The botanical name of orchid plant is orchidaceae and the plant is among one of the largest families of flowering plants. Actually growing orchid plants from seed is usually done in the highly controlled environment of a laboratory. How do you grow orchid seeds at home? Planting orchid seeds at home is actually not easy, but it’s possible if you really have plenty of time and patience. Remember, even if you are successful at orchid seed germination, it takes a month or 2 for the first tiny leaves to develop and it may take years before you’ll see the first bloom. It’s easy to understand why orchid plants are so expensive!


Are Orchid Seeds Easy to Grow?

According to most gardeners learning how to grow orchids from seed is tricky indeed, but on this article we’ve provided a few basic details for you to consider.

Orchid seeds: Orchid seeds are incredibly tiny. In fact, an aspirin tablet weighs more than 500,000 orchid seeds, although some types may be slightly larger. Unlike most plant seeds, orchid seeds actually lack nutritional storage capability. In their natural environment, seeds land on soil containing mycorrhizal fungi, which enters the roots and converts nutrients into usable form.

The germination techniques: Botanists actually use 2 techniques to germinate orchid seeds. The first, symbiotic germination, is a complicated process that requires use of mycorrhizal fungi, as described above. The second, asymbiotic germination, involves germinating the orchid seed in vitro, using agar, a jellylike substance that contains necessary nutrients and growth hormones. Asymbiotic germination, which is also known as flasking, is easier, quicker, and more reliable for growing orchids from seed at home.

Sterile Conditions: the orchid seeds (usually seed capsules, which are larger and easier to handle) must be sterilized without damaging the seed. Sterilization for orchid seed germination at home is a process that generally requires boiling water, bleach, and Lysol or ethanol. Similarly, all containers and tools must be carefully sterilized, and the water must be boiled. Sterilization is a little bit tricky but absolutely required; although orchid seeds thrive in the gel solution, so do a variety of deadly fungi and bacteria.

Transplantation: Orchid plant seedlings usually need to be thinned at around thirty to sixty days, although it may take much longer for the Orchid seedlings to reach transplantation size. Each seedling is moved from the original container to a new container, also filled with jelly-like agar. Eventually, the young orchid plants are moved to pots filled with coarse bark and other materials. First, however, the young orchid plants must be placed in hot water to soften the agar, which is then removed by washing in lukewarm water.  

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