Seed propagation of orchids is rarely used in indoor floriculture. The planting process is quite complex and requires certain skills and experience.
Phalaenopsis orchid seeds germinate in rigid environments that are difficult to create and maintain.
This article describes in detail how to grow an orchid from seeds, which substrate should be prepared for better germination.
Pros and cons of this breeding method
Phalaenopsis seed reproduction has only one plus. You can grow an orchid without a mother plant, when there is no way to get adult specimens or children. Otherwise, solid cons:
- seeds need a special composition for germination;
- plants do not develop without a symbiont or a special germination medium;
- it is difficult to find planting material;
- plants from seeds do not always inherit the color of the parent sample.
In addition to all of the above, the seeds are too small and fragile, which makes sowing difficult.
Where to get seed for growing and how much does it cost?
Phalaenopsis seeds can be found in online stores. They are rarely sold, since the product is not popular, and deteriorate quickly. The cost of phalaenopsis seeds starts at 120 rubles for 20 boxes. You can look for planting material from florists on the forums. Some are ready to help like-minded people.
What seeds look like: description and photo
The seeds are very small, like beige dust. They lack a nutritive shell and a protective skin. Therefore, they are sold with boxes in which they mature. After opening, the planting material quickly dies. Phalaenopsis pods are similar to a pea pod. They have the same elongated shape. But if you open them, you can see small dust-like lumps.
The germination rate after planting out of the box is minimal. For germination in the natural environment, it is necessary that the mycelium thread gets on the seed, which will provide the orchid embryo with nutrients. In room conditions, to start growth, special media or a symbiotic relationship with myceliums of honey agarics, mulberry trees, phytophthora are used.
Before the invention of the nutrient medium, the germination of orchids under artificial conditions gave practically no results. It is almost impossible to ensure sterility and symbiotic relationship with the mycelium.
How to get or get seeds from a flower?
Pollination is required to obtain seeds. In the natural environment, pollen is carried by insects. In an artificial one - you have to work hard:
- Remove the cap from the stigmas. Under it there will be balls with pollen on the legs (pollinia).
- Open the cap carefully. Remove the polylines with a toothpick or small tweezers, holding them by the legs.
- Find the column at the bottom. Place in the groove of the polline located in it.
If the pollination was successful, then within a day the hole in the cap will close, the flower petals will begin to wither, and the base, which is attached to the peduncle, will swell.
When pollination, do not touch the pollen balls. They are very gentle.
When is the best time to plant?
Seeds, even in a box, quickly deteriorate, without it the process occurs almost instantly, so sowing is carried out immediately after receiving the planting material. The seeds ripen within four months after pollination.
What container and soil to choose?
For germination, Knudson agar medium or modified Cherevchenko medium is used. This is not soil, but culture media, similar to jelly. Their use significantly increases germination. Medium formulations can be found at flower shops. If it did not work out, you can prepare a replacement:
- She will need ready-made fertilizers for orchids.
- You also need 10 grams of sucrose and 20 agar agar. These components are sold in supermarkets and can be ordered online.
- You can increase the nutritional value of the medium by adding honey, a little grated bananas or tomato juice, about 25 grams.
- Activated carbon absorbs waste from growing phalaenopsis.
How to grow a plant in this way at home?
Growing a flower from seeds at home is not easy, as the preparation of the environment, preparation and seeding are complex processes. It takes about a week to create a landing train.
Preparation of the composition
To prepare the growing medium:
- Sucrose, additives and complex fertilizers for orchids are added to a liter of water. The latter are bred according to the instructions on the package.
- Determine the acidity of the composition, the pH level should be in the range of 4.9-5.9. To measure, you will need litmus tests. If the solution is acidic, the pH is below 4.9, a little soda is added to it. The alkaline composition is neutralized with citric acid or vinegar.
- When the medium is ready and the pH is adjusted, agar-agar is poured into the solution. The mixture is heated until the gelling agent is completely dissolved.
The nutrient solution is poured into jars or flasks, with a layer of 2-4 cm and covered with a lid or cotton wool. The dishes are pre-sterilized. After preparation, the mixture must be disinfected.
We suggest watching a video on how to prepare a composition for planting phalaenopsis orchid seeds:
Sterilization and spillage of the culture medium
You can sterilize the mixture like cans preserved in water, in an oven or in a double boiler:
- Immediately after preparation, the solution is sterilized for 45 minutes at a temperature of about 100 degrees. When using an oven and a double boiler, you need to provide a time for warming up the devices - 15-20 minutes.
- Stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Sterilize the medium again and leave for a week.
If mold, fermentation or other processes are detected that indicate an infection of the composition, it is poured out and a new one is prepared. Only after receiving a sterile environment can you start planting.
The box is opened. Pour its contents into a saucer, and pour pharmaceutical hydrogen peroxide from a syringe to barely cover it. A 10% calcium hypochlorite solution can be used. Disinfection lasts 5-10 minutes.
How to sow?
After disinfection, the seeds are collected directly with a disinfecting composition into a pipette or a sterile syringe. Then it is poured into the substrate:
- A hole a few millimeters in size is made in the lid, and wiped with cotton wool moistened with alcohol for disinfection.
- The tip of a pipette or syringe is pushed into the hole. Pour the liquid with seeds onto the medium, evenly distributing it over the substrate.
- After sowing is complete, the hole in the lid is disinfected with alcohol again and sealed with tape.
The first week, you need to closely monitor the environment. If traces of mold appear, signs of fermentation, the planting can be considered unsuccessful.
Seed germination takes several months. At this time, the containers with the nutrient medium are not touched. The first watering will be needed only after planting in a permanent pot.
How to care for the plant at first?
The environment with seeds is installed in a room with a temperature of 20-23 degrees. Provide daylight hours for at least 12 hours. Lighting should be dim and diffused.
After 3-4 weeks, the seeds begin to germinate. Small green balls are formed with filamentous rhizoids that absorb nutrients.
Transplanting orchid seedlings into the substrate is carried out when small leaves and main roots appear.
Growing phalaenopsis from seeds at home is a complex process. Successful sowing is the pride of a florist. The result of pollination is unpredictable, you can get mother plants of extraordinary beauty.