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Phalaenopsis from seed.

Discussion in 'Propagation This Month' started by hydrogardener, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. hydrogardener

    hydrogardener Super Gardener

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    Almost a year ago I cross-pollinated a Phalaenopsis orchid and I have been waiting for the pod to mature to attempt to grow Phalaenopsis from seed in vitro.

    The pods have finally ripened and I have started seeds using both the dry seed and green pod method. There is a very strong possibility of contamination when doing this at home, however, that said, it is an interesting project to try.

    All processes must be carried out under sterile conditions. The seeds were deposited on the sterile media using a syringe, three drops per flask.

    Each pod contains millions of tiny seeds, but in nature, very few find suitable conditions in which to grow so the plant needs to produce millions of seeds.

    seeds day4.jpg
     
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    • hydrogardener

      hydrogardener Super Gardener

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      I thought I would post a brief follow-up to this project in case there was any interest.

      When I began the project I had little hope of its being a success, as I had heard that it was difficult and complicated. One member of another forum was going to try doing this and gave up. She contacted a lab and they gave her a price of $100 to open the pod and attempt to germinate the seeds. If they were successful, the woman would get 100 plants and the lab would keep the remaining plants.

      Not having tried this before I read a few articles online and followed routine plant tissue culture procedures for sterilization and placed the seeds on the media. To my utter amazement in ten days it appears that the process of forming protocorms has begun.

      The project is a long way from being a success, as the protocorms, if they form, will develop into tiny orchids that will then have to be replated into another flask and grown on for several more months until they can be deflasked and planted.

      I have no idea of what I would do with several thousand orchids, but this has been "on my bucket list" for quite some time and it surely is an interesting project.

      Phalaenopsis Seeds Day 10.jpg

      MAMA ORCHID

      mama.jpg
       
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        Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
      • kindredspirit

        kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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        Sounds brilliant. Hope you can pull it off.
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Super Gardener

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          Hi,

          Just hope the parent plants were good colours if you have thousands to give away /sell.:smile:

          Have seen far east Flasks for sale with good sized seedlings ready to grow on, but even they sound like a lot of hard work.

          Interesting diy project though, if you have the time, patience and conditions; how long to produce a flower, about 2 years ?
           
        • hydrogardener

          hydrogardener Super Gardener

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          I think the time varies by the type of orchid, but two years is not unreasonable. I read that some take ten years.

          Last year I purchased three flasks and they were not all that difficult to deal with. Now, I have many small hybrid plants that no one has yet seen flower.
           
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          • hydrogardener

            hydrogardener Super Gardener

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            The process is so complicated I really did not expect to pull it off, but I wanted to learn something by trying. I made a lot of mistakes, like putting way too many seeds in the media. They germinated but used up all of the nutrients in the media in a short period of time. I did not replate soon enough, so many of the protocorms ran out of nutrients. Still, I have a few dozen corms that appear to be forming into plants. This time when I replated the corms I only put a few in each vessel, and isolated a few to a single vessel or test tube. Since I replated and isolated them the corms have begun to develop rapidly. In just one day the one in the photo went from just a bump on top to what appears to be a tiny leaf.

            Actually, I am looking forward to crossing a full size plant with a miniture in the near future and repeating the process. It was that much fun!

            Baby Phal.jpg
             
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              Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
            • hydrogardener

              hydrogardener Super Gardener

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              Looking very good, lots and lots of tiny plants.

              phalaenopsis in vitro.jpg
               
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              • Tetters

                Tetters Gardener

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                • hydrogardener

                  hydrogardener Super Gardener

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                  Thanks, I found this project fascinating also. There are several vessels with UGOs, Unidentified Growing Objects, that I am not sure of how they will turn out. Large clumps of tiny phalaenopsis plants all stuck together. Mother Nature surely does some strange things when you fool with the natural process. I intend to grow them on just to see what happens. :noidea:

                  UGO.jpg
                   
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                  • Tetters

                    Tetters Gardener

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                    Cannot wait to see the eventual result - fascinating fasciation? I believe fasciated (crested) orchids are most popular in Eastern countries, but not so in Australia and Europe.
                    Have to add, it seems somehow as if a monster is being created there - yet looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
                    I thought that this situation was created by a virus?
                     
                  • longk

                    longk Total Gardener

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                    How small/large are they now?
                     
                  • hydrogardener

                    hydrogardener Super Gardener

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                    I would estimate that the clump is about 1.25" in diameter.
                     
                  • longk

                    longk Total Gardener

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                    So splitting is not really an option then. I guess that natural selection will sort the wheat from the chaff in the long run.
                     
                  • hydrogardener

                    hydrogardener Super Gardener

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                    At this point, I am not sure of anything, as this is my first attempt at this. There are several vessels with clumps, a few vessels with doubles and triples that should be easy to separate and a few with single plants.

                    Let's face it, I do not have space for hundreds of plants so some are going to perish at the end of the project. That said, I will let them grow in the sterile containers, as they are not taking up very much space and need absolutely no attention.

                    The mother plant was pollinated just about a year ago and I would think I have another year at least before I can deflask them. The mother plant is an absolute beauty and has been flowering in the greenhouse for weeks now.

                    Recently I made a cross of a large plant and a miniature plant and I am waiting for the pods to mature so I can try this again.

                    The photo will give you a visual reference of the size of the plants at this point.

                    size reference.jpg


                    Mamma.jpg
                     
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                    • longk

                      longk Total Gardener

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                      The Phal in the second photo looks very close to Phalaenopsis 'Yu Pin Pearl'
                       

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