|Novice Class Meeting, Room 104, 6:30 P.M.
Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
by Chris Herndon 2nd V.P.
Last month we had an
interesting and eye-opening talk by Don Van Kekerix in
which he showed us how to quantitatively evaluate whether
a potting mix has broken down or not. We greatly
appreciate his time and efforts.
October's novice Class promises a presentation on
Mini-Cattleyas by expert and local hybridizer Greg
Leutticke. For those of you who listened to September's
General meeting, Mini-Catts are outstanding and popular
orchids with vibrant color. Moreover, their dwarf size
makes them great for growers with a cramped greenhouse.
Bring any questions you might have to room 104 at 6:30
P.M.. See you there!
SDCOS Board of Directors Meeting, September
by Siv Garrod, Secretary
Present: Fred Weber, Christopher Herndon, Leno Galvan,
Edith Galvan, Ann Tuskes, Alma Marosz, Ben Machado, Cindy
Hill, Bob Hodges and Siv Garrod. Meeting called to order
at 7:10 P.M..
1. Last meetings minutes were read and approved.
2. Treasurer report for August was read, accepted and
filed for audit.
3. First Vice President Ben Machado reports Ann Tuskes
will do a presentation on "Orchids of Costa
Rica". Linda Blessing of Oceanside Orchids is
donating orchids for the raffle.
4. Second Vice President Chris Herndon reports Greg
Luetticke will discuss growing and hybridizing miniature
Cattleyas at the Novice Class.
1. Chris Herndon reports a nursing home with 30 patients
is being considered for the monthly orchid flower
donation. More details will be presented at the October
2. Plant forum - Chris Herndon will ask the speaker if
he/she is willing to do the plant forum. If not, Chris
will do it himself. Only one person will do the forum.
1. Bob Hodges will reserve dates for year 2000 for all
our meetings and mini shows in Balboa Park. The meeting
was adjourned at 7:45 P.M..
Species Group meeting at Susan Coyne's, Sept.
by Siv Garrod, Secretary
Lots of "new" people showed up. The next
meeting October 3rd is at Moti Bodner and Allan Rico's,
12307 Goldfish Ct in La Mesa, 521-0306. You may want to
call for directions.
Where Are They Now?
Siv Garrod found an article on clear plastic pots in
the June 1960 issue of the American Orchid Society
Bulletin. Three sizes were available then, 3",
4", and 6". Did anyone ever try them to see how
they worked back then? Drop the Editor, Harry a line and
let us know. Incidentally, California State Sales tax
back then was 3%!
From Seed to Community Pot
It takes from six months to one year for a seed capsule
to mature. It is not uncommon for a seed capsule to
contain 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 seeds. Orchid seeds are
transparent and very small Seeds having the possibility
for growth are said to be viable. A viable seed must
contain an embryo, but the presence of an embryo is no
guarantee of viability. Embryos may be checked by placing
seed samples under the microscope.
In "symbiotic germination" or nature's way,
fungal infection of protocorm and roots occurs. The
required nutrients are provided by the fungus. Growth of
seedlings is rapid. From 1850 to 1922, it was the only
known method of propagating orchids.
In 1922, Dr. Lewis Knudson of Cornell University
provided us with a simpler method called "asymbiotic
germination". Seed is germinated and seedlings are
grown, without fungi, on a jelly like culture medium
which contains sugars and many other nutrients. Today,
his formula "C" medium is still being used in
laboratories all over the world. Since unwanted bacteria
and fungi grow even faster on a sugar rich medium than
orchid seedlings, all seeds, flasks, medium and equipment
must be sterilized.
Seeding of "Mother Flasks" is done in a
sterile environment, such as a laminar flow cabinet in
which filtered sterile air is passed over the work area.
Seeding of "Mother Flasks" is a simple
procedure. Germination medium is prepared and poured into
clean flasks. Flasks and medium are then autoclaved for
20 minutes. Cooled flasks are moved into the laminar flow
cabinet where sterile seed is placed on top of the
medium. Flasks with filter tops are tightly sealed, to
keep out micro organisms which would spoil the
germination process. Flasks are then placed under
florescent lights, on for 12-14 hours per day, except for
some genera which germinate in total darkness. After
spending two to six month in mother flasks, seedlings are
ready for replating.
Replating is the process of moving seedlings from one
flask to another flask, inside the laminar flow cabinet.
Seedlings are replated when they have reached a stage of
growth at which they will greatly benefit from being
placed on a fresh and different formula medium. Seedlings
now grow very rapidly and usually remain in these flasks
for approximately one year, or until they are large
enough to be planted out into community pots.
A community pot may hold from fifteen to forty seedlings
for approximately one year; they are then transplanted to
small individual pots. After several more transplants and
lots of tender loving care in the years following, orchid
plants reach "flowering size", finally! From
seed to flowering orchid plant takes from three to seven
years, depending on the orchid species.
Caring for Flasks
It is fun and educational to see orchids grow inside
flasks. Flasked seedlings need the right amount of light,
temperature and humidity. Handle flasks by grasping them
near the bottom, away from the foil covered filtered top.
Covered filter tops keep out micro organisms.
Light should be low level, 300 foot-candles, gradually
increased as seedlings grow bigger. Place them 30cm below
two coolwhite fluorescent lamps. Keep lights on, twelve
to fourteen hours per day.
Keep temperature in the 75 degrees F (24 degrees C)
range, with minimum variation between
lights "on" and lights "off" periods.
Flasks have filtered tops allowing air and humidity
exchange with the area surrounding the
flasks. To prevent the culture medium from drying out,
place flasks in an environment where the relative
humidity is 50% to 60%. Keep air movement to a minimum.
Seedlings stay in flask close to one year from most
recent replate date. Seedlings are removed
when leaves are at least three to five cm (one to two
inches) long, touch the top of the flask or when the
medium is depleted (when you can hardly see it from the
mass of roots). They are then deflasked and transplanted
to community pots.
Pour some tepid water into the flask and carefully swirl
it to break up the agar. A spatula may be used to gently
aid the breakup. Pour contents out of the flask into a
bowl of tepid water and clean seedlings of all agar. Put
into a tepid Benomyl fungicide solution for ten minutes
then place them on paper towels to dry.
Preparing Community Pots
Use a well drained, clean pot and line the bottom with
drainage material. On top of that fill pot to 3/4 with
medium to fine bark. Put a layer of loosely packed wet
sphagnum moss on top of the bark to within five
centimeters (2 inches) from the rim of the pot. Cut
sphagnum moss into one cm lengths. Dip gloved hands and
tweezers into fungicide bowl. Pick up the largest
seedling and place at the back of the pot, roots nestled
on top of the sphagnum moss and support it in an upright
position. Using tweezers place chopped sphagnum loosely
on top of roots and cover them completely. Working from
the back of the pot to the front, repeat until the pot is
filled. Use extra sphagnum to fill the pot, if necessary.
Taking Care of Community Pot Seedlings
Place community pots 30 cm (12 inches) below two
fluorescent lamps, of the coolwhite type, on for 12 to 14
hours per day. Keep day temperatures at about 75 degrees
and night temperatures at 70 degrees. Relative humidity
of 60% should be provided together with lots of air
movement. For the first week mist the seedlings once or
twice per day. After one week start a regular watering -
fertilizing - misting program. Do not let the medium
completely dry out. Balanced, water soluble fertilizers
are used at half the recommended strength. As the plants
grow bigger, gradually increase the light intensity by
placing the seedlings closer to the lamps, tips of the
leaves never closer than 8 cm. When the seedlings have
grown to where the leaf length is 5 to 6 cm, they may be
transferred to small individual pots.
Any fine textured growing medium may be used for
seedlings, but sphagnum moss is ideal. Sphagnum moss can
hold a lot of moisture and at the same time provide
excellent aeration for seedling roots. Sphagnum moss
holds the seedlings firmly in place and practically
eliminates damping-off diseases.
by Peter Croezen firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Web,
by Duncan Werth, Online Editor
The Houston Orchid Society Homepage is
maintained by Nina Ranch. Lots of interesting articles
and tons of links. Look for articles written by Nina that
appeared in their newsletter several years ago. Good
stuff. Click on the Texas flag to go to the H.O.S..