Many plant lovers often wondered how to grow an orchid from seed at home. Orchids are flowers from the family of orchids, these flowers have exquisite beauty, have many admirers among amateurs and professionals who are engaged in the cultivation of this culture. Florists make planting and reproduction, growing crops in greenhouses, gardens, at home.
Growing orchids involves care, care. Reproduction of culture requires to give knowledge of the case and time.
There are several ways to grow an orchid from seed at home:
- The division of the bush.
- Vegetative reproduction.
Growing orchids from seeds at home is not as easy as it may seem at first glance. The orchid has very vulnerable seeds, often orchid seeds are taken to grow only in the laboratory.
For home growing orchid seeds, certain conditions:
- self pollinate
- wait for the appearance of ovaries and capsules with several million seeds.
It is very difficult to carry out home cultivation of a plant; therefore, the method of growing seeds from China has become popular.
What do orchid seeds look like?
The answer to this question may surprise people who did not know anything about these plants. Orchid seeds look like dust.
For comparison, orchid seeds are a thousand times smaller than a rice seed.
Before you start home planting seeds, you need to know that this process will be connected with symbiosis with fungal colonies.
What tools are required for home growing orchids?
- Glassware with a diameter of 15 millimeters and a height of 15 centimeters.
- Test tubes that can be replaced with glass jars.
- Traffic jams that close tightly. When using cans instead of test tubes, apply a gauze layer on the lid, and when using test tubes, use gauze with cotton wool.
- A tripod that has a lamp, or a grill that needs to be placed above a boiling liquid.
Before you start work, you need to to sterilize whole tool. To get started, you need training.
The choice of instrument is carried out carefully and carefully, the instrument must be reliable, high-quality and appropriate for the purpose, this plays a big role in achieving success in this matter.
What are the environments for food?
There is an opportunity to buy substrates that are already ready for use, and for them to strengthen the seeds. Substrates are sold in special stores, but you can cook yourself. Components for this are not always possible to find quickly.
In order to grow seeds from china, you need to have the following components:
- Distilled water - 200 gr
- Agar-agar - about 4 grams
- Ammonium sulfate - 125 mg,
- Calcium nitrate - 200 mg,
- Potassium phosphate - 0.6 mg
- Sucrose - 5 gr.
- Iron sulphate - 0.025 g,
- Magnesium sulfate - 0.6 mg,
- Manganese sulfate - 0.0075 g,
There is a way environment modification, it is necessary for more reliable germination of seeds. This environment consists of:
- Activated carbon - 0.25 mg,
- Distilled water - 200 g,
- Potassium phosphate - 0.6 mg,
- Ammonium sulfate - 0.125 mg,
- Sucrose - 2-4 gr.
- Potassium nitrate - 200 mg,
- Iron chelate, sodium humate - 0.01 mg,
- Magnesium sulfate - 0.6 mg,
In order to successfully sow, you need right choose substances that will be chemically pure, they will need to be maintained prior to use in certain conditions.
If it is noticed that any substance is not credible, then is necessary to study information about him, to get acquainted with the requirements that it is necessary to comply with for this substance, and in case something does not meet the standards, the substance must be replaced with another one, with consistent parameters.
Mix distilled water and agar-agar, leave this mixture to swell. After two hours, this mixture should be installed in a water bath, constantly stirring, and while stirring, you need to gradually add the ingredients that are provided for this.
After completing the preparation, you need to check the pH of the medium, the result should be neutral. The prepared medium should be left to cool, cool, the nutrient medium is ready for use.
How is disinfection?
Utensils, tools, and all that is used for sowing, must be treated with antiseptics, 2% soda solution, surfactants. Cotton wool, bandages need to be sterile, they need to be opened only immediately before they are used.
Sterility is a vital condition for cultivation and must be taken seriously. After processing the tools, they need to be placed in the oven, there they hold them for about half an hour warming at a temperature of about 150 C.
How to sow?
Before sowing, you need make seeds at home, they need to be sterilized. Sterilization of seeds is needed to ensure the absence of bacterial, fungal infections. Without sterilization there is a risk of death of the entire sowing campaign.
What are the sterilization methods?
- UV irradiation of seeds.
- Sterilization in bleach solution is about 10 minutes.
- Sterilization for about 10 minutes in 1% potassium permanganate solution.
- Use 2% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min.
Orchids should be sown immediately after sterilization has occurred. The sowing procedure should be carried out under sterile conditions and at a fast pace. It is considered proper and safe for seeds to carry them. seeding over steam.
In the tubes you need to add a certain amount of agar-agar, then fix them on the grid over boiling water. Then, with a disinfected pipette, the seeds should be added to the medium with a certain amount of liquid in which the disinfection was previously carried out. Then close the container tightly with cotton wool and gauze swabs, transfer to a room where the temperature is maintained from 18C to 23C for about six months. Light day should be maintained from 12 to 14 hours.
How is the care?
After seven days, seedlings will change. The formation of inflorescences of the form of green small balls will occur, then after a certain time the sucking hairs will appear, then the leaves will form.
Carefully watching the formation of a new flower, you can see that the roots will begin to form after the first three stages. The plant will be able to live independently, eat in standard soil only after a period of nine to twelve months.
Growing orchids is hard work requiring many hours of preparation, but at the same time it does not give a full guarantee of success. In order to start all the vital processes of growing seeds, you need to show high professionalism, patience, accuracy, and also this requires ideal conditions.
What seed is sold in China?
These varieties have not only a variety of shades and shapes, but also have a subtle, peculiar aroma. The most popular and sought after are:
- Dendrobium (Dendrobium),
- Cymbidium (Cymbidium),
- Wanda (Vanda).
This plant grows in nature in remote places, impassable thickets and secluded valleys, far from people. Therefore, in China, this flower is a symbol of moderation, solitude and modesty.
Is it possible to grow a flower out of it?
If you have become the happy owner of real orchid seeds purchased on a Chinese site, then according to the theory, you can grow a flower from them.
But it is worth understanding that growing orchids from seeds is a very long and laborious process. We will have to buy the necessary material and equipment, maintain optimum temperature and sterility. It is necessary to equip a real laboratory at home, as the process of germinating seeds experienced gardeners is jokingly called. At the same time, patience will have to be reserved, since it will take a very long time to wait for the seedlings. Seeds will turn into a real, flowering plants can only after 4-6 years.
Features to consider
Not all Chinese sellers are bona fide, and one can often encounter such a problem that planting material, such as lawn grass or weeds, can come instead of orchid seeds. After such a deception, many are frustrated and stop trying to write out to grow the seeds of this exotic plant.
What does it look like?
Orchid seeds resemble dust - so small they are. If you compare orchid seed with a grain of wheat, it is 15,000 times less. In addition, they have almost no stock of nutrients for germination. The question arises, how in nature does an orchid seed multiply? The answer is simple - the number of seeds. One plant can produce up to 5 million seeds, which are quickly spread by wind and deposited on trees, but only a few later germinate - this is a harsh natural selection.
In the photo you can see the seeds themselves orchids, as well as what has grown from them.
This is how the seeds look:
And this is an adult plant:
How to check for authenticity?
After receiving the package, open the package and carefully examine its contents before planting seeds at home. Real seeds should be:
- very fine - like dust. The size of one seed from 0, 35 to 3 mm in length and 0.08-0.3 mm in width,
- beige, cream or light brown,
- the form is narrow and elongated.
Very often flower growers make a purchase by reading the positive reviews on the seller’s website and looking at the high rating. But reviews in most cases talk about the speed of delivery or packaging.. Photos of plants are usually not applied, as it takes a long time to grow.
Sometimes flower lovers, having received large seeds in the mail, hope that it is a seed box. But it should be green and no longer than 3 cm, the shape resembles wheat grain. Besides,
What caused the difficulties of growing
Seeds of plants of the family of orchids never germinate in the usual conditions for most plants - instead of the earth, they need a nutrient substrate. The reason for this was their special structure and physiological properties:
- seeds lack endosperm - the embryo is forced to receive food from the substrate,
- the microscopic size of the seed material - get enough sleep when the box cracks,
- lack of protection - without endosperm, orchid seeds are susceptible to any external influences and pathogenic microbes.
To the note: in nature, orchids often form a symbiosis with mushrooms and are sown on myceliums, which provide the seeds with nutrition and microclimate.
Where to get seed
To get seeds at home, pollinate orchid flowers. Using a soft brush or cotton wool, collect the pollen from the stamens of one plant and transfer to the pistil of the other.
Fruit ripening orchid lasts 3-8 months. When the ovary grows sufficiently, tie it with a napkin - then when the fruit is cracked, the seeds will not fall out on the ground. The fruit is considered ripe when spontaneously revealed.
Note: the orchid seed is so small that it cannot be viewed without a microscope. The sizes are compensated by quantity - 3-5 million pieces are made from one flower.
An affordable way to obtain material for planting is to order from Chinese suppliers. This path is easier than searching the local flower market.
Nevertheless, it is better to look in advance at the photo how the seeds look, so as not to waste time on the fact that unscrupulous sellers sometimes pour in sachets.
Choosing and preparing dishes
The best option instead of the usual pots - dishes for chemical experiments: conical flasks with screw caps of 250-300 ml, laboratory tubes 1.5x15 cm, to them make cotton-gauze stoppers, which are wrapped in foil.
You can also use bottles of injection solutions (200-500 ml), glass jars with twists from baby puree, or sterile pharmacy containers for analysis.
Important point: no matter what kind of dishes you choose, the lids should fit snugly and ensure tightness.
Then the containers (except pharmacy containers) must be rinsed with soda solution and sterilized in an oven or double boiler. The technique is the same as when preparing cans for home canning, only time needs to be doubled (30 minutes).
Preparation of nutrient medium
There are many recipes for jelly seeds of orchids, but we will focus on two proven.
Recipe number 1. Per liter of water (distilled) you will need:
- agar-agar powder - 8.0 g (4 tsp), if it is in flakes - 16.0 g (8 tsp),
- glucose, fructose - 10.0 g each,
- crushed activated carbon - 1.0 g,
- Comprehensive dressing for orchids - diluted according to the instructions.
An important point! Using litmus (indicator) paper, measure the acidity of the nutrient medium. Normal values for the development of orchid seeds are 4.8 / 5.2 pH.
To bring the acidity to the optimum level can be drip by adding solutions of potash and phosphoric acid. It is also permissible to use soda and lemon juice.
Technology of preparation of the nutrient medium is the same as conventional jelly:
- Put the agar-agar in plain water for swelling.
- Put the mixture to warm while stirring, add all the ingredients.
- When it boils, heat another 30-60 seconds until thick and smooth.
Hot jelly for seeds pour into sterile flasks (jars), immediately close them with lids. Layer thickness - 3-4 cm.
Recipe No. 2. Distilled water is needed in a volume of 400 ml, take the other components:
- potato starch - 80.0 g,
- sugar, honey - 4.0 g each,
- ground banana - 25.0 g or pineapple juice - 35.0 g,
- coal - 1 tablet, ground into powder,
- dressing for orchids - according to the instructions, based on the volume of liquid.
Water put to heat, put all the components. When the mixture warms up and begins to thicken, adjust the acidity, pour into flasks.
Please note: pouring liquid in containers, do not allow contact with the walls and necks. To do this, use a funnel with a tube or a 50-cubic syringe.
What do orchid seeds look like
In the dry, drop-down three or six doors, a box or a pod, about 4 million powdered seeds ripen, which are spread by gusts of wind. They are so tiny that it is difficult to examine them without a microscope.
The length of each seed varies from 0.35 to 3.3 mm, and the width, respectively, from 0.08 to 0.3 mm. Seed orchid dust is not black, but a light yellowish-cream color. The embryo is even harder to see, its dimensions are quite tiny - approximately 0.05-0.26 mm long and 0.04-0.19 mm wide.
Why orchid seeds can not be grown in ordinary substrate
There are only proteins and fat-like substances in the cells of a ripe embryo, and there are absolutely no starch grains containing carbohydrate stores to support the process of cell division. In botanical terms, the endosperm is completely absent - the nourishing tissue surrounding the embryo and characteristic of the seeds of most flowering plants. Without receiving organic matter from the outside, orchid seeds lack the possibility of germination.
Orchids have found a way to survive in symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi penetrating into seeds. Occasionally, if the fungus is stronger, it destroys the seed, but usually all the same organisms coexist with mutual benefit for each other.
Often young plants germinate next to the parent, which is not surprising, because an adult orchid, as a rule, grows on a mycelium. Wind-related seeds germinate only if they manage to get to the place where the mushrooms live. The rest are dying, so caring nature and made sure that the planting material turned out a lot in the pollination process.
How to pollinate orchids and collect their seeds
In the wild, most orchids are pollinated by insects. In a residential environment you have to do it yourself.
Orchids have cross-pollination, so it is possible only if there are two simultaneously flowering plants of the same species, for example, phalaenopsis. The color gamut of new plants obtained from seeds as a result of this manipulation differs in more varied shades as compared to parent orchids. Pollination produced in the following order:
- In the upper part of the flower are anthers, in the nest of which pollen forms, glued into compact lumps - pollinia. They are surrounded by a thin film.
- Disinfected with forceps, gently open the shell.
- A small lump of pollinia is grabbed from the flower of the first orchid and transferred to a small notch of the column located in the lower part of the flower of another phalaenopsis.
- The same procedure is done once again, but already with the polinyas of the second orchid and the column of the first. It turns out two cross-pollinated flower.
- If all actions were correct, after a day the nests of the anthers of both plants are closed.
Soon the pollinated flower fades, and in its place after one and a half to two weeks the fruit begins to form. If a faded flower falls, then pollination failed.
The fruit is a pod or box, tightly packed with microscopic seeds. It takes a lot of time to mature them - from six months to 8 months.
Initially, the pod is greenish, and as it ripens it acquires beige yellowness. Чтобы не прозевать его растрескивание, вокруг него закрепляют бумажный конвертик.
Since it is quite problematic to pollinate and collect seeds at home, they are more often bought from suppliers of orchids, usually from China.
Choosing the right crop capacity
In advance, before growing an orchid from seeds at home, it is advisable to purchase appropriate glassware, which can be sealed tightly. For example, the famous Erlenmeyer flask or other vessels for chemical reagents that are offered for sale in specialized stores. However, ordinary banks are quite able to cope with the task if they are sterilized properly. Complete with flasks are usually sold and plugs. For cans, caps previously pre-disinfected are used.
In the laboratories of greenhouses and greenhouses, the crops are sterilized in special autoclaves. In an apartment setting, an oven or pressure cooker is quite suitable for this purpose, inside which well-washed cans with lids or cones are placed and calcined for 30 minutes at a temperature of approximately 130–150 degrees.
Folk recipes nutrient medium
Due to the inaccessibility of the ready-made purchase medium, many orphan growers prepare the nutrient mixture independently using natural products per 1 liter of distilled water:
- freshly prepared potato juice - 450 ml,
- lemon juice - 1 tsp,
- powdered sugar - 40 g,
- agar-agar - 15–20 g,
- fertilizer for orchids - 7 ml.
- agar-agar - 5 g,
- honey and brown sugar - 10 g,
- fertilizer for orchids - 1 ml.
- potato starch - 200 g,
- freshly squeezed tomato puree half a pound of tomatoes
- coconut water - half a liter,
- agar-agar - 20 g,
- liquid fertilizer for orchids - 1-2 ml.
- banana puree - 70 g,
- honey and sugar - 10 g,
- starch - 200 g,
- activated carbon powder - 3 tablets
- fertilizer for orchids - 2-3 ml.
460 ml of distilled water:
- sugar and honey - 5 g each,
- pineapple juice - 40 ml,
- activated charcoal - 1 tablet, ground into powder,
- starch - 100 g,
- fertilizer for orchids - 2-3 ml.
Half of the volume of water is used to make jelly from agar-agar, in the second half, heated to 95 degrees, dissolve all other components, stir for 3-5 minutes and pour it into jelly.
Purchase environment: types and characteristics
The basic basis of each nutrient mixture for growing orchids from seeds at home is an agar-agar preparation - a compound of several types of polysaccharides extracted from red and brown algae. A yellowish or almost white powder of agar-agar, when poured over with water, quickly transforms into a jelly mass. It is important to observe the proportions in the dissolution of the powder indicated on the package, because in a very liquid medium the seeds sink, and in the thick and viscous the formation of roots is complicated.
Popular in use not only by amateur orchees, but also on an industrial scale in many greenhouses is the nutrient medium for L. Knudson's orchid seeds, which allows germinating the seeds of exotic beauties without using symbiosis with mushrooms.
When purchasing the classical culture medium Burgeff EG-1 from suppliers, it is necessary to specify for which plants it will be used, because the composition is different. For example, for sympodial orchids — Cattley, oncidiums, dendrobiums, and others — it consists of two parts, which are prepared separately and then mixed. The first part contains calcium nitrate and sulphates of iron, magnesium and ammonium, the second consists of calcium phosphates - normal and “acidic”, lavulose, glucose, agar-agar and distilled water.
For phalaenopsis, vandas and other monopodial orchids, other components of the nutrient medium - except agar-agar and water, citrates of iron and potassium, ammonium and magnesium sulphates, calcium nitrate and dextrose. Ground orchids are grown in a nutrient medium, similar in composition to the medium for monopodial orchids, but with the addition of fructose. There are other nutritional mixtures for growing orchid seeds, for example, Thomale GD and Norstog, but more seedlings survive on Burgeff EG-1.
How to sow: step by step instructions
- The prepared nutrient medium is poured into sterilized glass containers in advance — jars or flasks, trying not to spill it over the vessel walls — 30–40 g per 100 ml of volume.
- Then the containers are sterilized once again together with the poured mixture as much in time as they are empty, and a day later the procedure is repeated.
- Leave for about 4–5 days to observe - if there is no mold on top of the mixture or on the walls of the vessel, it means you can sow.
- Just before sowing, everything necessary for sowing is placed inside a disinfected container, plastic or glass.
- Sterilized and seeds - put them in a solution of calcium hypochloride at the rate of 10 g per 100 ml of distilled water, for about 10–15 minutes, constantly shaking.
- Use a sterile syringe or pipette to collect planting material from this solution and distribute it evenly over the entire surface of the nutrient mixture, doing it as soon as possible.
- Plump the vessels and place them in a specially selected place.
A small mini-hothouse, homemade greenhouse or florarium will ideally suit for placement of crops tanks. Depending on the type of sown orchid, the formation of seedlings occurs within 6–9 months.
During this period, crops are kept in constant conditions with good illumination for at least 14 hours a day; if illumination is necessary, the light source is placed at a distance of 30 cm from the vessels.
The ambient temperature is kept constant at a level of 25–28 degrees of heat without sudden drops. Humidity is desirable in the order of 70%.
At first, tiny green balls appear on the surface of the nutrient mixture. Soon, barely noticeable hair-like rhizoids, intended for the absorption of vital nutrients from the mixture, stretch from them. Then the leaves are formed and, at the very last moment, the roots, when the plant already possesses 2–3 true leaf plates.
Possible problems with crops
The reproduction of orchids by seeds is a complicated process and a long one. The main difficulty in growing seedlings from seeds is to observe complete sterility. At the slightest mistake, mold appears on the surface of the crops, and this means that all efforts were in vain.
Some orchid farmers are trying to save the seedlings: they prepare a new medium, and the contents of the vessel affected by mold are poured into a small bowl and 2–3 drops of a 1% solution of fungicide, for example, foundation, biostimulant and hydrogen peroxide are dropped into it. After 15-17 minutes, the seedlings are moved to a new environment.
Problems also arise in the removal of young plants from the vessels in which they were germinated, and their further adaptation in the environment. The remains of the nutrient medium should be well washed in a solution of fluconazole to avoid the appearance of various microorganisms that provoke the rotting of the root system of the plant.
When to remove from the seed tank and transplant to the substrate?
Sprouted seedlings are removed from the vessels with a nutrient medium no earlier than after a year. You can get them with tweezers, gently rotating in a circular motion clockwise, so as not to injure the roots. You can simply pour the contents of the container into a bowl of warm water, into which 1–3 drops of the foundationol solution are added, wash the seedlings and decompose to dry on a clean, dry cloth or cloth.
They are planted for growing in small transparent disposable cups, which are filled with drainage and substrate from small fragments of rhizomes of fern, sphagnum moss and pine bark, taken in equal parts.
Care for seedlings in the first days after planting
Small orchids are watered by spraying the substrate, very closely monitoring its condition in order to prevent overmoistening. Roots of young plants are very vulnerable to excess moisture, instantly leading to their decay, especially in conditions of low indoor temperatures.
After half a year, grown and matured orchids are transplanted into the substrate for adult specimens and look after them accordingly. Exotic seeds grown from seeds bloom after 4 or 5 years.
Before you decide on sowing orchid seeds at home, it is advisable to assess your capabilities, strength, and understand that you have to cope with a difficult task. Even the super-experienced orkhievodov fails to germinate orchid seeds the first time. Consequently, one should not despair if one is disappointed by the failure after one sowing. Experience comes with time, and a blooming, delightful orchid, lovingly cherished from a tiny green ball, will be the best terrific gift and the most valuable reward for your efforts.
The most convenient way to do this is to use a double boiler: pour water into the pan, place the flasks (jars) with the stoppers closed, and cover with a lid. After boiling sterilize the mixture for half an hour. Repeat the process twice with a period of 24 hours.
To avoid wasting orchid seeds, make sure of the sterilization quality: for 4-5 days, watch the closed cans. If mold mold does not appear, the medium is considered sterile.
Orchid seed planting process
- Prepare everything you need: containers with nutrient jelly, seed, pipette or a new insulin syringe, grate, container under water, gloves, for the face - a cotton-gauze bandage.
- Make disinfection solutions. It will take calcium hypochlorite (lime chloride) - diluted with 10 g / 100 ml of water, pharmacy hydrogen peroxide in a 3% solution. You can use the "Whiteness", diluted with water at 40%.
- Sterilize all work surfaces, tools, and also hands or gloves with chlorine-containing fluid.
- Set the pot to warm, wait for the boil and steam. Put flasks with nutrient jelly on the grid, remove the plugs just before planting.
An important point: do not allow drafts, because fungal spores are contained in the air and dust particles. Hot steam will protect the mixture from the penetration of pathogenic flora.
- Orchid seeds are also sterilized. Pour the seed into an empty syringe without a needle (pipette), dial into it peroxide, shake. After 1-5 minutes (depending on the size of the seed dust), sow, adding 2-5 drops to each container, shake it for better distribution, close the lids tightly.
Another method of disinfecting orchid seeds is much more laborious. Seed dust is poured into a 10% chlorine solution, incubated for 8-10 minutes, filtered.
It is then immersed in distilled water, because chlorine is aggressive and can damage both the cover and the embryo. After that, the material is again filtered and sown.
Stage of germinating orchid seeds
Put sowed containers in a warm place with bright but diffused lighting. Daytime temperatures should be in the range of + 21 ... 24º C, night - not less than + 18º C.
The duration of the light period is from 12 to 14 hours, if necessary, illuminate future orchids with a lamp.
Note: the critical time for seedlings 5-7 days. If mold does not appear during this time, then the seeds should swell and begin to grow.
The first signs of sprout formation are the appearance of green balls (protokormov), then filamentous formations (rhizoids) begin to develop, with the help of which the embryo absorbs nutrients. After that, the leaves begin to tie, the last to form is the root system.
Orchid sprouts can independently develop in the ground a year after planting the seeds. In a flask with a seedling, add warm water, shake, gently remove the plant with tweezers. After that, the young orchid can be transplanted.
The best soil mixes for seedlings:
- sphagnum moss, rhizome fern, pine bark 1: 1: 1, coal - 10 tab. / liter,
- coal, sphagnum, pine bark 2: 2: 5,
- coal, neutralized peat, pine bark, humus 1: 1: 1: 3.
All components are filled with hot water, incubated for 30 minutes. The moss is left for a day for insects to die and resurface. Then give to drain the liquid, all crushed, preparing a homogeneous mixture.
At the bottom of the box or pot, pour drainage material - small crushed stone, crushed brick, sand. Place the substrate on top, make indentations, carefully transfer the seedlings, straightening the roots.
To the note: from the moment of planting to the first flowering of orchids, at least 4-5 years will pass.
Growing young orchids
It is important that the earth is always moist, so regularly spray it with soft water at ambient temperature. Lighting mode remains the same - 12 ... 14 hours of ambient light. Room humidity maintain approximately 60%.
After 5-6 months, when the orchids are getting stronger, transplant them into pots with a standard substrate, care as for adult plants.
Growing orchids from seeds is a painstaking and time-consuming process that does not always end in success.
The main enemy of seedlings is a mold fungus, so strive to maintain sterility. Observing all the conditions, do not be afraid to experiment - often bold ideas turn out to be the most productive.
On Chinese sites most often you can order orchid seeds of the most popular species of Phalaenopsis, also Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Wanda, Cattleya species of various varieties are presented. These species are hybrid, created by breeders specifically to grow at home with the least labor costs and delight the owners with beauty.
Is it possible to cultivate like this?
If you are lucky enough to get real orchid seeds from a Chinese site, then theoretically you can grow an orchid from it. But, unfortunately, this is a very long and laborious process. You will have to purchase the necessary equipment and materials, maintain sterility and the desired temperature. Some flower growers, jokingly, call it all a real laboratory. In addition, the result will have to wait a long time.
When ordering seeds from China, you can often encounter unscrupulous vendors who give seeds of other plants for seeds of orchids, and even seeds of lawn grass or weeds. Many in this case feel sorry for the time and labor spent on the cultivation attempt, and they are disappointed in this idea.
But, fortunately, they are inexpensive and if there is a strong desire to try to grow them, you can order again. After all, if you manage to grow a flower yourself, you will get an incomparable pleasure with nothing, watching its growth, and then for the beautiful adult blossoming orchid.
How do they look?
Orchid seeds are very small and easy to take for dust. Their size is 15 thousand times smaller than the size of a grain of wheat. In addition, they, unlike other seeds of most crops that have a supply of nutrients or endosperm, have it in small quantities in the bud.
How do such vulnerable seeds exist in nature and allow orchids to multiply? The point is their number. One orchid flower can produce from 3 to 5 million seeds and due to their small weight and size, they are easily carried by wind, settling on the bark of trees. However, not all of them will be destined to turn into adult flowers, only a few of those entrenched in the tree will do it. Such is the harsh natural selection.
How to check the purchase for authenticity?
After receiving the seeds, open the package and examine the resulting material before you properly put the change in the home. Remember that real seeds must:
- to be very small, resembling dust (their sizes vary between 0.35-3.30 mm in length and 0.08-0.30 mm in width),
- cream, beige or light brown,
- have a narrow elongated shape.
Also, when viewed on them with a microscope or a very powerful magnifying glass, you can see that these are seeds resembling wheat grains in shape and size, but many times smaller.
Often, buyers, caught in the idea of growing a flower from seeds, make a purchase by reading the rave reviews of other buyers and drawing attention to the seller’s high rating. However, most often, this enthusiasm is associated with the speed of delivery or the quality of the packaging material. It is extremely rare for buyers to attach photos of what has grown from seeds and even more so, a finished flower, because, as you know, it takes years to grow it.
Some flower lovers cherish the hope that the seeds obtained are a seed box, they open it, and, more often, they do not find small seeds in it. Should remember that orchid boll narrow and about 3 cm long, green. In nature, it opens itself at the very moment when the seeds are ripe and ready for planting. Therefore, it is unlikely you will get a closed seed box.
Step by step instructions on how to plant
Since the seeds of orchids are very capricious, it is very important to prepare the inventory, the nutrient medium, plant and care for the seedlings when they are planted on their own. Even with perfect observance of conditions, only a small percentage of seeds can become a real flower. Поэтому, пренебрегая хоть одним из пунктов, вы рискуете вообще не вырастить ни одно растение.
Инвентарь и его стерилизация
Для посадки необходимо подготовить стеклянные лабораторные пробирки длиной 15 см и шириной 1,5 см, штатив, ватно-марлевые пробки для пробирок. Если у вас не оказалось пробирок или их сложно или дорого приобрести, можно использовать стеклянные баночки от детского питания с закручивающимися крышками. Remember that the whole process of planting seeds should take place almost in laboratory conditions, so the tubes or jars with lids should be sterilized in an autoclave, pressure cooker or medical sterilizer at 120 degrees for 30 minutes.
For planting can be used as a purchase nutrient medium, and made independently. Let us dwell on the second version. You can prepare a nutrient medium as follows:
- Boil 0.5 liters of distilled water.
- Add 10 g of fructose.
- 10 g of glucose.
- 8 g agar-agar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the agar-agar is completely dissolved.
- Another 0.5 liters of water is heated in another dish.
- As soon as we boil, remove, add 5 drops of root-forming plant stimulator, 1.5 g of complex nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, 1 g of activated carbon.
- Mix well, combine both solutions.
- We bring acidity to the desired indicator.
- To reduce the pH, you can apply a solution of potash, to increase - orthophosphoric acid. Orchid seeds require acidity in the range of 4.8–5.2 pH.
- Pour 30 mg of hot nutrient into sterilized flasks.
- Close the flasks with stoppers and sterilize the nutrient medium for half an hour.
- For 4-5 days, observe the flasks with medium. If a mold has appeared in them during this time, they are not suitable for planting seeds.
Watch the video on how to prepare a nutrient medium for growing seeds.
For planting, use the device, additionally sterilizing seeds.
Sowing happens like this:
- Place a grate in a container with water and a substrate in the flask on it.
- After sterilizing the seeds, pipette from the solution and place on the surface of the substrate.
- Next, close the flasks or jars with cotton swabs or caps, put on germination.
- The temperature should be monitored all the time: it should be 18-23 degrees Celsius, the duration of daylight hours is on average 12-14 hours.
Then you can see the photo of how the seeds look and what has grown from them:
After a few weeks or months, crops begin to change. Green balls appear on them, then the first leaves. After the appearance of two or three leaves begin to appear roots. Only a year later, seedlings can be transplanted into a pot. To fill the pot suitable substrate of moss, fern roots and pine bark.
Soil should be as small as possible. The sprouts are taken out of the flask as accurately as possible with forceps, washed in water and transplanted into the substrate, which is pre-poured with boiling water for 30 minutes. Plants always need light and high humidity.
Problems and difficulties
Problems in growing orchids from seed can wait at any stage. However, the most common low germination is caused by poor quality seeds, the slightest blemishes in sterility, failure to comply with the conditions of temperature and humidity. As a result - the death of seeds or seedlings and the lack of results in the form of a beautiful flower. Starting this process, it is worthwhile to analyze your conditions, the availability of time and money, as well as a lot of patience in order not to be disappointed by the difficulties.
Many difficulties await those who decided to independently grow orchids from Chinese seeds. Starting from the huge number of fakes sold by enterprising merchants from the Middle Kingdom, ending with a very painstaking period of their disembarkation and growth. But still, if there is a great desire, it is worth a try!
What a wonderful orchid?
The history of the origin of orchids has long been akin to mythological tales and legends. Some people considered the rainbow to be the mother of this wonderful flower when it split into many pieces, while others are convinced that the orchid grew only in the place where beautiful Aphrodite lost her shoe. But no matter how they disagree, both of them consider this plant to be a symbol of rebirth, beauty and great love.
Orchid loves to sprout right in the trees.
If you do not take into account the myths and legends of the flower world and turn to the real world of science, you can find out that the very first orchids were discovered more than 130 million years ago, although in China and Japan they spread only 2 centuries BC.
Types of orchids number in the tens of thousands.
In those days, orchids were considered a group of medicinal plants, and Confucius also mentioned this in his writings.. In European countries, the orchid appeared not so long ago, only a couple of centuries ago, but during this time the number of its species reached a figure of 30 thousand.
For the opportunity to grow this flower culture in indoor conditions, I must say thanks to the botanist scientists. True, orchid care can bring a lot of trouble to a beginner, but amateurs and professionals promise to thankfully a flowering plant if the orchid's needs are met in time by applying special knowledge to care for it.
Illumination is very important for an orchid, but it must be reasonably chosen. This flower loves bright, but certainly diffused light.
The orchid should be able to shade from direct rays.
Direct sunlight will not destroy the orchid immediately, but it will lighten and pull out the leaves without any prospect of blooming. If you shade the window a little with tulle or thin lutrasil, the orchid will regularly make you happy with color.
From autumn to spring, a period of peace begins and to shade the window no longer makes sense, since solar activity will also come to naught. In this important period for the flower, the shoots ripen and the plant lays buds for the next season. It is better to slightly lower the ambient temperature for the rest period and keep it within 13 ° C-18 ° C, while in the summer season the upper limit can rise to 27 ° C, and the lower one should be left the same. This is due to the fact that in natural conditions the orchid tolerates good temperature drops and this contributes to its active flowering.
After a long and proper period of rest, the orchid will delight in abundant color
Orchid watering should be plentiful, especially in the most active growth phase, but in winter the amount of moisture consumed is halved. It is worth noting that drought is not as dangerous for an orchid as the bay, so you need to water the flower gently and do it better in the shower or leave the pot with a flower in a container with warm water for 15 minutes and then drain it off.
Where to get seeds
Compared to a grain of wheat, the seed of an orchid is about 15 thousand times smaller, that is, completely indistinguishable to the human eye without adequate optics. That is, collecting orchid seeds is in principle difficult to even imagine, let alone sprouting them - all the more. It is possible to harvest the orchid crop of seeds only in the conditions of an equipped laboratory and therefore the sellers of flower shops only smile to the question “whether there are orchid seeds for sale”. But mother nature did not leave her orchid children without the ability to multiply and compensated for the small size of the seed by its quantity.
Opened Orchid Boll
One orchid flower forms a seed box, which contains from 3 to 5 million seeds, and due to their small weight, any breeze spreads this dust in all surroundings. Seeds settle on trees and undergo a rigorous natural selection.
Video: seed box development (5 months)
Seeds are a set of identical cells that are unable to grow independently. Even in the right environment, few get lucky to the light, and a miracle sprouted seed can be considered a nodule-like formation, which is also called protocorm. In this state, the seed can stay for a couple of years, if it is not specifically stimulated.
Video: seed box development (8–9 months)
The seeds ripen about eight months, the ripening period can be 90 days, but this depends on the size of the flower, the age of the plant, the intensity of the light, the season, and many other factors important for the development of the plant. Ludisia discolor seed, for example, ripens within a month, but it is a rare orchid species.
At that moment, when the seed box is already fully grown, from the bottom it is tied up with a napkin in the form of a pocket, so that the seed dust does not crumble during cracking.
Orchid seed dust on a white sheet of paper
The ripened box usually darkens and becomes brown in color, but can sometimes remain green. When by all indications it is time to harvest the seed, carefully cut the box and pour the seeds onto a clean sheet of paper.
Video: getting ready to germinate seeds
There are also special, artificial substrates in the form of hydrogels, which play the role of a basis in the preparation of a nutrient mixture for germination.
Growing medium should be rich in sugars and other elements.
This is Knudson's nutrient medium: a muddy, muddy mass.
Under laboratory conditions, up to half of its volume of fructose and glucose per liter of water is added to agar-agar. And when preparing a mixture at home, Knudson's environment is often used, which you can buy at specialized flower shops, and notice its high productivity.
But in practice they use its modified and simplified form according to the Cherevchenko method. For its preparation, you need to take a liter of water and dilute it:
- one gram of calcium nitrate,
- a quarter of a gram of potassium phosphate,
- as much magnesium sulfate
- half a gram of ammonium sulfate,
- 0.05 grams of iron chelate,
- as much sodium humate,
- one gram of activated carbon,
- tablespoon of sugar
- 10 grams of agar agar.
For convenience of measurement, it is possible to take one gram of a friable substance as a standard as a third of an ordinary thimble, and 0.05 grams at the tip of a knife. In the mixture obtained, the orchid seeds sprout en masse, the main thing is to keep the mixture in a sterile and closed container, at the correct temperature.
Often, amateur flower growers prepare a nutritional mixture of improvised means, for example, half a liter of unsalted tomato juice and the same amount of distilled water dilute the fertilizer “Vito” in liquid form and add a glass of starch with a tablespoon of sugar.
Before placing the seeds in the mixture, it is important to undergo sterility control, namely leave the sterile containers closed with the substrate sterilized inside for five days. If a mold appears inside by the end of the term, the sterilization process will have to be repeated.
If the mixture is ready for planting, it remains to disinfect the seeds. For this purpose, a solution of calcium hypochlorite is usually used, in which you need to hold the seeds for 10 minutes, and then immediately transfer it with a pipette to the substrate. The solution is prepared simply: for half a glass of water dilute two teaspoons of bleach and shake the mixture for half an hour.
Planting germinated material
So, disinfecting the dishes and the substrate separately, and then again together, there is still the risk of bringing the disease spores into the clean environment together with the seeds, so the seeds treated with bleach are transferred to the sterile substrate only through steam treatment. To do this, a grid is placed above the boiling-water saucepan, on which containers with nutrient mixture are placed for germination inside. With a sterile pipette, seeds are taken out of the chloride solution and applied directly above the steam into flasks or jars. The whole procedure needs to be done very quickly.
Video: try to land
Sowed containers are thoroughly sealed with cotton swabs (sterile, of course) and left in a warm place (18–23 ° C) with a light duration of at least 12–14 hours.
At home, even the most pedantic hostess will have a lot of sources for bacterial contamination of flasks. Therefore, before the procedure, it is necessary to decontaminate all items and tools that will be used in the process of preparing the mixture and placing the seeds in their "greenhouses". It is recommended to use sterile surgical gloves and a gauze bandage for the face.
Growing sprouted orchid seeds on the usual, that is, non-sterile, primer can only be a year later. Seedlings are pulled out of flasks or cans by washing. To do this, some water is poured into the tank and shaken up in circular motions. Thus, the germination mixture is water-washed and the seedlings can be easily separated from the substrate.
For the new “orchid beds”, the crushed bark of the tree is used, preferably pine, and sphagnum moss.
chemical vessel, very convenient for operations with small parts and liquids
A drainage layer of improvised material, pebbles or expanded clay is laid out on the bottom of the tank. The diluted mixture with seedlings is poured into a shallow transparent container with rim, adding a couple of drops of the foundation solution, and transfer the seedlings to a new substrate using a brush. As a dish is most convenient to use a Petri dish.
Humidity in the area of new beds with orchids must be maintained at the same level as for adult orchids, about 60%. Temperature and lighting remain the same as in germination.
Video: how to grow an orchid from seeds at home
Seed propagation requires maximum concentration, one wrong step and you can start the whole process over. It is necessary to be extremely careful and diligent so that only after five, or even six years, to admire the flowers of those plants that before your eyes turned from seed dust into a chic flower of the orchid family. But, leaving the irony, I would like to note that, despite all the seeming improbability of the process, the work invested will be rewarded without any doubt!
Let's start with the choice of seed. Several types of these plants are suitable for home indoor climate, but phalaenopsis orchid varieties are the most common, which are well adapted to our natural conditions. Gardeners also choose seeds of vanda, cymbidium, zigopatelum, dendrobium.
To choose high-quality material on the Internet, you can focus on the degree of recognition and scale of the manufacturer. This, of course, is not an absolute indicator, but large enterprises are less likely to risk selling fakes. The best option is to consult with other gardeners, who will prompt reliable companies. Often, orchid seeds are purchased by florists in China through special sites. This method is more reliable and less expensive in terms of money.
Although in reality, the seed material looks more like dust, but after special treatment, it looks like ordinary garden seeds. In this regard, many dishonest sellers in the market can sell you regular grass for the price of orchids. In order not to get to a fake or poor-quality raw materials, you must carefully choose a flower shop and, preferably, with a good reputation. You can also consult with other florists. In terms of reliability and price, this method is not much inferior to the first. In our country, unfortunately, Orchid seeds are very expensive, but the quality often does not meet the price.
Preparation of sterile substrate and soil
Before growing orchids from seeds, you need to buy or prepare a special sterile primer. Only such a nutrient medium is suitable for germinating the seeds of a delicate plant.
So, to prepare the soil for the germination of Orchids, you need to take simple components: agar-agar (8 g), glucose (10 g), fructose (10 g), activated carbon (1 g), nitrogen-phosphate-potassium fertilizers (1.5 g), root-forming stimulator (5 drops), distilled water (1 l). All components are purchased in stores for gardening and a pharmacy.
The soil recipe for planting orchids at home begins with boiling 0.5 liters of distilled water. Then glucose, fructose and agar-agar are added there. Brew all together until the agar-agar is completely dissolved.
Then take the other half a liter of water, boil and remove from heat. Add a phytostimulator, fertilizer and coal. Mix and combine the two liquids. Now you need to check the pH, as the orchid grows only in an environment with 4.8–5.2 pH.
Bringing the pH level to the desired level, pour the hot solution into sterile flasks, 30 ml each. After that, you need to sterilize everything again and seal it with a special lid (a piece of cotton wrapped in several layers of sterile gauze). Before planting seeds in an orchid, it is necessary to conduct a 4–5-day test - if mold appears, this material is not suitable for growing orchids there.
Before you plant an orchid, you need to find a good place for its germination. A small glass flask, or a jar with a narrow neck, is well suited for these purposes. It is important that this vessel can be sterilized and that it can be conveniently closed with a cotton lid.
Further, the seedlings are planted in disposable transparent cups, they are convenient not only for orchids, but also for any seedlings. They clearly show the development of the root system of indoor plants.
После этого лучше всего использовать глиняные горшки разного размера, соответствующего параметрам растения и корневой системы. В течение роста, цветок регулярно сажают в емкость побольше, так как это способствует его нормальному развитию.
Чтобы узнать, что выращенной орхидее уже мало места в ее нынешнем горшке, нужно посмотреть на отверстие внизу. If roots are already peeking out decently, then perhaps it is time to find a larger habitat. The main thing in choosing a pot so that the orchid is comfortable.
Seed preparation and sowing
Planting orchids begins with the preparation of seeds. The first and most important is sterilization. Before sowing, all future plants are treated with a solution of bleach. Liquid is poured into the container, seeds are added and gently shaken for 10 minutes.
Also, before planting orchid seeds, you must first prepare the substrate and tools. Perfectly suitable pressure cooker, fit and ordinary gas stove.
First you need to boil water and place a flask (jar) with a hot substrate in it and sterilize it at a high temperature. Then, the treated seeds are sown in the resulting decontaminated solution. Make it necessary to sterile instruments, such as a pipette. Then the solution with the seeds is mixed and the jar is sealed with a cotton swab in gauze.
Approximately in a week, inflorescences, leaflets and roots of orchids will start to appear.
Growing seed from a rather laborious process, but the result is worth it. Especially when it comes to orchids. After the seedlings have grown enough in the flasks (which will happen not earlier than in a year), they are moved to the ground. But before that you need to prepare sprouts.
Seedlings carefully removed from the flask and washed out of the substrate with water. It also helps to separate the plants from one another. Then 2-3 drops of the foundation are dripped, mixed again and planted with a brush into the prepared soil.
Soil that is suitable for orchids of similar age can be prepared from such combinations of elements as: charcoal and pine bark, coal, sphagnum, pine chips, coal, pine bark, peat, humus. If moss is used, it must first be soaked for a day in order for insects to float. Bark and peat should be chopped, pour over boiling water and dried.
Orchid cultivation cannot pass without observing a certain “climate”: humidity 60%, light day 12–14 hours, temperature 18–23 degrees. At first, such measures must be strictly observed, since the fragile orchid plants cannot yet adequately cope with any fluctuations in environmental conditions.
Growing orchids from seeds at home is always accompanied by some difficulties. And the first is the need to keep everything in sterile (without exaggeration) conditions. Everything is subject to disinfection: flasks, seeds, tools, substrate. Therefore, before you grow an orchid from seeds at home, you need to prepare well and with high quality.