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Harvesting Times for Seed Capsules

Cattleya Species and Hybrids

 Unifoliate Cattleya  5 to 6 months
 Bifoliate Cattleya  4 to 5 months
 Slc. Pot. and Other Unusual Intergenerics  4 to 5 months
 Epicattleya, Cattleytonia and Their Hybrids  4 to 5 months
 Encyclia  4 to 5 months
 Reed Stem Epidendrums  3 months
 Brassavola (terete)  4 to 5 months
 Rhyncholaelia  5 to 6 months
 Laelia and Schomburgkia  4 to 5 months
 Broughtonia  2 to 3 months

Oncidium Species and Hybrids

Mule-ear Oncidiums (luridum, lanceanum, splendidum) 6 to 8 months
Miniature Oncidiums (Tolumnia) 2 months
Oncidium triquetrum 5 months
Oncidium sphacelatum and Related Species 4 months
Oncidium papilio and Related Species 100 days
Miltonia and Odontoglossum 4 months

Vandaceous Species and Hybrids

Vanda, Ascocentrum and Ascocenda* 5 to 7 months
Rhynchostylis, Renanthera, Arachnis 5 to 8 months

*After 65 days Vanda and Ascocenda seed capsules may turn slightly yellow but are NOT ready to be planted and

should be allowed to remain on the plant the full length of time. If the capsule does not contain viable seed it will

usually continue to turn yellow and drop off.

Phalaenopsis Species and Hybrids

Phalaenopsis Large Flowered 4 to 5 months
Phalaenopsis Small Flowered 5 to 8 months

Dendrobium Species and Hybrids

Dendrobium phalaenopsis 4 to 5 months
Dendrobium nobile 5 months
Dendrobium pendulous 6 to 7 months
Antelope 4 to 5 months


Propagation of Orchids Sexual

Sexual propagation of orchids is either by selfing, self fertilization, which transfers the

pollinia from the anther to the stigma of the same flower or sibbing (sibling cross),

cross fertilization (the crossing of two different individuals).



Pollination is the transferring of pollinia from the anther to the stigma. This can occur

naturally by bees, flies, birds, butterflies, moths, wasps or mosquitoes. In nature pollinators

visit the flowers to feed or by deceptive mimicry.


Seed Pod

After pollination the sepals, petals and lip fold with 1-3 days and the ovary begins to enlarge.

Enlargement continues until the pod matures. Ovules are not present in the mature flower.

Ovule development is initiated by pollination. Ovules take from 8 to 150 days to develop.

The interval between pollination and fertilization is 8 to 150 days. Usually immediately after

ovule development fertilization occurs. However, complete seed pod development takes longer.


Green Pod Culture

The green pod method of sowing orchid seed is the most common method.

The pod is harvested when the seed is viable but before the capsule splits.


Care of Flasks

Flasks must remain sealed or contamination will occur

Store under low light intensity - 80-90% shade screening

Fiberglass cover or in a window

75-80° F optimal

Extremes tolerated for short time (30 - 110° F)

No direct water - low humidity


Removing Plants From Flask

Carefully break flask or remove plants roots first with tweezers or with a wire hook

Wash plants with plain water to remove all agar

Leave clumps together and plant as one - can be separated later-

smaller plants will usually die if separated from clump

Pot large plants individually in 2 or 3" pots,

pot smaller plants in a community pot or in a tray

Use sphagnum or seedling mix good drainage

Water plants thoroughly after planting to clean medium

Then spray pots, medium and plants with a fungicide/bactericide (RD20)

Resume normal watering - once a day or every other day

Fertilize every two weeks

Repeat spraying with fungicide/bactericide every 3-4 weeks (Captan or Dithane)

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