Best source for culture supplies

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Feb 18, 2020
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Florida - southwest
I have been reading and doing research on pollinating and growing paphs and phrags from seed. I would like to attempt this while I still could enjoy the hobby before age sets in.
I will start with a few Phalaenopsis then
I plan on starting with phrags for slippers.
Could someone tell me the best site to read and source for supplies? Also the minimum supplies needed. I actually have an autoclave for sterilization and sterile scalpels for collection.
Thank you !!
I wish I could answer your question. For me, age is already setting in. But if it were me, I would visit (as best you can under the circumstances) with folks at universities and breeders in your
area and follow the trail. I would think most “supplies” would be available from non-orchid sources. Happy hunting.
I use P658 (with agar) or P668 (add your own agar) from Phytotec for Phrags. Use it 1/2 strength, adjust the sugar (+ 10gms.), add 100ml coconut water and/or 50gms of banana (I use both).

For other species I use Hill's medium from Gallup & Stribling. There are also mediums available from

I don't have any special equipment other than a pressure cooker. No need to flame your tools - just dip them in 10% bleach solution. I get some contamination, but not much considering I'm decades behind in my housekeeping.

It's not difficult. The hard part will be finding bleach during the pandemic.
Yeah, for media, Phytotech is probably your best bet. That's probably going to be one of your biggest initial investments if you wanna get into flasking things (I started playing around with it last year). There are a lot of DIY recipes out there, but you'll probably save yourself a lot of headaches by just biting the bullet and buying some "tried and true" formulations. Read into the genera and species you really want to propagate and see what others suggest in terms of media. Phytotech has a lot of different mixes and probably has something appropriate for just about anything might want to try. I also use P668 (1/2 strength +agar and 10% coconut water) for Phrags. I also picked up some BM-1 (terrestrial media), which I had heard was good for Paph venustum (the seeds did sprout, but my venustum flasks got contaminated unfortunately).

Except for the media, pretty much everything else for flasking can be picked up pretty cheap, or DIY'd from salvaged materials. For instance - for my "flasks" I use recycled mason jars that I clean out (free). I drill a tiny hole in the lid and make a gas exchange filter with 2-3 layers of 3M micropore bandage tape (a whole roll(s) can be picked up any drugstore and costs <$2).

Sterilization can be accomplished by wrapping instruments things in foil and baking in the oven. For flasks with media, you can use a regular pressure cooker (can usually find used ones at thrift stores pretty cheap). They are good to have if you do a lot of cooking anyway though (but you have an autoclave, which is awesome! - so that part isn't much of a concern). Remember to cover your flasks with foil before autoclaving - this adds an extra level of protection and helps stop contamination if you pull them out while still warm (since air will be drawn into them as they continue to cool).

You will also need a sanitized workspace (basically a culture hood to keep things from getting contaminated while you work). A sanitized workspace can be of variable complexity. Some people just use tipped over plastic bins into which they mist dilute bleach spray and/or alcohol. This is very simple and cheap. If your sterile technique is good, then this can yield good results (of course, if your technique is bad, even professional grade equipment isn't really going to help you much). There are tons of plans for DIY glove boxes floating around from both the mushroom and orchid communities. These vary from super basic to insanely elaborate/borderline professional :p.