Seed sowing - the lazy way
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  #1  
Old 11-10-2014, 12:37 PM
Silje Silje is offline
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Default Seed sowing - the lazy way

I tried to make a glove box from a clear plastic box because I wanted to sow my own seeds. It's just NOID seeds from phal and catts, nothing of value except that I think it would be really cool to manage to grow orchids from scratch and see the flowers of own hybrids.

The glove box fogged up and the gloves attached were a nuisance, and the flasks were contaminated, and I got frustrated, so I decided to try something else.

And this is what I did:

1) I've tried a few different home-made medium recipes without much success so in the end I've settled for Sigma P-6668 as my preferred medium.

2) I prepare the growth medium like normal. Put the flasks into the pressure cooker for 10 minutes, and put them aside for a week to make sure they were not contaminated.

3) I use a plastic ice cream tub and put a layer of paper kitchen towels in the bottom. Pour over enough household bleach to soak the towel.

4) Then I take a flask, put it into the tub and open the lid. I leave the lid with the bottom facing against the kitchen towels.

5) I use a stainless steel tool from a manicure set that looks like a tiny spade, but I'm sure the tip of a kitchen knife could also work, to dig up a bit of dry, unsterilized seeds and sprinkle it over the growth medium in the flask, still standing in the ice tub.

6) Then I take a small spray bottle with a fine mist spray, not a pointed, hard spray. I've filled it up 1/4 40% hydrogen peroxide and 3/4 distilled water, making a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution. I spray 2-3 spray of mist into the flask and try to make sure all the seeds are wet with the solution.

7) Put the lid back on the flask and let it stand in strong, but indirect, sunlight.

I've done three rounds with this and have successful, uncontaminated flasks from all the trials. The success rate is not high. From six flasks the first time, I have 2 that are still doing fine. From the second round I only made four flasks and one is doing well. The third round it's still too early to tell. It was only done a month ago, and the protocorms are only starting to turn green so I've got no idea how the final germination will be yet.

Seed sowing - the lazy way-orchid-propagation-177-jpg

Seed sowing - the lazy way-orchid-propagation-178-jpg

Seed sowing - the lazy way-orchid-propagation-179-jpg

I've realized that contamination can happen very late and very suddenly, long after the protocorms have germinated, so none of my trial flasks are out of the danger zone yet. But so far, so good.

Like I said, these are not precious seeds. They've been pollinated for the purpose of fiddling and playing around with.

I thought I'd share the experience in case there are other 'fiddlers' out there who's also struggling to befriend their glove box, and want to try something really, really simple that doesn't require any preparation at all, except the growth medium and a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.

EDIT: I'm adding a picture of my small tub and all the 'ingredients' as well.

Seed sowing - the lazy way-photo-13-jpg

I've used both a small one like this (volume app 1 litre) and normal rectangular 2 liters ice cream tub. I can't say whether one is better than the other based on germination. One flask in at the time. Lid is taken off and put on again while flask is still standing inside the tub.

Last edited by Silje; 11-11-2014 at 10:39 AM..
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2014, 02:38 PM
Cntry Cntry is offline
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Seed sowing - the lazy way Female
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I can't wait to see your results as time goes on. Good luck and keep us informed on how things are going.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2014, 02:41 PM
Bulbofett Bulbofett is offline
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Seed sowing - the lazy way Female
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I don't know how to save posts, so I'm commenting on this for updates. I really hope to make a couple crosses with my Ctsms., and this "cheap and dirty" method is right up my alley. Thanks for posting! I can't wait to see your progress
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:46 AM
Silje Silje is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulbofett View Post
I don't know how to save posts, so I'm commenting on this for updates. I really hope to make a couple crosses with my Ctsms., and this "cheap and dirty" method is right up my alley. Thanks for posting! I can't wait to see your progress
I can try to keep you updated on the progress.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:04 AM
orchidsarefun orchidsarefun is offline
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Seed sowing - the lazy way Male
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if you get your process close to 100%, you are going to be able to offer flasking services. I am sure that there are very few of those in Southern Africa !

I wonder if being "in the middle of nowhere" also cuts down on the number of potential contaminants ?
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:55 AM
Silje Silje is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidsarefun View Post
if you get your process close to 100%, you are going to be able to offer flasking services. I am sure that there are very few of those in Southern Africa !

I wonder if being "in the middle of nowhere" also cuts down on the number of potential contaminants ?

Yup...the thought has crossed my mind too.

What I forgot to mention, is that I try to be in a place with limited ventilation. But it's nowhere near sterile. I've typically used the bathroom counter because there's good light and a relatively small room I can easily close windows and all doors, but there should still be lots of stuff in the air.

I did it as a frustrated knee-jerk reaction because I had no luck with a glove box.

I had read somewhere that hydrogen peroxide turns into water when exposed to strong light, and that it could be used to sterilize seeds and that's what made me try it.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:02 PM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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I am looking forward to seeing yours grow!
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:12 PM
czayta czayta is offline
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Thank you so much for sharing! Please keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:32 AM
Silje Silje is offline
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Hello

This is an update with some new pictures of my latest flasks.

As you can see, the oldest flask is still doing well.
Seed sowing - the lazy way-photo-5-jpg

The protocorms in the second oldest flasks are growing, slowly, but surely.
Seed sowing - the lazy way-photo-4-jpg

And the protocorms in the newest flasks, sowed on the 14 November are starting to germinate!
Seed sowing - the lazy way-photo-3-jpg
Seed sowing - the lazy way-photo-2-jpg

Two (of 8) of the newest flasks have been contaminated, but since they're both of the same type of flask, it could be that the jars are unsuitable, rather than a problem with the sowing.

Last edited by Silje; 12-07-2014 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:23 AM
dendro king dendro king is offline
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Seed sowing - the lazy way Male
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This is really awesome, I hope mine turn out nice like this!
Two questions though, what kind of light do you keep them in, and also what kind of temperatures? Thanks
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