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Old 10-09-2005, 11:48 PM
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Flasks

Anyone have any experience growing orchids from flasks?
I purchased a few off ebay...it was really exciting getting a glass bottle in the mail and seeing these green little things in them! It was a slow process but I finally hatched them so to speak and repotted them.

About 50% of them died after several months... but that was due to my in experience with growing orchids in general. I'm sure I can do much better now!
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:00 PM
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Could you be so kind to explain to me what a flask is, thankyou.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:41 AM
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What is an orchid flask?

Well unlike other plants, orchids can only be grown from seed in a laboratory, and the young plants are then sold in sealed flasks, which can then be grown.

The idea is to purchase such a flask, exactly as Dave did, open it and plant the hybrids into peat pots for example.

Generally speaking, flasks fall into the category of laboratory apparatus known as glassware. There are several types of laboratory flasks, all of which have different functions within the laboratory. However in all cases they are used to hold liquid substances which are undergoing experimentation.
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:11 AM
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Smile

Below is what an orchid flask would look like a couple months after the seeds have germinated. The bottom of the flask you see a brownish gel (where the roots growing) this is called agar. Its this substance that contains and provides nutrients for the young seedlings to grow.
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Last edited by Dave; 10-12-2005 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 11-16-2005, 04:21 PM
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Hi,me again.
Many do not know(and I am not insinuating those who post here do not also)that orchid seeds are just that,seeds,but some of the smallest true seeds in the world.much to small to supply their own nutrients for germination and growth.So in the wild the orchid developed to germinate along with a type of fungus that produces vital nutrients for the orchid seeds as a by product.I once had seen an orchid seedling spring up in a drain trough in my high schools green house,In the lab the flask is sterilized...of course...then the agar is inoculated with seeds and I am not sure if it has nutrients present already or if the fungus is added also but that is why it is so hard to grow them from seed,for the common grower anyways,I am not even going to attempt it.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:51 PM
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Growing flasks is a long complicated process, best not done in the home unless you seriously want to try. To make a long story short, you mix a solution (the agar and other nutrients). You have this sterile, agar soup that's basically food for the seedlings. No, this practice is a substitution for the fungus naturally found in the wilderness. The seeds acquire food from the agar now, not from fungus. The agar is jelly like and is poured into a bottle. Sterilize the seeds (I've heard about putting them in bleach) so the seeds don't carry germs into the agar. With the seeds inside, close up the bottle. If any fungus remains in there and wreak havoc, the seedlings die.

After they grow up, you unflask by removing the contents. The jelly sometimes become dark. Put the whole glob of jelly with its seedlings in some water, swish around, and the roots become loose from the jelly. Then plant them in community pots filled with sphag.

I just thought the process is quite interesting. I'm not going into the details-which are vital--search the web and do some more reading if you're interested.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:44 PM
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Flasking is also a great method for orchid conservation since people can grow rare species without taking them from the forest. Here in Costa Rica taking the orchids from the forest is so easy that some of the showier species have almost dispeared from the forest with out flasking some of these orchid will disapear for ever. I am flasking orchids here in Costa Rica abd expect to use part of our production for reforestation.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:19 PM
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Flasks and Agar

Where can one buy flasks and Agar solution. I am trying to germinate pahps and would like to get in touch with anyone who might have experience with this genus
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:19 AM
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I buy my flasking supplies from Phytotechlabs.com. So far I have no experience with pahps but I think that they have a media for pahps as I was thinking of using it for the terrestrial orchid seeds.
Winston.
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:59 AM
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A few comments on flasking.

For those who buy flasks, the American Orchid Society has a good article on how to remove and plant the orchids when they reach about 1 1/2 inches. Plants this small need to be consistently moist as even a day or two dry will kill the plant. Also they need to be observed for damping off - (where the plant dies from bacterial root entering at the base of the leaf).
Good consistent air circulation will help.

If you search around the internet, you can find articles about growing orchids from seeds in a petrie dish (like a saucer with a lip) in a home. Since it is not sterile the success rate is low but fun for someone who wants to try.

Remember it is not quick success. Cattleyas take from 5-7 years to bloom from seed and paphs up to 9 years.

For quicker rewards Dendrobiums can bloom within 18 months and phals around 2 years.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:11 AM
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Another misconception to clear up. The agar is a geletin to make the mix gel so the seeds won't be sloshed around the bottom of the flask, and so that the flasks can be caried and shipped. The major food source, besides a lot of minor things, is sugar. Cynthia, Prescott, AZ
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:23 PM
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I have a phal seed pod that I want to flask myself, but I am unsure of which media to use. Could someone recommend a medium? Does the medium from phytotech or sigma have to be calibrated in terms of pH?
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:46 PM
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I don't know anything about flasks but here goes! :-)

What about light while they are in flask and how long do they normally stay in flask?
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:22 AM
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dear Luci,
Lightconditions differ from species to species, and intensity. Further light intensity is measured in terms of Lux, with a lux meter. Usually 12-14 hours of light is needed for growing orchids in flasks.with 2 forty watts tube lights, 10-12 inches above the flask.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:38 PM
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Thank you Joseph for your answer. I am glad I joined, I have learned quite a lot reading the posts. Everyone is very helpful.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:25 AM
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flasks

Dear Dave,
Regarding deflasking,from a flask,You have to note some important things which may be insignificant. First while you buy a flask, you have to see whether the plant-lets have sufficient root and shoot growth.If this is lacking please do not buy. Or if you have bought one please wait, your plants are as safe as a baby in side a mothers womb, keep it in a brght place in shade till the growth is appropriate for deflasking. If the flask is contimanated start defkasking right immediately..... to be continued tomorrow.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:18 AM
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Orchid deflaskinf continued

in continuation... If the plants in side the flask has reached the optimum growth, then get ready for deflasking. Boil 1000ml of distilled or clean water and cool it. By the time water cools, make ready the community pots , media like firbark or cork etc, the grade needed for seedlings. Some people may break open the flask , But if the mouth of the flask is wide no need for breaking. Add 1/4 strength of any of the fertiliser used for orchids like NPK 20:20:20 Along with a systemic fungicide like Benfil/carboendazime at 1gm./Lit of cooled water. Add 200ml of water to the flask [after opening the cotton plug in the mouth ] and agitate Few times. After a while the agar or gelling medium will dissolve in the water and gets losened. Just hold the flask upside down and jerk the contents out or pull the plantlets with the help of a forceps, into a small tray or dish. Wash in the plants in another 200ml of cooled water and see the plants are free of the gel. Grade the plants according to size and put them in the remaining cooled water with nutrients and fungicide for 10 to 20 minutes.grade them and spread them according to size. If needed slightly trim the roots if they are long. Plant them in community pots with the appropriate media in 10 or 20 plants accrding to size in com pots and keep them in a humid place with 50% shade and frequent misting with the same type of water used for washing the plants off the gel. In temperate zone the plants should not be kept where night temperatures falls below 70*F.
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