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 orchids

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Monet's Garden, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Monet's Garden

    Monet's Garden Member

    Likes Received:
    Does anyone have any tips for deflasking orchids?

    I purchased this flask of dendrobiums last week. A little scared to open it .

    I have also purchased a heat mat and a small greenhouse to house these babies - once I actually deflasking them.

    Attached Files:

  2. DarleneJay

    DarleneJay Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Cleveland, OH
    I started experimenting with flask last year. So I am approaching this with limited experience. However I have had a 90+% survival rate. So I hope this helps.

    Once I remove the seedling from the container, I gently rinse of the agar with lukewarm water. I get most of the agar off but don't go crazy trying to get it all. The roots can be brittle and tangled. If they are tangled try soaking them in lukewarm water for a bit. If you can't get them to separate easily, let them stay together. My biggest deflasking mistake was try to detangle some Paph seedlings. I broke so many roots! The seedlings rallied and are doing fine now. I bet they would have been better with more roots.

    For my first few flasks, I soaked the seedlings in a fungicide. But I have stopped that practice without any negative effects. I set the seedlings on paper towels to dry a bit. At this time, I arrange the seedlings by size in preparation for potting. You may find a few really small seedlings. I would not keep those. They are generally weaker and prone to rot.

    After about 15 minutes of dry time, I pot them into community pots by size. I use sphagnum moss in the community pots. I have tried seedling bark and promix, but I keep coming back to sphagnum.

    I house the seedlings in a near 100% humdity environment. I have used aquariums with a plexiglass lid and takout containers. In about two weeks I moved the lid open little by little to lessen the humidity in the container and start to acclimate the seedlings to less humidity. Slowly acclimating the seedlings is critical to their survival.

    Here is my latest project. I have found the process to be easier than expected and fun. I hope you will too.

    Attached Files:

  3. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Likes Received:
    Oak Island NC
    Some choose to pot them up individually, while others prefer the community pot to start, but those look to be pretty mature, so I'd lean toward the former.

    My technique is to remove them as a unit from the flask, and immerse then entire thing in tepid water containing a good rooting hormone for about an hour. By then, the agar will have softened a bit, allowing you to gently separate the individuals.

    I use nursery trays with domes, so I fill them with sphagnum that has been premoistened with the rooting hormone solution, and plant the seedlings well spaced-out - sort-of intermediate between compost and individuals (or a large compost, if you will).

    Cover, place in indirect light, turn the heat mat on (necessary in my cool basement), and wait.

    Once the seedlings begin growing, they get potted up individually, or into a compot, if they're small.

    As Darlene mentioned, a fungicide treatment is unnecessary - the plants are in a sterile environment until you "break 'em out,", so don't need it, and fungicides don't provide any preventive action to speak of, so why add the chemical stress?
  4. HobiBotanik

    HobiBotanik New Member

    Likes Received:
    This is an old topic but let me a contribute,

    Applying Previcur(Fungicide) is very effective and protective after de-flasking Orchid seedlings,

    More information can be found in link
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Likes Received:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I now use a fungicide. They are sterile when they come out of flask, but they won't be for long and can be subject to attack. If you don't have trouble with fungus then no need to use a fungicide.