bag and spray the inside and outside with bleach. Since germinating seeds need sunlight, the bag should be transparent.
In Vitro Seed Germination Of Orchids
Place the flask in a Ziploc bag. Write the date and name of the orchid on the bag. After you've finished bagging the orchids, place the bag on a clean surface near a window in direct sunlight. Clean up your work area so that loose seeds don't mix with subsequent seeds.
Germination of orchid seeds begins with the swelling of the embryo. Some species of orchids can produce chlorophyll at this time, while others cannot. The embryo remains swollen until it bursts from the seed coat. The result is spherical or cone-shaped seeds. This process is called protocol phase.
On the upper surface of the seed, the first symptoms of leaves appear in the form of small bumps. Absorptive hairs appear below, and the protocorm becomes wider. After a while, the first leaves appear, then the first roots.
Some orchids germinate in a few days, while others take months. Leave the flask undisturbed, but check the progress frequently. Fertilize your orchid as soon as you see roots emerging.
Easy Ways To Propagate Your Orchid
If it is a slow-growing species, the agar will begin to crack due to water loss. If you notice signs of dehydration, transplant the orchid into a new flask. Use the same sterilization method used to germinate orchid seeds. Before opening the old flask, clean it with a clean paper dipped in bleach or 80% alcohol.
It takes 4-8 weeks for orchid seedlings to reach a size suitable for transplanting. Each seedling was removed from the first flask containing the first agar and transferred to a new flask filled with maintenance agar.
Finally, the young orchid will need to go into a pot filled with coarse tree bark and other materials. Only when the roots appear is enough to move the orchid and the plant to work. Rinse off the agar and then swirl the roots in distilled water to remove any residual sugar. Organic residue can attract bacteria and mold.
When the seedling grows, you need to disassemble the pot and put the plant in the pot. Start by watering the plant so that the roots are moist and the middle is loose. This is a good way to propagate sympodial and monopodial orchids.
Orchid Seed Sowing Medium
Find a clean container with a few holes in the bottom and fill the top with about 2 inches of coarse fir bark. Add redwood sawdust, horn flour and dolomite limestone.
Heat the water in the cooking pot to 35.6 degrees. Submerge the orchid pot in water to soften the agar for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the seeds carefully so as not to damage the roots. If possible, wash the orchid in warm water to remove any remaining agar.
Plant your seedlings
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