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Thread: Bletilla striata seeds

  1. #1
    Got Drosera? Indiana Gardener's Avatar
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    I got the seeds planted today from my orchid that produced a coupld pods this season. I was amazed at the dust-like nature of the seeds. I wasn't even sure it was seeds when I first split the pods. I had to come online and see if it was, and how to plant them.
    The sowed pots, 7 in all, are resting now in a south window sill. I read that it will take about 12 weeks for germination to occure. I was wondering what germination/survival rate I can expect on average? There appears to be 1,000's, millions even, of seeds. Thanks.
    Bye for now,

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    People attempting to grow orchids from seed ordinarily raise them in sterile flasks. Obviously, wild orchids grow to adulthood without any glassware, but germination (and successful growth) will probably be something in the neighborhood of 0.000001%. A wild orchid seed needs to form an association with certain fungi and the baby orchid obtains its nutrition from the fungus. That doesn't provide good odds for the seed; one reason why we're not up to our ears in orchids.

    But I've heard Bletilla do better without flasking than most orchids, so maybe your germination rate will be more like 0.00001%.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Oh well, I'll have fun trying anyway.
    This is the method I used:
    "Sterilize chopped sphagnum moss by pouring boiling water over it; bring it back to the boil, then allow to cool. Drain, then pack softly into a pot. Sprinkle fresh Bletilla seed on the surface of the moss. (Seed should be from a freshly split pod or one about to split.)

    Place the pot on a saucer in a window which receives direct sunlight for most of the day. Keep the saucer topped up with water, (watering the sowing media by capillary action). Normal room temperature, around 68 - 77 F. (20-25C). Seed should turn green after about a week and after about twelve weeks, small single leaves, but no roots, should have developed. At this stage the seedlings should be transplanted to a fresh pots of moss prepared as above and allowed to grow to the end of the season.

    The following spring, plant the resulting small tubers in trays of potting mix and place outside for the entire growing period. Plant out or pot on at this point. Flowering should be within three to four years from sowing."
    Thanks.
    Bye for now,

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    Got Drosera? Indiana Gardener's Avatar
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    Just an update. I checked them the other day and they have all germinated...two months ahead of schedule. Now what? I won't be heating my greenhouse until Feb. What do I need to do for these new, one-leafed, seedlings that are now in the south window sill? Thanks for any info.
    Bye for now,

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Awesome! This is why people should try things instead of just assuming it can't be done.

    As they develop leaves, they might not be able to absorb water as fast as their leaves can lose it. I like to keep newly deflasked seedlings under cover (plastic bag or plastic dome) for a few weeks, and that might not be a bad idea for yours. You just need to pay attention for signs of disease.

    I suppose you can add a little fertilizer in a couple weeks. Make a very weak solution and give it to them by setting the pot in the solution rather than pouring it on them. Good luck and thanks for the inspiration.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Got Drosera? Indiana Gardener's Avatar
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    Thanks. They have been under clear domes with vent holes since sowing. I spotted some very light fuzz (mold) so I cracked them slightly. Seems to be clearing up.
    What would the signs of disease be so I can keep an eye out? I can barely see the individual leaves uncurling, so how would I see spots or whatever on them? Any info you may have is cool. Thanks again.
    Bye for now,

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