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  #1  
Old 03-22-2019, 10:43 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Tips?? Caring for flasks until deflasking!
Default Tips?? Caring for flasks until deflasking!

Hey guys! Although with my Rot struggles I am not feeling too positive right now but my Cattleya flasks just unexpectedly arrived and definitely were well jumbled in the mail....I know I have print outs stating what to do to help them situate and I'll look that up ASAP...i didn't think our weather was going to be warm enough for a couple more weeks but I guess the breeder felt it was ok!

I know I've asked for deflasking tips but anybody have tips for what to do and how to care for them while in flask? I know obviously I don't have to do much. Warm temps, "higher light"??? A tad unsure on what this means.

But I REALLY would like to let them stay as long as possible in flask before needing to deflask. It seems like this gives them the best chance at survival and health versus just taking them out at the 2" height guideline. I understand at the first sign of contamination they must be replated or deflasked....

My main question, do I have any control over preventing contamination?? Are there any handling rules or culture rules to prevent this? Do I keep the outside of the flasks as sanitized as possible and the area they are in or will this upset/harm them having the outside of the flask wiped down with physan or something? Would this do anything to help do we think?

Any other flask related tips are of COURSE also GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:33 PM
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If the agar medium and plants have become scrambled, you should de-flask as soon as practical.

While in flask, keep no warmer than regular temperatures for that type of plant. Don't over-do the light, or heat, or you may cook the plants. I would aim for less light than for older Cattleyas, maybe similar to Phalaenopsis.

See other advice on deflasking here: Please help! Catt Seedling dropping leaves, PS.B brown and dry
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:23 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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K guys. I guess they use different media to flask their seedlings with. The seedlings in the more think/felt agar medium arrived in pristine condition i feel like...see photos.

The babies in the other medium. Not so much. It's a much thinner more runny type of medium. One flask I think i can tap around and it will be ok. The babies are larger and have much less medium in their flask and are just larger and clumped together so are much easier to sit on top of the medium.

The other flasks babies are much smaller and I'm wondering if I need to get them to our lab to have replated ASAP as I don't think they are ready to be deflasked yet. I don't know if I just need to tap them harder? I feel like if It were a thicker agar then a hard tap would do more with but how runny this medium is it just kinda splatters around...

I really tried getting photos of this flask but it is so hard to get photos through glass! Especially with agar remnants covering the inside. And with the small plants inside, it's even harder to see so I'll retake some photos and get them uploaded.

Although I do not want to cook them these babies are warm growers primarily. The warmest of these like temp highs up to 85 and temp lows about at 70. The others like the same range but they also are ok with slightly lower night temps but I think I'll keep them all in this 70-80 range while small due to their heritage...Maybe I will set up separate climate greenhouses for the warmer and then slightly cooler range once deflasked...I'll have to think on this one!
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:24 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Ughhh! And I totally tried to open my photos on my computer first to get rid of the rotating issue but obviously this did not work! I'll look into creating some sort of public album I can just stark linking to instead guys so we aren't all clicking our head sideways!
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:51 PM
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Ok, the first flask looks OK to leave as-is for now. Indirect light, normal room temperature, should be fine. Visual check a few times a week to be sure no mold is developing.

The ones in the Kerr mason jar, though small, I would deflask if they were mine. Rinse thoroughly as I suggested in the posted link (above), eventually moved to shallow containers with bark, care as recommended at that link. I think you will get a good number of survivors. When I deflasked mine a year ago, I had some plants just as small, still have them, they are growing.

Which species or hybrids do you have in each of the flasks?
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Old 03-23-2019, 04:21 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Orchid Whisperer! I need to add you to the payroll! Make you like my "concierge" Orchid consultant or something!

Ok so let me start by saying. I know, I probably should have started off with some easier species for my first flasks...I have kicked myself plenty already and will full heartedly admit that I rushed into choices a tad too quickly and researched after the fact! With that said, any further tongue lashings for my idiocy will only be discouraging at this point because we are in the thick of it already! I really tried to find some Phal flasks I liked but I just couldn't find any that stole my heart....However, I have done a ridiculous amount of prep and research to ensure I can give them the best habitat just like their homes....then again are really any Cattleya species necessarily easy?

Ok so the lineup is:
- Cattleya dowiana Del Valle var aurea X Cahiz-Yrygoyen var splendens: that is the flask that isn't not entirely jumbled and still has plants on top! When I purchased over a month ago they should have been 1". Idk if he set my flasks aside then and let them continue to grow from that point or sent me flasks at that size now.

- Cattleya intermedia var coerulea aquinii 'Blue Rhapsody x self': flask in photo that is more jumbled. This is the only one that's I feel like is on the easier list...I was thinking since it is suppose to have the biggest flasks I could deflask this one first and have some practice/experience and mistakes out of the way before doing the other two...although that may not be feasible anymore...Same with the dowiana, Should have been 1.5" don't know if they have grown since or if I was sent this size

-Cattleya violacea var coerulea 'Fabio Nahas x Self': this flask is by FAR the most jumbled and they look the smallest but i don't know...they are just so covered in the agar mix that I can barely see the plants and it was impossible to get good photos of...they should have been 1-1.5".

For The jumbled ones, we do have a lab that offers flasking services for orchids about two hours away so I could drive them down if that is needed...

See photos below of what they should look like and maybe you will understand the temptation of choosing these guys!

If I am not a total failure I have 2-3 more flasks I want to get here in May-June....But we will just have to see on that!
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Last edited by emmajs243; 03-23-2019 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:52 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Orchid Whisperer! I just went back to your deflasking advice to view the photos and realized....in the first rotisserie chicken container photo....How many flasks/newly deflasked seedlings do you have going on over there????!!!!! That looks like a dream come true room to walk into! Just everything seems to be covered with flask babies!!!

Ok! Real question...in your second rotisserie chicken container photo..(lid off)...you have two separate containers filled with bark for your babies to sit on...Those are such nice, shallow containers!!! Probably nothing ridiculously fancy but they look perfect for once their ready to be put on the bark! Where do you find those? Are they just a type of deli container or do you order them? They are just exactly what I've been trying to find! Short and shallow!

Second quick question! When they go in the clear container after washing...nothing but plants...should they be spaced apart or clumped together or does it matter? Does the size of the container matter or make a difference? I'm a tad worried they are going to be bone dry with nothing inside but plants! Do I try to spray the walls of the deli container or the entire plant or just the roots...does it matter? I know some people say you need to keep their leaves misted but I feel like this always ends badly in adult plants so why wouldn't it in babies? They really just need enough humidity to keep their leaves hydrated I thought...

oh! I have been meaning to ask you for quite sometime now! It's seeming largely debated whether to supply a weak fertilizer right after deflasking or not...opinion?

Final question/confirmation: while all alone in the hardening off chamber/mini greenhouse you don't actually ever remove the lid do you? The lid is 100% on for the entire 2-4 weeks? It just was never mentioned though, "hardening off" does imply that the lid gets worked off but then once put in the bark they still go on the rotisserie chicken type container to have this high humidity still so that's why I'm slightly unsure on if you do remove the lid in the hardening off chamber....I would think they would grow better in high humidity anyways...especially at the start....do you wait to work the lid completely off until they are quite a bit larger?

Last edited by emmajs243; 03-23-2019 at 09:56 PM..
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Orchid Whisperer! I just went back to your deflasking advice to view the photos and realized....in the first rotisserie chicken container photo....How many flasks/newly deflasked seedlings do you have going on over there????!!!!! That looks like a dream come true room to walk into! Just everything seems to be covered with flask babies!!!
.

That's about half of a flask, Cattleya schilleriana, that was supposed to have 25 seedlings. I don't have a count, but I think I actually received more than 25. The others went into two other of the shallow containers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Ok! Real question...in your second rotisserie chicken container photo..(lid off)...you have two separate containers filled with bark for your babies to sit on...Those are such nice, shallow containers!!! Probably nothing ridiculously fancy but they look perfect for once their ready to be put on the bark! Where do you find those? Are they just a type of deli container or do you order them? They are just exactly what I've been trying to find! Short and shallow!

Those are just deli containers, the short kind you get blue cheese crumbles in, or taller ones cut down. I use an office single-hole punch to make holes as close to the bottom as I can. When I mention deli containers, I mean ones run through the dishwasher (if PETE plastic, pull out of the dishwasher before the dry cycle).


Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Second quick question! When they go in the clear container after washing...nothing but plants...should they be spaced apart or clumped together or does it matter? Does the size of the container matter or make a difference? I'm a tad worried they are going to be bone dry with nothing inside but plants! Do I try to spray the walls of the deli container or the entire plant or just the roots...does it matter? I know some people say you need to keep their leaves misted but I feel like this always ends badly in adult plants so why wouldn't it in babies? They really just need enough humidity to keep their leaves hydrated I thought...
I tried spacing them apart. I just used containers I had available, clear lidded deli containers. The ones I used were maybe 6 to 8 inch diameter, but nothing magic about that size. After rinsing I put them in those containers as-is. No medium. Lid kept tight most of the time, but I would open the container daily for gradually longer periods. First day maybe 15 minutes, following days gradually longer. I misted, lightly, before closing the lid again, if it seemed too dry. The leaves transpire moisture, so if the lid is closed, stuff doesn't dry out quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
oh! I have been meaning to ask you for quite sometime now! It's seeming largely debated whether to supply a weak fertilizer right after deflasking or not...opinion?

Initially I just used plain water (I collect rainwater, you could do the same with snow melt, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, anything with low mineral content). I gave dilute fertilizer regularly after the plants started growing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Final question/confirmation: while all alone in the hardening off chamber/mini greenhouse you don't actually ever remove the lid do you? The lid is 100% on for the entire 2-4 weeks? It just was never mentioned though, "hardening off" does imply that the lid gets worked off but then once put in the bark they still go on the rotisserie chicken type container to have this high humidity still so that's why I'm slightly unsure on if you do remove the lid in the hardening off chamber....I would think they would grow better in high humidity anyways...especially at the start....do you wait to work the lid completely off until they are quite a bit larger?
Like I mentioned above, those lids are removed daily, a little more each day. Started day after deflasking.

Gotta let the dog take me for a walk now, but will try to get to your other questions later.

[had to come back later and re-edit as the quotes etc. got a bit mixed up]


Good luck!
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Last edited by Orchid Whisperer; 03-24-2019 at 01:14 PM..
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Orchid Whisperer! I need to add you to the payroll! Make you like my "concierge" Orchid consultant or something!

Ok so let me start by saying. I know, I probably should have started off with some easier species for my first flasks...I have kicked myself plenty already and will full heartedly admit that I rushed into choices a tad too quickly and researched after the fact! With that said, any further tongue lashings for my idiocy will only be discouraging at this point because we are in the thick of it already! I really tried to find some Phal flasks I liked but I just couldn't find any that stole my heart....However, I have done a ridiculous amount of prep and research to ensure I can give them the best habitat just like their homes....then again are really any Cattleya species necessarily easy?

Ok so the lineup is:
- Cattleya dowiana Del Valle var aurea X Cahiz-Yrygoyen var splendens: that is the flask that isn't not entirely jumbled and still has plants on top! When I purchased over a month ago they should have been 1". Idk if he set my flasks aside then and let them continue to grow from that point or sent me flasks at that size now.

- Cattleya intermedia var coerulea aquinii 'Blue Rhapsody x self': flask in photo that is more jumbled. This is the only one that's I feel like is on the easier list...I was thinking since it is suppose to have the biggest flasks I could deflask this one first and have some practice/experience and mistakes out of the way before doing the other two...although that may not be feasible anymore...Same with the dowiana, Should have been 1.5" don't know if they have grown since or if I was sent this size

-Cattleya violacea var coerulea 'Fabio Nahas x Self': this flask is by FAR the most jumbled and they look the smallest but i don't know...they are just so covered in the agar mix that I can barely see the plants and it was impossible to get good photos of...they should have been 1-1.5".

For The jumbled ones, we do have a lab that offers flasking services for orchids about two hours away so I could drive them down if that is needed...

See photos below of what they should look like and maybe you will understand the temptation of choosing these guys!

If I am not a total failure I have 2-3 more flasks I want to get here in May-June....But we will just have to see on that!
Cattleya dowiana is notoriously difficult, especially in winter when it is supposed to be semi-dormant. I killed the only one I ever tried, and it was a significantly older plant. Still, some people grow them successfully, why not you?

Your other plants? Might be OK. I wouldn't beat yourself up over the plants chosen. Just do the best you can.

Try sending your photos to the flasking lab, see if they recommend deflasking or re-flasking. I can't figure out how a lab would be able to get those jumbled plants cleaned up enough to re-plate without contamination, but that is not my line of work, so maybe they can do something. I would do whatever you are going to do rapidly. I think that jumble of agar and plant is likely to kill your seedlings if it is not fixed soon. My best guess is that smothering leaves with agar will start killing leaves if it is not fixed in a day or two (leaves need to be able to exchange gases with the air around them). If you can't get them to your lab in a day or two, I suggest deflasking.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:12 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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I'm doing it right now!!!! I am on a brief break inbetween flask 1 and 2 and then I'll be back at it...I'm praying I didn't wait too long....I just really wasn't expecting to deflask yet. I figured a month to let them acclimate, as long as no contamination, leave hem in as long as possible, if still no contamination and i think they are big enough then a week about with the lid unscrewed to give them time to breath....I had this worked on to a T and had no idea jumbled agar killed this....then yesterday I saw you still recommending it, looked at my instructions a second time, and saw they all said immediately and started running around insanely and started first thing this morning and am praying I got to them soon enough.....just over 24 hours since arrival so idk.....I really hope so...
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