Seed propagating orchids, time line & purpose
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Seed propagating orchids, time line & purpose
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:49 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Seed propagating orchids, time line &amp; purpose Male
Default Seed propagating orchids, time line & purpose

There have been a number of threads discussing various aspects. I would like to try to combine all facets here:

A.1 When you see a large number of beautiful orchids, be aware that 99.9% of them are meristems (cloned from a known good flower quality plant).

A.2 When you seed propagate, you will get random results.
In some crosses you will find less than 1 in 100 plants worth keeping. In other crosses you might get 10-20% above average, but a very large proportion will be mediocre or worse.

B. Time Line
A few plants germinate fairly easily & quickly (such as Bletilla striata). For most orchids, you can expect the time line for the lab work (mother flask + replate) to take 18-30 months.

While a few genera (small Phalaenopsis & Maudiae type Paphs) can be bloomed in as little as 18 months from deflasking, the norm is much longer.

Complex Paphs: 48-72 months out of flask.
Multifloral Paph species: 60-150 months
Standard Cattleyas: 48-72 months
Compact Cattleyas: in between
Miniature Cattleyas: 12-36 months
Standard Cymbidium: 72-96 months

C. What is your purpose?
Do you want to produce something new, better or different? If you have superior quality parent plants to work with, go right ahead.

If you 'just want to try' - please don't.
Producing a large number of plants from mediocre quality parents will not achieve much. You might impose on your friends to buy a few of your babies, but there is no commercial demand for such plants.

If you want a number of plants, so you can select the best, I suggest that you buy either a flask, or a compot or two, from a commercial breeder. Grow them up, and select the best after you bloom them.

D. Do you want to name an orchid for someone?
If you buy young plants and bloom them out, you can ask the breeder for permission to name the new grex. Some say no, but many will give permission (though they may want to know what name you would like to register).
Kim (Fair Orchids)

Founder of SPCOP (Society to Prevention of Cruelty to Orchid People), with the goal of barring the taxonomists from tinkering with established genera!

I am neither a 'lumper' nor a 'splitter', but I refuse to re-write millions of labels.

Last edited by Fairorchids; 02-18-2019 at 08:51 AM..
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:15 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Good post, Kim.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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Bravo Kim!!
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