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Tell me about flasking.....

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Bluefirepegasus

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:) I was wondering if some of you more experienced people can tell me about flasking. I learned how to tissue culture in college by working for someone who ran a lab doing dna research on aspen trees. So, I know a little about that but that is it.

I am wanting to get into breeding and for now am trying to collect some great stud plants that will be beneficial in the future. I am interested in breeding pink paphs/phrags and yellows of both. I also am intersted in breeding cattleya, intergenic, phals.....maybe even vandas if I feel brave.

I have heard a blurb of people breeding and flasking without having a greenhouse....but I do not know if this is possible.

Please enlighten me!

Bluefirepegasus
 

Kyle

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Sounds you have the background to be successful. Now you need to start collecting the equipment.

The first thing you need is something to act as a workspace. The best would be a laminar flow hood, but an aquarium on its side will do. You'll also need a pressure cooker to sterilize the growing media. Then you'll need varius peices tweezers and scalples. A scale is helpful too. Oh! and a pH meter (very important)

Whats really nice is that you can buy just-add-water orchid media. Most of them are pH adjusted too.

Once you have all the above, it comes down to technique. Sloppy technique will result in high contamination.

You can start making crossed now while you amass your lab supplies, as the capsules will take a few months to mature.

Also involved is a fair amount of research. Different genera like different pH. Paphs seeds hate banana, but the seedlings like it. Coconut water is loved by all. Knowing germination times is nice too. Phal take 2 weeks, phrags 6, paphs 6 (I think ) Stanhopea one day.

About not having a greenhouse, that is a problem. The potential is to end up with a lot of seedlings. You need to figure out what to do with them.

When deciding what to start with, consider how long it is to flower. Phals can flower a year and a half from flask, Maudie paphs 2 years. Cattleyas 6 years. I think Vandas a a long time too. Near blooming sized plants are easier to unload/sell/give away then seedlings 4 years from flower.

Good luck!
 
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charlie c

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Bluefirepegasus,

Here's a link to the The Hybridizers Forum:

http://www.thehybridizersforum.com/

This is geared only to Phal breeding, but has some good basic start-up info and some knowledgeable and experienced contributors.

As Kyle said, your working knowledge of aseptic technique is a big positive. Knowing how to grow ex vitro is another skill set that will be necessary. Seedlings can be grown under lights and do very well. Even faster than with ambient light in a greenhouse. Just depends on how many individuals of a cross you want to bloom out and what type of breeding you're doing.

Good Luck!!

charlie c
 
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Bluefirepegasus

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:clap::rollhappy: well! This is better news than i thought. I have recently been downtrodden about my situation at my house. I am an indoor grower for now and I have a screened in porch. But, i am trying to slowly aquire the equipment I will need.

I may be able to get some great stud plants soon. I know the blue genera of cattleya is a hard one to get results with but I want to try. I also am going to try for fragrance, size and color on other kinds of cattleyas. Paphs....oh pink ones! I know there are many but I can't wait to try my hand at them. And phals...maybe a few because they are easy. that way i will be sure to have some results!

Trying to think about eventually doing lights for seedlings. The flourescent bulbs are not much, but good God the fixtures are crazy! Does anybody know where or how i can get them at a better price?

This was extremely informative. Any other information please do share! there is some hope for me even though I don't have a greenhouse! hooray! ;)

Bluefirepegasus
 
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Bluefirepegasus

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I registered for the hybridizers forum tonight. Thanks so much for telling me about it. My brain is always hungry for knowledge of orchids!

Bluefirepegasus
 

Kyle

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You should also buy arron hicks book on seed propagation. Google Aaron Hicks.
 

Kyle

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Not sure I understand your question, eric. Sometimes, removing the pollen causes the flower to fade early. Not so much in paphs and phrags, but phals - happens in about 24 hours.

Kyle
 
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charlie c

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NO, I mean, if instead of removing and storing the pollen I stored the whole flower; is the pollen still viable?
Eric,

It's been my experience that besides taking up more space in the fridge, keeping the whole flower just increases the chances of mold developing on the pollen. If that happens you'll lose viability of the pollen.

charlie c
 

Kyle

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I agree with Charlie,

however, I'll add that one of hte best ways to ship pollen is still on the flower. That way you know its fresh and you know what its coming from.

Kyle
 
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Bluefirepegasus

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Hmmmm...seems they can ship everything through the mail these days! Pollen, fish...you name it!

:)

bluefirepegasus
 

NYEric

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Thanx. I'm not experienced w/ removing pollen so I just take the flowers, wrap them in a paper towel and then Plasting cling-wrap and store them on the fridge.
 
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