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How long to wait before dumping seedlings?

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silence882

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Hello all,

I was wondering how long everyone waits before trashing the smaller seedlings from flask?

For example, I deflasked a number of phrag flasks a year ago. Most of the seedlings have grown substantially, but a few haven't. The runts are nice and healthy-looking, but only 1-2" across and growing slowly, if at all. I am about to send them on to their next lives and am curious as to how others handle similar situations, both hobbyists and pro growers.

--Stephen
 

kentuckiense

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Personally, I would just send them to Heather and not let her know in advance. Be sure to label them as kovachii. Hope that helps.
 

Heather

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I'd dump 'em.
But I'm really in a tossing mood lately, so I might not be the best person to listen to. I just tossed a stonei 'Fernwood' 4N that I've had for almost 3 years and it was still the size it was when it arrived, about 3"! I have another of the same grex and it is a slightly better grower but not much.

Sometimes you just have to say "adios!"
 
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PHRAG

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If by blooming size you mean jumbled flasks and stunted seedling compots, done and done.
 

paphioland

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If you have the room hang on to them but do not breed with them unless they are spectacular. Then breed them only to vigorous plants.
 
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PHRAG

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Put them in a tupperware container with some agar and sell them as a flask that is doing really well! :rollhappy:
 

Rick

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You never know.

Those may be dwarf albino telapathic mutants you are about to throw out.

Seriously though, I've always wondered if anyone has ever raised the runts up to flowering, and found out if they were something special, or just hideous runts.
 
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charlie c

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Stephen,

As a hobbyist, I start the culling process right out of the flask. Not even planting out the runts. And continue thinning them out at each stage of repotting and moving up.
As someone who was raised by folks that lived through the Great Depression and the rationing of WWll, I have more than my share of the "waste not, want not" mentality. But it strikes me as false economy to waste resources and time on something that, when it finally blooms, is "so what" at best.
Over the years, it has been my experience that these plants just never turn out to be anything worth keeping anyway. You chew up growing space with something you don't even feel right about giving away as a gift. So you hang on to it another year hoping it will be better on the next blooming, and they never are.
I can understand the curiosity to see every possible permutation of a cross. Especially if it's one you made yourself. And that has some real value in and of itself. Leaf morphology and color equate in a very real way to bloom quality. Everyone probably should do that once or twice. Eventually, however, I believe you'll come to find the value of culling. Early and often.

charlie c
 
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Inverness

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Culling

Ever notice how many awards are won by the first seedlings to bloom of a given cross? Good culture plus good genes equals the best plants.

Inverness
 

silence882

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Hrm sending the batch to Heather strikes me as an excellent idea. Plus they're about the same size as the kovachii so if I label them as such, maybe she'll have to keep them. The what-if-this-isn't-a-lie idea would weigh heavily, I imagine.

The point about these not being a cross that I made is an excellent one. I don't have any particular attachment to the seedlings, so tossing them isn't all that hard. Also, they're not particularly rare (China Dragon 4N from Chuck).

The question in my brain has been 'what if there's a mutated miniature in here and i throw it away?' The answer has been 'even so the damn thing should still grow a little.' I don't think I'd be comfortable with a telepathic orchid, though. Plus the poor thing would be confused when it senses my anger at it for not growing combined with my obsession with the plants.

--Stephen
 

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