Seed Storage
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:15 PM
michael_exler michael_exler is offline

Join Date: Jun 2007
Zone: 8b
Location: SouthEast, Louisiana
Posts: 74
Default Seed Storage

Can anyone tell me, what is the easiest method of seed storage?
And also how long you can expect the seeds to remain viable.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:25 PM
savor savor is offline

Join Date: Sep 2006
Zone: 8a
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Posts: 50
Seed Storage Male
Default Re: Seed storage

Hello Michael,
Here's how I store loose seed from a capsule that has split or opened. Ideally I watch for the seed capsule to begin turning yellow or I can see the capsule beginning to show signs of splitting. You can take the orchid inside where it is dry and tie up a paper coffee filter around the pod. I cut the capsule off of the orchid and place it over a sheet of copy paper. Plain white makes it easier to see. Sometimes I just place it over or inside of an envelope. If the capsule is not fully open, I cut it along the ridges. Gently shake the seed out. Then scrape the seed out with a toothpick or other tool. I try not to get the non-seed fibers and remove any that falls in. Keep just the seed. If not already in one, I pour the seed into an envelope and seal the seams. I fold the corners about 1/2 inch and tape those down too. Any method of folding the seed up into a piece of paper is okay so long as you eliminate the seeds' escape route. The paper 'breathes' and inhibits the condensation of moisture that is just humidity in the air. Never seal the seed up in a plastic bag. Avoid warmer than room temperature and a cool dry place is best. For me cool is below 70 degrees. Remember that the least amount of moisture will awaken the seed and most definitely fungus. There is a method to store seed in a refrigerator. That helps keep the seed cool but the regrig is usually a humid place with the possibility of fungus. So you would need to take measures to protect the seed. I have not yet opted to do that. I've seen loose orchid seed left out in the open on a petri dish for 6 months in an orchid lab. Kept cool and dry orchid seed will likely stay viable indefinitely. Decade(s)? Most of us will want to sow the seed sooner! So that is what I do. Others may offer different experiences.
Oh, if you have a green capsule, the best thing to do is to flask up the seed yourself or send it off. If someone has experience on harvesting seed to store from a green pod, I'm interested.
Good luck,
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Last edited by savor; 10-17-2007 at 09:34 PM..
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