Orchid Propagation



Back in 1997 I experimented with the pollination of Phalaenopsis orchids… after a few attempts I was successful at self pollinating a Phalaenopsis “Sonnentau” which I had bought in early 80’s from Marcel Lecoufle (Boissy-Saint-Leger, France). Self pollination was achieved by sticking pollen from one flower on another flower of the same plant. Encouraged by this initial success, I decided to carry on and endeavoured growing the seed; I followed instructions found in a small book "orchids from Seed" by P A Thompson edited by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Here is the story, in pictures:


After about 6 months, a ripe seed pod showing cotton like fibers that hold the tiny, almost invisible, seeds.


The seed pod was open, so the seed was disinfected in 10% bleach then sown on the surface of a suitable agar based sterile (pressure cooker) medium I had acquired from an orchid nursery.


Self pollinated Phalaenopsis Sonnentau seeds in test tubes, about 6 months after sowing.


Close up on first leaves of a growing seed.


Another view of the seeds with an emerging leave and hairs!



As the seedlings were overcrowding the test tubes they were transferred to a number of honey jar with a polypropylene cap that can be sterilized. Same culture medium and aseptic process.


One of the flask where seedlings had been transplanted to give them more space.

Close up on a not too overcrowded flask.

Community pots

Eventually the seedlings are removed from the flask and planted out into community pots. I used a flat plastic tray filled with a mix of fine bark and New Zealand sphagnum.

About 9 months later the seedlings were potted in 4 cm individual pots


I saw a big improvement in the growth of plants after I added full automation and extra light (LED) to my orchid case...

and the big reward, in 2010 after twelve years of care!

notice the difference between flowers of different plants issued from the same seedpod! genetics...