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How the heck do I grow seedlings?

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kentuckiense

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I'm scared of seedlings, I admit it. Today, I find myself with two of them. I now have a 3" LS Gloria Naugle (thanks Lien!!) and a 4-5" LS Leeroy Booth x rothschildianum (which I later found out was made by none other than our own Greenpaph). I'd just like some basic culture info so that I don't rot/dessicate/burn/freeze/asphyxiate these little guys.

Thanks Slippertalk
 

adiaphane

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I don't have much experience with seedlings, so I can't help you. But, would you mind posting pics? I would love to see them. And, I have been wanting a Gloria Naugle so bad, but recently blew a good deal of my money on books and orchids and the SO is :mad: because I am also currently searching for work. But as soon as I have so money, Gloria Naugle and a good blooming size Roth is going to be at the top of my list.
 

Marco

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Hey Zach,

Those are great seedlings.

I don't know too much about raising seedlings. I only started approximately 2-3 months ago.

But I will tell you how I'm making out with the seedlings I bought 2-3 months ago.

I got a phil. alba seedling from Matt Gore 2 months ago that seems to be doing fine. The longest leaf is about 3.5 inches from tip to center. When I first got it I transferred it into a 4" clay pot. It was the smallest pot I could find at the time and drilled 4-1/4" holes on the bottom. It seemed to be doing fine. I uprooted it 2 weeks ago to check up on it and it had new root growth. The new leaf in the center was about 1/4" when I got it, now its about 1 3/4". Today I repotted into a 3" aircone but has no new root growth. I use a schultz pro orchid mix with some chopped sphag a little bit of fine perlite and added and a little more bark to it. As Matt suggested I also put some sort of calcium supplement as a top dressing. I used 1/8 tsp pelleted limestone + 1/8 tsp crushed oyster shell (the stuff they feed to parakeets you can find it in a pet store).

Here's a link to antecs calciforous plant list.

http://ladyslipper.com/calsub.htm

I also have a st. swithin and gloria naugle I bought about a week after the phil alba. I use the same mix and same amount of lime and oyster shell. They all seem to be doing fine. I repotted the gloria naugle in 2.5" aircone and it has new root growth. It seems to be growing a lot slower (a whole LOT slower) than the phil alba though.

The seedlings I bought from orchid inn are in s/h pots with primagra. They've been in there for two weeks. They seem to be doing ok (I hope). I'll check up on them in another 2 weeks. I'll post a status report on those seedlings if you want. =) I put 1/4 lime 1/4 oyster crushed shell in the s/h pots.

I forgot to add they get about 2500-3500 fc's for 14-16 hours a day sunlight + lamp supplement.

Hope this helps. =)
 

Marco

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Great! :)

I will definately keep you posted on the ones in s/h. I'm so scared, I hope they don't bite the dust. **crosses fingers**

Here's a picture of my tiny babies

L-R st. swithin, phil alba, gloria naugle



I use the skewers to check the moisture in the middle of the medium. I water when the skewers are fairly dry but not dry dry.
 

kentuckiense

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Skewers idea = awesome. I'm stealing that.

Your plants look great... I think once[if] my plants reach that size, I'll stop worrying a good bit.
 

Marco

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I can't take credit for the skewer idea. I read it on a thread on the orchid source forum where Heather found me.
 

Heather

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You guys - don't let the seedlings dry out completely and you should be okay!

Don't over water either...;)
Some say dry out after re-potting but for me, with regards to seedlings this is not the best advice. The media you have potted into is not accustomed to moisture and needs to acclimate so it will dry out quickly for a short time. After that time is past you can relax a little but until then be sure though they are not wet they are also not dry. If you are unsure, post more photos and if in clear pots we will be able to help you discern.

You are doing fine!!
 

silence882

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In my rarely-humble opinion, never never ever never let the roots of a paph or phrag get bone dry. A select few paphs get close to dry during the dry seasons, but there's always some moisture available.

As for seedlings... warmer, wetter, & dimmer :D

--Stephen
 

Marco

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Thanks Heather and Stephen.

Well as for the 4 seedlings from orchid inn. I got super paranoid after posting. I was thinking to myself "if the roots rot that's a buck thirty in the tiolet!". So after I got off the phone with the SO I dug out one of the seedlings, not all the way though just about an inch and a half below from the top of the medium, and inspected about an inch worth of root. Non seem to have rotted and the seedling I checked had the thinest roots from what I recall.

I'll post a more comprehensive update to their status in several weeks.
 

Marco

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Heather said:
When it gets older, Gloria Naugle is going to like an autumnal drop in temperatures to initiate spiking.

:)
Heather - For the spike initiation, what do you mean by "autumnal drop". Like a 65 high/50 low for a couple of months?
 

Rick

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Now that I've had a 1/2 dozen or so flasks worth of seedlings to start I would say that the most important parameter to watch is air humidity and airflow.

I started my first couple of compots worth in my pleurothalid box indoors that has very consistent 70 to 80% humidity and fairly even temps (65 to 75), and lighting less than 1000fc. Under these conditions seedlings took off fairly well with little or no rot problems. After a few months I moved them to the greenhouse and they continue to grow very well.

However due to space limitations I tried starting some seedlings in the greenhouse where things are more variable. Generally the humidity is also high too, but light, temperature, and airflow are more varable depending on the spot.

I tried placing the seedlings near their respective parent plants and ended up with some very stressed seedlings and some losses. At that point I moved more established (1 month) seedlings out of the indoor box to make room for the newbies and they recovered well. The 1 month old compots now moved out to the GH have also done well since, but have them in a well shaded, and more consistently cool and humid spot.

Once they get to 6 months or so they are much more tolerant of adult plant conditions once acclimated.
 

Heather

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Rick's right about the humidity. Best thing I ever bought was one of those little dome containers to put my randsii in. They were SO hard to keep moist in sphag because the pots were so tiny. So, I packed more sphag around the little pots and put them inside the humidity dome (this is a little square black tray with holes in the bottom that has a matching clear cover). I never put the dome on all the way, but place it on kitty korner so there is some air movement. The seedlings still had trouble staying moist so I eventually put them into a compot in S/H, and they've done much better, but I still keep the dome over them to keep it extra humid around them.

These were just out of flask seedlings though. I don't know WHY I picked such a difficult species for my first compot.
 
P

paphjoint

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IMO - most important is to keep constant growth-
So to keep constant growth the seedlings essentially needs 3 things
high heat
lots of light
humidity

- take one out and your seedlings stops growing

A picture - (Yes I know I've too many seedlings)

 

Marco

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paphjoint said:
IMO - most important is to keep constant growth-
So to keep constant growth the seedlings essentially needs 3 things
high heat
lots of light
humidity

- take one out and your seedlings stops growing

A picture - (Yes I know I've too many seedlings)

[QUOTE/]

That is a whole lot of seedlings. Humidity is something I really do need to keep an eye on. My humidity is so variable max at night is around 70 min during the day has been in the upper 30's. I'm thinking about getting some of those dome containers.
 

Rick

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More babies.

These were in the pleuro box indoors for a month or so before going into the GH

Wardii, sukhakulii, and primulinum var purpurescens.
 

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