Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Journal May 30, 2017 - Double cross

Today I cross-pollinated these Phalaenopsis so I wanted to make a record on the blog of the date and what the parent plants look like.

The plants are really nothing special, they are what are now called "Grocery Store Orchids" by some people.  To many people, this is the variety that comes to mind when they hear the word orchid.

Also today, I harvested a Phalaenopsis pod from another cross to use as a test for a process known as green seedpod flasking.  

The idea is that by harvesting the pod prior to its opening and sterilizing the pod and removing the seeds in sterile conditions there is less chance of damaging the seed, vs. trying to sterilize the seeds after removing them.   

The pod was sterilized for 20 minutes in a 20% water bleach solution with frequent agitation.  Placed under the hood the pod was rinsed in sterile water before being opened.

The media is my own concoction and I will be more amazed than anyone if this actually works.  I have media that is specific for Orchid seeds that I purchased from a lab, but I am holding that until the remaining pods have been on the plant a little longer.  

The big question that hangs over this process is the age of the pod.  Some sites state it should be 120 days from pollination, some recommend six months, another a year, still others say wait till it turns yellow, others say wait until it is soft, still others say you can obtain viable seed 2/3 of the way through the period.  Who to believe?

Anyway, I have extra pods to experiment with, so I thought I would go with my own instinct and try this pod at about 100 days.   It will at least give me a practice run in working with a live pod and seeds.

On the topic of seeds, I expected to see seeds when I cut open the pod with the scalpel, not so, I found white fluffy material.  Using the tweezers I deposited clumps of it on the media and sealed the vessels and hope for the best. 

Upon examining the pod and remaining material under the microscope when I finished I could not see anything that remotely resembled a seed.  That said, it looks exactly like some other attempts I have seen on the web, so time will tell I guess.

The media contains distilled water, sugar, agar, 1/4 teaspoon of Orchid food, Super Thrive, coconut water,   Inositol and vitamins B and D.  That should be potent enough to grow hair on a golf ball.

The vessels have been placed under a 24 watt T5 grow light with a photoperiod of 8 hours.

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