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Thread: Orchid seedling

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    So my roommate has a bunch of these orchids, and I keep seeing these little spindly monocot sprout-looking things poke up out of one of his pots. (I don't remember the genus... it's one with thin roots, oblong, tapering leaves and upright psuedobulbs. The flowers are small and have that apron-looking lower petal.) I don't know too much about orchids, but I'm pretty sure these are seedlings. I was really thrilled to see them growing out-of-culture. The only problem is, they wilt and die before I have a chance to point them out to my roomie!
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/seedjar/orchidsprouts.jpg[/img]
    It's right in the center there.
    Does anyone know if this is indeed a seedling? What kind of care do they require? What should I tell my roommate to do with it?
    Thanks.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
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    Hi Joe,
    It's not an orchid seedling, but just a weed. The plant in the picture is in the Oncidium subtribe: there are thousands of hybrids.
    Orchid seed is raised "in vitro", that is, the seed is sown in sterile conditions on an agar nutrient formulation in a flask. Once the seed is germinated in these flasks or jars, and raised up to a certain size, they are removed and placed in groups in flasks again, allowing the tender young plants grow room. From here, they are removed from the flask and planted out in what is called a community pot, or into flats. This is a very critical step in raising an orchid from seed, because they are making their first step from the constant humidity and sterile environment of living in a glass enclosure to "the hard, cruel world". Once established in their new environment, the young plants are raised as a group and eventually sorted out as individuals and potted as seedlings. It is then simply a matter of raising them up to flowering size.
    That's it in an extremely simplified nutshell!

    Trent

  3. #3
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Aw... how disappointing. Well, at least I don't have to feel sad when this one croaks. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Thanks Trent.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    rattler's Avatar
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    Trent actually im not sure wiether its an "weed". it may infact be an orchid as i know exactly what he is describing because, oddly enough, i to have had one that grows, flowers, dies back, grows, flowers....ect in a pot of Oncidiums. Orchids do not need to be grown in flasks from seed(although it improvess success rates 100,000 times) the reason orchids are so hard to start from seed is the fact the seeds need to "join forces" so to speak with certain types of bacteria. if the bacteria is present in the pot, which is possible but unlikely, you can grow an orchid from seed without a flask. granted im no expert but the growth habit and flowers of this particular "weed" scream orchid to me. to bad i lost the pic of the flower i had. dont think im ever going to see it again as i threw out that pot of soil cause the oncidium had crawled out and the weed was in one of its dieing back stages and i forgot about it and threw it out after i cut off the current growing portion and repoted it in freash mix.
    cervid serial killer
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  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Huzzah!
    Actually, several of my roommate's orchids came from his grandmother's garden, where they were grown outdoors among many other orchids. Some of the ones he has up here are terrestrial and are in the same soil that he took them from, so I suppose it's possible that this pot has whatever bacteria are needed. I don't know if this pot is one of his transplants or one of his store-bought specimines, but they all live in one drip tray and are often in a shallow amount of standing water. So, if one pot had the bacteria necessary, I think chances are they all do now.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    I think that the standing water and yard dirt will most likely rot the plants roots....orchids generaly need very "airy" soil.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

  7. #7
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Nothing has died yet. The orchids in soil are terrestrial. They were raised outdoors in the dirt for years, then my roomie dug them up, put them in pots, and brought them up here. They've been growing slowly but steadily under fluorescent lights for almost a year now. Of course, this wouldn't work for an epiphytic orchid, but I understand that some (the terrestrials) have specialized for growth in denser, more or less nutritive mediums. Anyways, the terrestrial orchids are just neighbors with the one I'm talking about; the orchid in question lives in plain old orchid bark.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  8. #8
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    Its actually a Fungi that they share a symbiotic bond with. Labs do everything in a sterile environment, Orchid seeds can be sewn outside of a flask. Most absolutely must have the correct Mycorrhiza to succesfully germinate and vegetate a seddling. As for the pic, it's hard to say what it is for sure yet cause it looks like every other sprout. Keep good light for it in case.

    Good luck
    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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