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Everett shows his orchids up close | by jungle mama
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Everett shows his orchids up close

Everett says...

"Starting orchids from seed requires sterile conditions until the seedlings are large enough to survive in the open air in a greenhouse or shade house. Pollen in the form of a pollinia is taken from the pollen parent and placed on the stigma of the seed parent with a tooth pick. A seed capsule forms and can take from a month to a year to ripen. The seed capsule turns yellow as it ripens and must be removed and taken to the flasker unopened. The person preparing the flask has prepared a special nutrient gelatine (agar-agar) in a glass jar and this has been placed in a clear chamber with gloves in the side. The orchid seed pod is then placed in the chamber and the contents of the chamber is sterilised with ultra-violet light. The seed pod and implements in the chamber may also be rinsed with alcohol. The pod is then opened with the sterile gloves and the very fine seed is spread on the agar-agar after which the flask is sealed and put on a shelf in a greenhouse or under fluorescent lights. If all goes well the seeds germinate, there is no mold, and in about a year the process is repeated spreading the seedlings out in is as many flasks as the grower wishes to produce. The first flask possibly has ten thousand seedlings and the second flasking can produce up to hundreds of seedlings per flask. After about another year the plants in the second flasking should be large enough to be moved into the open air of the orchid shade/greenhouse. If the plants are large the bottle should be broken and the seedlings gently pried apart and placed in clumps in a tray or in community pots."

 

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL

www.susanfordcollins.com

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Taken on March 9, 2012