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Old 01-12-2007, 12:28 AM
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Red face First Timer with New Orchid Plant and Some Vanilla Seeds

I got an (unknown, medium-sized purple flower variety of) orchid and a bromeliad for Christmas! They are in the room where I keep the fishtanks, on the floor next to a south-facing sliding glass door. (I'm in the northern hemisphere.) So far, so good: after babying them while driving them ~700 miles in my car, and it's now 17 days later, no flowers have fallen off or turned bad. I am assuming they will be happiest with humidity around 60%? What about water pH for them? My tap water's basic with a lot of calcium and other salts in it, so I suspect that's bad, but my well water's got a lot of tanic acid in it. . .

Also, can I germinate the vanilla seeds? If so, how?!? I've been reading about agars and sterilizing with bleach (which seems too harsh to me). . .
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:51 AM
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Here is a site with seed germination info http://www.orchideenvermehrung.at/english/index.htm
Water: You can fill your watering container with tap water and let it sit for a day or so for the chlorine to clear out. Or you can get distilled water from the store. Water temp should be at least lukewarm.

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Old 01-12-2007, 02:12 PM
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Water with high dissolved solids is OK for most orchids, but you have to flush the pot often to keep the salts from building up. Flushing the pot at the sink with lots of water is a good way to water anyway. Not sure what to are saying about tap and well water. Do you have city water and a well? Minerals in water are not all that bad, infact, I usually water with RO water, but have to use my well water every 3rd or 4th watering to give my orchids the macro-minerals they need like calcium and magnesium.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:47 AM
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Your tap water is probably high in chlorine which is bad for plants. Let it sit out overnight or pore it into another container several times to aerate it and remove the chlorine.

You should at least learn the family of the orchid you have, If it is a Phalaenopsis it is OK where it is now but may be a little too much come summer. Other types may do fine where it is or may need more light to flower.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:27 PM
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Did you get the vanilla seeds from a vanilla plant, or from a vanilla bean sold at a grocery store? Vanilla beans sold in stores have been processed and are quite dead.
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Old 01-17-2007, 07:08 PM
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Cynthia wrote:
"Did you get the vanilla seeds from a vanilla plant, or from a vanilla bean sold at a grocery store? Vanilla beans sold in stores have been processed and are quite dead"

I'm not sure where they came from. I ordered the pods online!

I tried to respond before, but it did not work, so I gave up. Now I'm trying again!
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:23 PM
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If the pod is a dry light brown with powdery stuff coming out, that is the seed. I assume then that you bought this from someone that represented this as having viable seed in it. You didn't order it from a source that sells food products like vanilla extract? Vanilla beans for cooking are nearly black, very skinny like a shoe lace, and the center is like a thick paste.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:22 AM
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Red face OK, I Think I Got Its Picture On Here!?

Jerrymeola wrote: "You should at least learn the family of the orchid you have, If it is a Phalaenopsis it is OK where it is now but may be a little too much come summer. Other types may do fine where it is or may need more light to flower."

I took a picture of it, and (thanks to David!) I posted it! Somewhere... Now I can't figure out how to link to it... but I did figure out how to attach it to this reply, so now the system has the same image, twice!! (sorry)

After all that, can anybody tell me what my new baby is?!
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:39 AM
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Cynthia wrote:
"If the pod is a dry light brown with powdery stuff coming out, that is the seed. I assume then that you bought this from someone that represented this as having viable seed in it. You didn't order it from a source that sells food products like vanilla extract? Vanilla beans for cooking are nearly black, very skinny like a shoe lace, and the center is like a thick paste."

After you described the two kinds of pods, I think I have the wrong kind! :/ How do I get viable vanilla seeds and make them grow?

Last edited by KathleenToo; 01-18-2007 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:19 PM
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Are you sure you want to start with seeds? It is a technical challange to grow any orchid from seed. My recomendation is to find a Vanilla seedling on line using google. Other wise, you need to start doing some research on growing orchids from seed. It is too complicated to describe here. If, after learning how complicated it is, you still want to find a source, check here:
http://members.cox.net/ahicks51/osp/
or here for already sown flasks:
http://www.troymeyers.com/
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:24 AM
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Cynthia wrote:
"It is too complicated to describe here. If, after learning how complicated it is, you still want to find a source. . ."

THANK YOU!!
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:01 PM
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Red face Could my new plant be a _Dendrobium_?

Could my new plant be a Dendrobium? To my inexperienced eye, my new plant looks very similar to the plants identified as Dendrobiums on Cynthia's website.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:10 PM
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Hi KathleenToo, you are an eager beaver wanting to start growing orchids from seeds already . Yes for the most success you need to mess with agar and sterilizing...It is painful to watch them grow o so slowly. I recommend people starting out with orchids to concentrate on fully grown orchids. Then once you have a little more knowledge under your belt you could branch out into seeds.

And Yes you are right the picture you have is a Dendrobium!
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Hi KathleenToo, you are an eager beaver wanting to start growing orchids from seeds already . Yes for the most success you need to mess with agar and sterilizing...It is painful to watch them grow o so slowly. I recommend people starting out with orchids to concentrate on fully grown orchids. Then once you have a little more knowledge under your belt you could branch out into seeds.

And Yes you are right the picture you have is a Dendrobium!
Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know I was on the right track with identifying my new plant!

Yes, I am eager to learn about orchid life cycles, first hand, because I'm a Science teacher, and one of my many hobbies is tinkering with biospheres for the classroom.

Kids today don't very often live in a situation that enables them to get a real feel for where all the living stuff they are using comes from, so I try to bring as much as I can to them. If I can get a vivarium going with an orchid that actually produces something they will recognize as food, I believe this will help make the concepts of biological systems more real and relevant to them. Another very exciting and demonstrative aspect of raising orchids is the symbiotic relationship between the seeds and the fungi. There are several other extremely attractive aspects to the idea, so to me, there seems to be a LOT of potential for making orchids a beautiful, exciting and instructive part of the classroom!
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