Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed
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  #1  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:44 PM
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Selmo Selmo is offline
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Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed Male
Default Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed

Never really had an inkling to to try to grow orchids from seed. Had heard how hard it was, how long it takes, and the success rate being low. Had read about people sending off seed pods to labs for flasking, with better results, but then having mixed results. With a few getting them to bloom. Seemed like it would be much simpler to just bye small established plants and not have to go though the process. Until last July when our Neofinetia falcata was pollenated and purduced about 15 seed pods.
It started to bloom about the middle of June (photo 1)
Seed pods started to show up about one month later (photo 2 taken July 14)
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2019, 11:04 PM
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Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed Male
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Beautiful plant.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:46 PM
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It had about 15 pods on it when it was done blooming. I don’t know what pollinated it. It could of been some kind of bee, as I did see a few buzzing around it. But there seemed to be more activity around it early in the evening and into the night. So maybe a moth or something like that. What ever it was, it did a pretty good job at. The pods formed quickly as it seemed like one day they where not there and the next day they where. It was pollinated a couple of times as there where two different sets of pods. The first set of pods matured, turn yellow, then brown, and started fall off, by September 16. (Photo 1) The second set of pods took a few more weeks (about 5) to mature, yellow, brown and fall off. I think the cooler fall weather slow down the matureing on the last pods. When the pods fell off the plant a few where open but most had not opened yet. I collected the pods and put them in a plastic bag with a paper towel. And put them in the refrigerator. Now I have had the occasional seed pod on many different plants, never did I try to germinate or think of germinating them. But with all these seed pods, why not give it a try.
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Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed-8064cfbe-5860-463a-86ba-30296660e8c8-jpg   Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed-e0a78c4f-02ee-4af1-87b5-3d1440e91c71-jpg   Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed-f1425282-e94e-49d6-82b9-c0c9ca7662cf-jpg  

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  #4  
Old 02-18-2019, 12:28 PM
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As the pods ripened, and we had decided to try to grow them. We started to collect small glass jars, usually 8-10 oz. (250-700 ml). We began to research, how to flask orchid seeds, on YouTube, Google, on this forum and other forums. Until we thought we had a small understanding of what needed to be done and how to do it. We ordered some agar (P-668 germination medium) and rounded up some needed supplies. Some small glass vials (15 ml), bottle of hydrogen peroxide, some bleach, 10ml and 5ml syringes, large tweezers, and built a glove box out of a clear plastic tote.
On December 23 we mixed up the agar according to the directions and made nine jars of medium. We put about a 1/4 cup (60ml) in each jar. We then put the jars in the pressure cooker and cooked (boiled) them for 20 minutes. Let them cool for about 30 minutes in the pressure cooker, then removed them and placed them into ziplock bags that we sterilized with a 10% bleach solution. We let them cool until the agar had gelled. Now, we would wait and see if the jars where sterilized properly and there would be no mold or fungus in the jars.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:35 PM
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We waited 10 days to see if any of the jars got any mold and none did. So far so good, on keeping them sterile. On January 3 of this year we started sowing the seeds. We put all the jars into the glove box and sprayed the inside of the box with 10% bleach solution. We took the open pods and banged them on the inside of a 15 ml vial, to that we added 9ml of hydrogen peroxide and shook it up for a few minutes. Most of the seeds sunk to the bottom of the vial. Somewhere I had read or maybe dreamed, that epiphytes seeds sink and terrestrials seeds will float. Don’t know if this is true or not, but these seeds sunk. Shook them a couple of times over a 30 minute period. Inside the box we sucked the seeds out of the vial with a syringe. We placed 1ml of the seed-H2O2 liquid in each jar. Sealed the lids tightly and placed them into sterilized ziplock bags. We had no mold issues for 7 days, when we open the bags and took out the jars to see more clearly. We noticed that 5 of the jars had water on top of the medium and the seeds where floating around in it. The medium had not absorbed the extra 1ml of liquid. Which we thought it would and the other jars had done so. What should we do? Would this extra water would harm the germination? Do you want to reopen the jars and risk contamination? How do you get the excess liquid out, with minimal risk of contamination? After weighting our options, we decided to open the jars with extra liquid and remove it with a sterile paper towel. It seemed to work efficiently and with minimal risk. Two of these jars did get mold in about 4 days ( photo 1). The two molds where different from each other, one was a single spot that spread out over most of the medium, the other mold was many little spots that that did not spread much at all. So far those have been the only two jars to mold.
The second photo is 10 day after sowing and being removed from the ziplock bags. Sorry it is upside down
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Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed-f107ce2a-36b7-4b36-aa13-06e47daee46e-jpg   Growing Neofinetia falcata from seed-7ba8c7ca-6498-4190-8581-ecdfeb97e3bc-jpg  
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2019, 01:29 PM
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Very interesting and detailed information--thanks for posting this process, and please do keep it up.


I too get upside-down photos; it seems to be related to the position of my camera(phone). So annoying not to be able to correct it!!
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2019, 12:20 PM
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After sowing the seeds into the jars and letting them set there, just watching them, hopefully something will happen. Did the pods have viable or sterile seed, are these Neofinetias or some sort of strange hybrid that was pollinated by something else, did we do everything right, did we keep the jars sterile enough. All these thoughts go through your mind. You think you see things, is this what it is supposed to look like? Don’t know.
We put the jars in our basement, where we have a small room with some LED and some fluorescent lights where we keep a some African violets. When the lights are on, the temperature in the room is about 82F and when they or off the temperature falls to about 65F. We keep the lights on for 16 hours a day and off for 8 hour a day.
The first photo is on January 20th (17days) and the little seeds are starting to swell up and turn green.
The second photo is on February 10th (38 days) and more seeds are swelling/plumping up and getting bigger.
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Last edited by Selmo; 02-21-2019 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:33 AM
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Now, it has been 60 days since sowing. The seeds have swelled into small spheres and most of them are starting to grow little points on them. I guess they are turning into protocorms now?
Looks like next time I need to be a little more judicious with the amount of seed that I place in each jar.
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