While some of the seed was pretty cheap, some more so then others, the whole set up kind of adds up. I just thought I'd post here if anyone wanted to try a hand at making their own orchids. By the way, I'm not the seller!
CaptMicha, from the description above, these look like seeds. I imagined they would be larger and fewer in number. I enjoy starting plants from seed, and because these are the only orchid seeds I've seen, I really want to be successful when germinating these seeds. Maybe you (or anyone else out there) could answer some questions for me?:)
1. How long will this seed be viable? (I picked the pod as soon as it started to open)
2. What is Agar? (I generally mix pearl lite, peat moss, sand, and potting mix depending on what I'm growing.
3. What is a flask setup?
And if it's not too much trouble,
4.Could you post or D-mail me a shopping list of what I need to get started?
Thanks in advance. It would be really cool to give a young orchid to the Gal who gave me the cutting with the seed pod in the first place.
Dave, perhaps you can buy some equipment to flask seed and some agar, but I can't imagine a set up with something like luminaire ultraviolet hoods, etc. for the price mentioned. Then there is the temp controlled environment and the sterile procedure of moving up the flasked seed. It is tricky enough to deal with buying "bottle babies" (seedlings that are ready to come out of the flask) and trying to unflask and grow those seedlings. I have some experience with that. I also have experience as a surgical R.N. and think that anyone considering growing orchids from seed needs a knowledge and background in sterile technique. Wish it was easier, but although I'm sure I could do it, I'd not spend the money or time trying. BTW, have you ever seen a flasking lab? Looks like an operating room. The ebay offer must be for pros (or cons).
This isn't a precise answer to your question but there is a lot of info you are looking for on this site. I have no experience at this stage of orchid life, but I say more power to anyone who want to attempt this aspect of orchid growing.
Now Agar is a sterile medium which is usually made from ingredients including (but not limited to) Coconut milk, Pineapple, turnip, and potato. The coconut milk and pineapple contain plant hormones which encourage germination. The reason the seeds are so small, as I understand is because the seed has no endosperm or any other form of extra nutrients. Most (terrestrial) orchid seedlings need a mycorhizal fungi to provide nutrients to the plant. In the wild orchids need to be able to find new niches in their habitat which they may colonize. This is the catch; each species has totally unique condition in which it grows, this means depending on the species and genera one needs different proportions of bark and sand etc. I would do some serious research before you just jump in, but still, tis a worthy cause and let me know how it turns out. Slipperman
Although agar, for the purpose of growing orchids, may contain substances to facilitate germination of specific species, agar, in general, refers to an algae medium used for microbiological culture. Since it is very supportive of cell growth, including molds, fungi and many types of bacteria it must be maintained in a sterile environment to support the growth of the selected cells. Thus the need for sterile measures in flasking labs. Any airborne contaminate can destroy the cells being cultured regardless of whether they are animal or plant.