Go Back   Orchid Forum Orchid Care > Orchid Care > Orchid Flasking and Seed Germination

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:14 AM
boxerfan's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Columbia, SC USA
Posts: 177
Images: 35
Thanks: 1
Thanked 49 Times in 15 Posts
boxerfan is an unknown quantity at this point
Question There are no Flasks in Nature

Call me naive, but I don't understand the need for flasking. In Nature, flowers get pollinated, they produce seeds which get scattered hither and yon and some eventually germinate and carry on the Species. So, why do I need to flask? Why can't I just plant seeds the more natural way? I look forward to hearing from my fellow geeks. Lisa
Lisa Grubbs-Carter (boxerfan)

Mom to
Emma (Boxer) and Foster Mom to Bailey (Terrier Mix)& 27 assorted Orchids, plus Tree Frogs, Fire-Bellied Toads and Turtles.
Thank a Service member, Fireman and Policeman today
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:34 AM
Catt Mandu's Avatar
V.I.P Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Georgia (USA)
Posts: 2,111
Thanks: 404
Thanked 820 Times in 597 Posts
Catt Mandu is on a distinguished road
In a nutshell, flasking greatly improves the chances for germination and survival (very rare in nature with orchid seeds).
Je suis Charlie
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:41 AM
janet_a's Avatar
Senior Member Photobucket
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: MD 6b--no wait, MD 7-- USA, planet earth
Posts: 2,132
Images: 2
Thanks: 42
Thanked 538 Times in 384 Posts
janet_a is on a distinguished road
yup. plant produces a half million seeds. maybe 1% of them will hit the right combination of moisture and medium and fungus and germinate. then even fewer will grow to bloom and reproduce.

flasking greatly improves the odds of getting mature plants.

that said... i know a commercial grower that had a peristeria elata dehisc all over his GH. 18 mos later he had baby orchids sprouting out of every nook and cranny and pot and mount and even out of the gravel floor.



"Apart from the utility of binomials for standardizing reference for effective communication, Laelia Speciosa is a tad easier to pronounce and spell than its Atzec name chichiltictepetzacuxochitl."

--Alec Pridgeon
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 07:12 PM
Ron's Avatar
Ron Ron is offline
V.I.P Member Photobucket
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Coast of NSW Australia
Posts: 4,621
Thanks: 3,817
Thanked 3,967 Times in 1,720 Posts
Ron is on a distinguished road
Quiet simple in modern times, need for numbers, cost and reliability of getting the seeds to germinate. In the old days and in the wild often survival of seeds were 1 in a couple 100,000. Now days if required maybe 95% can be germinated in the lab.

If you like you can spread the seeds around the base of the plant the seeds come from and be happy that you get some to germinated and hopefully flower one day.

Flasks has speed up the process, higher & quicker germination, more people need/want orchids and the flasking process has brought the price down so all can enjoy this wonderful hobby not just the rich.

I suppose you could compare it to ladys having children, in the old days often 1 out of 4 babys died in childbirth, often mothers also.
Now they have humicribs, intensives care units etc. and without all this my wife would have died in childbirth and I would have lost my first born son as well.
Again all about numbers
Progress bring a lot of good things

My friend Missy
Good growing, Ron

Last edited by Ron; 08-21-2012 at 07:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Ron For This Useful Post:
Forever-mango (08-21-2012)
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:01 PM
orchids4me's Avatar
Super Moderator Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East bay area, California.
Posts: 10,832
Thanks: 10,154
Thanked 4,422 Times in 3,810 Posts
orchids4me is on a distinguished road
And in the old days orchids were rare to have in your home because they weren't available to us and if they did get them usually illegally and at a very high high price to get one.
Also flasking has kept some species around that no longer grow and are extinct in their natural habitats. I have a few varieties of these in my collection, not so much as they are rare but to keep this species alive because they are rare and cycle seed when blloming size back in to flasking to keep them around and available for others to enjoy also.

Daisy 2003 -2013
Life is too short.... Buy more orchids!!!!

Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:24 AM
Bolero's Avatar
V.I.P Member Photobucket
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Geelong, Australia
Posts: 4,512
Thanks: 3,546
Thanked 3,432 Times in 1,258 Posts
Bolero is on a distinguished road
Some people used to sprinkle the seeds around the base of a mature orchid where the fungus lives that seeds need to germinate (or whatever they do). This can work but as pointed out above the success rate is no where near the same.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Madison WI USA
Posts: 321
Thanks: 0
Thanked 172 Times in 133 Posts
PaphMadMan is on a distinguished road
Why flask? For natural germination most orchid seed must come into contact with the right symbiotic fungus to supply it with energy and nutrients. No fungus, no germination. With the right fungus, a few seeds out of 100,000 might have a chance. And it isn't necessarily easy to even maintain the fungus in an artificial environment without using sterile culture, like in a flask. And it has to be the right fungus for that orchid, not just any fungus will do.

In a flask the sugar and nutrients in the media take the place of the fungus, and thousands of seeds can germinate reliably. And the abundant supply of nutrients allows the seedlings to grow much faster too.

If you want to just get a couple seedlings and you happen to have a plant with the right fungus in the media, go ahead and try. That just won't make it commercially.

Last edited by PaphMadMan; 08-22-2012 at 09:16 PM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature decide what they want to do digitalgate Orchid Care Cultivation 2 01-14-2011 01:51 AM
Nature at work slippery_biscuit Orchid Pests and Diseases 9 05-14-2008 11:27 AM

Free Vote Caster from Bravenet.com Free Vote Caster from Bravenet.com

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
Orchid Forum

vBskin developed by: CreationLab