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  #1  
Old 07-11-2017, 01:03 AM
Rothrock42 Rothrock42 is offline
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Default So many seedlings how to choose?

Almost a year ago, I got a flask of Prosthechea karwinskii seedlings. There were about 45 "normal" sprouts and 15 or so "runts." I potted up 4 compots. I've gotten rid of two compots, keeping the most vigorous and runt pots for myself.

Over the past couple months I've migrated several strong growers to bark and a few into small single pots of bark. I have so many of these now!

How do I choose which to keep and which to get rid of. I plan to donate a bunch to my OS sale table in a couple of weeks. Overall I'd like to only keep maybe 4 until they get to bloom size.

My first instinct is to keep the strongest/fastest growers. But does that always correlate with best bloomer and most fragrant?

I know it is probably luck of the draw, but I was just wondering if anybody had advice?
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:33 AM
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I think it is a gamble. You will never know what one flowers best unless you keep them all till they bloom.

Maybe keep 2 big ones and 2 runts. I might be getting a flask of some nice phrags. I am going to try and keep as many as I can and see the blooms.

Keep as many as you can.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:30 AM
Rothrock42 Rothrock42 is offline
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Good luck with the phrags snowflake311. I'm not sure of your growing situation. I'm a windowsill, in the apartment grower. So all the extra babies take a lot of time. If I had a greenhouse I would probably try to keep a lot more.

I've got some mounted vertical on bark, and, because in nature these grow on the underside of large oak branches, I also have some mounted on the under side of some horizontal pieces of bark. Then I've got the small pots with bark. And a small compot with five left in it.

I haven't even touched the runt pot yet! And some of them are actually coming on pretty strong now.

Of course I blame Marni Turkel, her website says that she tries for 25 in a flask. I got more than double than that and they all made it. Clearly if she wasn't such an excellent flasker I wouldn't be in this situation!
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:21 PM
Cym Ladye Cym Ladye is offline
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Personally, I never keep fewer than 10 seedlings from a flask, and more if I have room. From a flask of 45, I would try keeping at least 25, culling the small ones out each time I pot up. With a species, there will not be the variability you get with hybrids, and perhaps can get away with keeping fewer, but the 10 number stands for me.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:51 PM
Rothrock42 Rothrock42 is offline
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@Cym Ladye thanks for the reminder of the potential variability between hybrids and species. That isn't something I had taken into account.

Do you have a greenhouse? I would certainly want to keep more if I had more space. I've kept 1 each of vertical bark, horizontal bark, and potted with bark. I also have 5 in a compot and a large piece of bark with maybe 15 of the runts all over it. We'll see in another year or two!
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:55 PM
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Do you know anyone that does have a greenhouse that might be willing to keep some of them for you? Do you have any local vendors? I know a few members of my society have crossed orchids and had a local vendor keep them until blooming size. He helped these members choose a few nice ones, he chose a few nice ones and then he sold off rest.

In the past, I bought quite a few compotes of orchids that had just been de-flasked but I do not do that now since most of what I buy lately are Bulbophyllum. Who wants to be stuck with a bunch of Bulbophyllum carunculatum, all in bloom...successively? :|
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:55 AM
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I hear lots of people weeding out the weak ones. In some plants the weak ones are the ones with the best flowers... annual stock, for example. Has anybody paid attention to this in orchids?
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:14 AM
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Seedlings from flasks take a little extra work, even for greenhouse growers. Here is my 2nd generation seedling tub (see photo). Using this set-up will also be beneficial to those growing under lights or on window sills.

I used:
1/2" conduit (drill 1" holes) for the carriers, drilled 3.1/2" up from the bottom.
1" drain hole, drilled 2.1/2" up from the bottom.
White 'egg crate' shelf (purchased at Home Depot, I believe in Building Materials section) cut to size with snipper.
45% shade cloth attached w SS machine screws & washers.

With a couple of inches of water in the bottom, you get the high humidity the seedlings need. If you use an electric seedling mat under the tub, you can raise the temperature inside the tub a little. With the shade cloth on, you get the lower light seedlings need.

I use these tubs for compots (= 8-12 months for most genera). Any runts get a second tour in the tubs.

Finally, as to which seedlings to select:
A. The vigorous ones.
B. Possible spontaneous 4N mutations. Look for stockier and slower growing plants.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:28 PM
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Thanks, Kim, that's a great idea.
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