They're coming.... my first flask.

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orchidmouse

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Fantastic information. Thanks to all! BTW Incocur out of business. Ask Ray about his stuff.
 

orchid527

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Regarding the heat beneath the seedlings, cnycharles is correct, don't get carried away. My seedlings are in trays on a shelf with a light fixture attached to the shelf. The heat from the ballast warms the plants, but it is certainly not 15-20 degrees warmer. Each ballast warms the plants on the shelf above it. The phrags seedlings go on the bottom shelf which has no ballast. Works well since they seem to like it a little cooler. Mike
 

masaccio

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John

None of these little tigrinums have extensive roots and they grow slowly. So if the roots wither, then the plants lose leaves faster than they can grow them. If you put them into bark right out of the flask, they will wither. Sam commented to me that he was seeing excessive losses after the plants were deflasked. It looks like they need to reach a healthy size before they can go into anything other than moss, but growing them in moss is too tedious to do on his scale. I have been sharing photos of my growing experiments with him. Mike
Thanks, Mike. I really appreciate the support. The pictures and your description of your process are invaluable. I like sphagnum a lot. Some of my mature paphs are in it. Using it for small seedlings perfect sense to me.
 

masaccio

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Inocucor isn’t available in the us anymore unfortunately. Putting any heat pad directly in contact underneath compote would be a great way to kill them 👍 . But something in between that can soak up some heat and release slowly and if possible some kind of thermostat would be good. Could even have a water reservoir directly underneath with an aquarium heater
Thanks! Yes, I'm resting the compots in an aluminum sheet pan, mainly to act as a drip tray. Adding the heating pad may or may not be necessary but if so, I think the pan would be an effective buffer. Delivery tomorrow. Sam recommends maybe waiting a day or two before deflasking and putting the flask in some gentle natural light, but keeping an eye out for mold.
 

masaccio

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I feel sure I'm going to make a mess out of the actual compotting. This is not my strong point. When sphagnum is used too loose, it's stays sodden and when it's too tight there's not much air space. And trying to be careful of these fragile little roots while getting the level and density just right, I'm not confident.
 

richgarrison

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I feel sure I'm going to make a mess out of the actual compotting. This is not my strong point. When sphagnum is used too loose, it's stays sodden and when it's too tight there's not much air space. And trying to be careful of these fragile little roots while getting the level and density just right, I'm not confident.
just go for it!!! it's only money :) and you can always buy more and try again.

i know that sounds trite... but a lot of the time we stress over the losses like they are people we are killing... they are just plants... and you've already spent the money... just do the best you can and chalk it all up to a learning experience.
 

masaccio

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Yes, but I also think of them as plants that somebody else might have had. But we all have to start somewhere.
 

orchid527

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Just keep in mind that some will die, and it is a good thing. The weak and the defective need to be weeded out. In my opinion, it is a waste of time trying to encourage the runts to hang on. No one has that much extra space. When you move them into fresh moss in 5-6 months, be aggressive culling the seedlings. Poor roots or yellow leaves, throw them away. Mike
 

masaccio

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Just keep in mind that some will die, and it is a good thing. The weak and the defective need to be weeded out. In my opinion, it is a waste of time trying to encourage the runts to hang on. No one has that much extra space. When you move them into fresh moss in 5-6 months, be aggressive culling the seedlings. Poor roots or yellow leaves, throw them away. Mike
Great advice, Mike.
 

masaccio

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They've arrived. The flask feels cool. Not worried about that but there is a lot of condensation on the walls. Should I vent the flask to allow this to reduce a little? Thanks. I'm cracking it slightly in a reasonably humid room.
 

orchid527

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There is no need to vent the flask. The humidity inside will always be 100%. Sam typically opens the flask and puts in peanuts to protect from mechanical damage during shipment. If so, you need to pot these out in the next day or two, since the flask is no longer sterile. Remove any brown leaves, and if there were a lot of them, spray with fungicide. Just keep an eye on the new compots and you will be fine. Mike
 

masaccio

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There is no need to vent the flask. The humidity inside will always be 100%. Sam typically opens the flask and puts in peanuts to protect from mechanical damage during shipment. If so, you need to pot these out in the next day or two, since the flask is no longer sterile. Remove any brown leaves, and if there were a lot of them, spray with fungicide. Just keep an eye on the new compots and you will be fine. Mike
Well, I didn't like the idea of a soggy environment in a non-sterile container. I feel better about this. The vent is closed, but there are drainage holes in the bottom that would let in some fresh humid air, in addition to the air that was inside the mini-greenhouse. I'm just thinking "balance". I'll Youtube how to actually get the plant/agar mass out of the flask. At this point, no idea. 🙂 Duh. You're being very generous, Mike. Thank you.



IMG_2622.JPG
 

orchid527

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John

I can tell you what works for me. I fill a container with slightly warmer than room temperature water and set it next to the sink. I run a thin stream of very slightly warm water from the faucet. I hold the flask inverted over the palm of my hand and tap the bottom with the other hand. The puck slides out easily. I then place it under the stream and gently break apart the agar. These roots will be healthy, but generally short and will come apart easily. I rinse the individual plants in the stream of water and toss them into the container. When the last plant is in the container, I pour off the water and give the plants a rinse or two and spread them out on clean newspaper. I carefully remove any brown leaves (it is very easy to pull the plant apart, if you use too much force) and toss protocorms without roots. From here on it is just wrap and bundle with the moss.

I am getting the impression the tigrinum roots do not penetrate well into agar. My gut feeling is that they do not like the salt concentration and if so, they probably would not like a bunch of salt in the moss either. I have been fertilizing at about 1/3 my normal rate for these seedlings.

Mike
 

masaccio

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All done. What a pain. Literally. I've developed a muscle spasm that feel like somebody is sticking me with a stiletto. Not all the time, just during delicate tasks, like deflasking and compotting tiny plants. They came apart easily. The agar puck broke apart in a bowl of warm water. There weren't many roots, really. I rinsed as much off as I could and gave them all a swish in Physan. Then the real work began. I couldn't master Mike's technique of building the multiple plugs in my hand. so they were all separately plugged and placed. I think I have 34. You can't see in the photo, but the bottoms have a layer of peanuts.
Thanks to everybody who participated in this with me. I did most of them on Saturday and one more on Sunday. They still look nice, perky even. The heating pad didn't work out - too warm even on low and a pan in-between. Seedling heat pad arriving day after tomorrow. An odd bit of good luck, I had the perfect square saucer that holds the 4 compots perfectly. Due to the stiletto effect, I had do wait and do the last one on Sunday. I'd sorted them by size, and those guys were mostly runts, one or two decent sized ones though so I figured if I had to start another compot I might as well stick 'em all in.
Special thanks to Bob in Albany for sending the great compots!!

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