Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Deflasking Orchid Seedlings

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by marc, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida
    As a surprise, i've been given a flask of seedlings (completely unexpectedly :clap:) and i want want some help transferring them from the flask to a seedling tray or a compot.

    i know i need to harden the plantlets for a few days before getting them in a new medium...but that's about it. I need details, please.

    I appreciate any experience you might be able to share.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2014
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,455
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Are you sure they are ready to come out? Do they have good roots? What the genus is makes a difference. I haven't heard of hardening them off before putting them in new media. Some people keep the seedlings with extra humidity after planting them out. I used to try growing them in covered containers, but now I just pot/mount them and keep them in lower light for awhile in an area in the greenhouse that has good humidity. I find that it isn't so much what I do with them as what the flasker did with them. If they are small and tightly packed, I will just separate 'clumps' leaving the agar intact and pot them that way. I now grow them in the same mix I would the adult plant but perhaps make the ingredients smaller/more in proportion to the size of the seedlings. ie: instead of medium bark, use fine bark, instead of a fine bark, sift it so you have clean bark, but smaller than normal. If you grow in moss, use moss. Hope that helps.
     
  3. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Gator Nation
    I don't understand why you don't do a Google search using 'deflasking orchid seedling'. I did there are about 20 great hits that are very informative.
     
  4. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

    Messages:
    4,437
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    I would guess it's because he wants firsthand advice.
     
  5. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida

    Thanks Jon, I do in fact want firsthand advice. that's why anyone would join a forum like this.

    who is to say that I have not done a google search already? as it turns out, i've already asked two growers here in miami to give me advice, but i'd like the skinny here.

    if it's better to give you the species, i'm happy to do that.
    it's cattleya nobilior amaliae.

    when the flask arrives, i'll provide pictures, including roots if any exist.

    thanks in advance.
     
  6. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    South of Sacramento
    Uh oh. Don't let Chris hear you say that.
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,455
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Yes, do post pictures. If it is being mailed, it may be jumbled and need to come out asap. Do you already grow this or related species?
     
  8. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida

    i certainly will marni...and yes, i currently grow c. nobilior.
     
  9. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida
    chris knows i got this flask, and he's already been promised a seedling or two.
     
  10. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    South of Sacramento
    :>
     
  11. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

    Messages:
    4,342
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Duluth, Georgia USA
    I *heart* nobilior. But I can kill a baby plant faster then you can shoot a beer.

    I don't see any harm in asking an orchid growing question on an orchid forum, Clark. It's not a big deal. Sheesh. :rolleyes: When we start acting like we can't be bothered answering orchid questions, we start sounding like some of the know-it-all, fuddy duddy, self-important people on that other forum.
     
  12. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Gator Nation
    I'm sorry. Guess it was just a thought incase no on the forum ever unflasked seedings before.
     
  13. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

    Messages:
    4,342
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Duluth, Georgia USA
    LOL, have you had a look at some of the people on this forum? LOL. LOTS of very intellegent and learned orchid growers here.
    Anyway, no harm done. I just don't want to hear "google it, dumbass" on this forum.

    Unless, of course, the person is truly a dumbass. :D
     
  14. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,455
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Having asked my share of dumbass questions in life, I'll usually even answer some of those. This was a serious question. Taking seedlings out of flask is very intimidating when you start and I hope more people on OI who do it will post on this thread.
     
  15. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida
    a dumbass, not an idiot

    OK, I'm a dumbass. you can call me any damned thing you want as long as you're intentions are good and you help me with my question. i got a very nice welcome here and have met people with whom i'd enjoy sharing this hobby of ours.

    I'm am, however, not an idiot. I'm perfectly capable of doing my own research. i use this forum as another information source. as reluctant as i am to say this here, there are other places where i don't get attitude when i ask a question. if that's how you roll here i'll go elsewhere.

    enough said about that.

    i am a little confused. i have read and heard quite a bit of apparently contradictory information regarding deflasking and transferring to a compot.

    hardening in the pot; hardening outside the pot.
    washing the agar off; planting the plantlet with the agar left on to feed the plantlet while it adjusts.
    use fungicide; dont.
    use a compot method; use a seedling tray.
    use pesticide; dont.
    fertilize weakly, every other wareing; dont fertilize at all.


    the one thing i know is that i should not overwater, and not allow the seedlings to dry out completely.

    any comments, recommendations, good natured insults?
     
  16. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

    Messages:
    4,437
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    I don't have much experience with catts, but I think a universal point is to ensure near 100% RH. Seedlings in vitro have always had 100% RH, so they haven't had to develop their ability to regulate respiration. This is why some people grow them in plastic deli containers for a bit. As for the agar question, I think it's a fine dance. Rinse off as much as you can without damaging the plants, as fungus and bacteria will inhabit the agar quickly. The only thing is that you don't want to disturb the roots too much when removing it. I like to use lukewarm tap water at medium pressure. A little agar isn't going to hurt. A lot will, though.

    Other than that, I don't really have much in the way of advice. Good luck. Oh... and do I get a seedling for being good? :)
     
  17. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Redland, Miami FL, USA, Earth
    That's not how we roll, Marc. MJ wasn't calling YOU an idiot, but there are plenty that abound.

    I can't really help with anything definitive on your deflasking question, because every time I do it, I do it a different way. Sometimes I treat with a fungicide, sometimes not. I've never heard the hardening off theory, but I wonder at its validity. The last thing you want is for a brand spanking new seedling to dry out. And it will in a lickity split. (Technical term, if you don't know the meaning, google it. Bah!)

    Bottom line, I've had success keeping a few rules in mind:
    1. Use clean hands and instruments
    2. Lightly clean the seedlings, and separate them by size. Chuck the runts.
    3. Treat with fungicide if you so desire (I've even used peroxide to clean them. It worked.) Caveat: if your flask shows any signs of rot, you will need to treat with fungicide.
    4. Pot them in compots with sphag or another suitable medium. (I've also used seedling cell trays with success, as long as each seedling was a good size and had plenty of roots.)
    5. Place in shadier area than the adult plant would desire.
    6. Keep moist and humid, but not soggy.

    Once you have 100 vigorous, healthy nobiliors, do I get one for being good, too? :D
     
  18. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida
    /cracks whip

    seedlings will be dispensed to the worthy, and salma hayek.

    thanks mj, marni, jon and alexis and all others who contribute.

    any other advice from elsewhere?
     
  19. Tom_in_PA

    Tom_in_PA I am not an addict

    Messages:
    1,951
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Shillington, PA
    I have deflasked species from bulbos to catts to laelia and have treated them all about the same. Washed off as much of the agar as possible without damaging plants/roots. I never used any fungicide and never hardened them off. I plant them in spag moss and stick them in the a bright shady spot for a few months, never allowing them to dry out, but not keeping them wet either. I have only lost two compots so far and that was due to bush snails/slugs!

    I do remember reading about ANTEC LABORATORY who claims they never washed any agar off and planted them straight from flask to compot. I never tried this myself but have heard others that did it with no issues and actually claim better root growth because they are not disturbed during the deflasking process.
     
  20. marc

    marc deathray

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    miami, florida
    thanks so much, tom.

    that seems like a common sense approach.

    you leave them alone, watering but not feeding. you get rid of as much agar as you can, so you don't hav to apply fungicide (which retards growth of the seedlings) or pesticide.

    is there any advantage to using a time release fertilizer like nutricote a month after a month or so?

    also, how do you get the flask open without killing the seedlings...glass cutter?