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Commercial Propagation of Orchids in Tissue Culture: Seed-Flasking Methods

Commercial Propagation of Orchids in Tissue Culture: Seed-Flasking Methods

commercial propagation of orchids

Commercial Propagation of Orchids in Tissue Culture: Seed-Flasking Methods is an illustrated laboratory manual that describes in easily understood language the stepwise process of propagating orchids from seed via ‘seed flasking,’ a technique based on tissue-culture technology. The methods described include Preparation of: Green Pod for Seed Sowing; Split Pod for Dry-Seed Sowing; Spread Flask; and Replate Flask. This informative volume also presents: pros-and-cons of seed flasking versus

commercial propagation of orchids

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Orchid Propagation

Orchid Propagation   Article by Paul Pigmans

There are quite a few ways that orchids reproduce or can be propagated. The most difficult method of orchid propagation is seed propagation. Only a really dedicated orchid grower actually wants to produce orchid seeds.

Seed propagation involves quite a few steps and lots of patience. It is also the way that orchid hybrids are produced. When orchids produce seeds that grow into new orchids, that new orchid is the offspring of two orchids – it can be a type of orchid that no one in the world has ever seen before. So how does one reproduce an orchid from seed?

First steps first:

* Before an orchid hobbyist decides to jump in and try to hybridize an orchid, he or she should check and see if someone has already created the same hybrid. There’s no sense in trying to reinvent the wheel. * The orchid grower should check and see if other growers have had success hybridizing the orchids in which the hobbyist is interested in. * If a grower wants to attempt hybridization, he or she should have some goal. Perhaps the goal is more beautiful flower or an orchid that blooms more often.

You’ve made the decision to hybridize an orchid with seeds:

* Make sure that your area is clean.* The best tool to remove pollen is a clean platinum wire or a sharp glass rod but a toothpick will do in a pinch. * The grower inserts the tool into the ripe pollen of the male flower, removes some pollen, and places it into the sexual organ of the female orchid, or the stigmatic cavity. * If the petals of the bloom begin to curl over and the flower starts to droop, fertilization has most probably occurred.

Waiting for the seeds:

* Pollinated orchids will need a sheltered environment and some extra fertilizer.* Three months to a year after fertilization the vigilant grower will notice that the seed pod of the orchid, which has been expanding, is getting ready to burst. The seed pod will look dry and yellowish and it will start to stretch a little at the seams.* The grower now needs to affix a paper bag over the pod so that when the pod does burst, the seeds fly into the bag.

And now that you have seeds:

* You will need some other equipment including a 500ml Pyrex beaker, flasks with one hole rubber stoppers, synthetic cotton, labels, a small syringe, aluminum foil, bamboo skewers, a growing room, distilled water and growth media. * Place some of the purchased growth media in the sterile flasks. * Using skewers, wipe a small number of seeds into each flask.* Put about 30 ml of distilled water into each flask and stopper the flask. Cover the hole in the top with the cotton. Cover the tops with aluminum foil and label each flask.* Put your flasks in your grow room. If, within a few days, the water in a flask is cloudy or there are colored streaks on the growing medium, throw out the flask. It’s contaminated. Some hybrids will start to grow within a few weeks. Some take as long as six months!* Allow the seedlings to grow in the flasks for as long as possible.

A hint to the grower who wants to try orchid propagation from seed:

Before you try growing from seed, you might want to buy some seedlings in flasks and grow them into mature plants.

About the Author

Paul Pigmans is publisher of On his website he provides orchids information, and FREE resources on orchid care, watering, lighting, diseases and pests, propagating, and other general information on growing orchids. You can also register for FREE Mini-Course on how to care for your orchids.

Wild Colombian species,propagate naurally ,by division of the bulb . We grow , Cites permit…………………………………………….. draculas,masdevallias,acinetas,ludemanias,odontoglossum,restrepias,stanhopeas,anguloas…and much more for Colombian and the world. visit colombian orchids ””’Jardin Villa Andrea”" in Colombia 40 milles from Bogota.
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Orchid Propagation

Orchid Propagation

Orchid in Bloom
orchids in bloom

Image by Bitman
Wife’s phalaenopsis Orchid in bloom.

Orchid Propagaton - Article by John M Rhodes

If you are somewhat of an orchid enthusiast, learning orchid propagation can be a fun way to resume with your current orchid hobby.

As you may or may not know, orchids can be found in a wide range of specie types, which they all possess their own characteristics in terms of height, flower size and color. However, those which boast the most vivacious colors are often found within tropical areas across the globe and so can be difficult to grown yourself. Nevertheless, as the growing and breeding of orchids has grown in popularity and the more exotic species become more desirable; many orchid enthusiasts have created ways in which to propagate them.

Cymbidium Orchids 042310F
cymbidium orchid

Image by vmiramontes
Found this pretty stem of cymbidium orchids at Trader Joe’s today. (You’d think Trader Joe’s was paying me, the way I advertise for them.) I paid $10 for the stem and as I upload this photo on 5/2, 9 days after buying them, they still look just as pretty. Best $10 I ever spent on flowers.

Orchid propagation utilizes the methods required in order to reproduce and grow multiple orchids. There are several ways in which to create new orchids with older orchids, as the primary purpose of plants is to reproduce. Many of these methods can be applied by experienced growers whereas other methods can be utilized successfully within a laboratory environment. The most commonly used method in orchid propagation is division.

Unlike other similar plants, orchids possess dust-like seeds meaning that propagation utilizing the orchid

      Sierra Lace, Slipper Orchid
slipper orchid

      Image by Michael Vincent Miller
Sierra Lace, Slipper Orchid

Orchid Stem Propagation

Orchid Stem Propagation

Free Video captures

Reanne and Dave video presentation of orchid stem propagation! =] Medical Biotechnology Class, Really fun! I Learned a lot.

Orchidlab We breed and offer phalaenopsis of premium quality to worldwide phalaenopsis lovers Website Tel: +65 91896300 Email:
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Secrets of Orchid Care

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Article by Brad Erickson – Secrets of Orchid Care

Orchid propagation is the way that an orchid grower gets to multiply the number of orchid plants that he has aside from purchasing them. The simplest way is if he has plants that need repotting because the pot has become filled with a group of mature plants that sprung from the original plant. The method used in this instance is called division. Like the mathematical process, it involves taking the big chunk of orchid plant and separating the big clump into smaller groups and planting them in their own pots with the proper potting material to enhance growth. There’s no intricate procedure to follow just good sense and a little care when separating the plants so that the young orchids don’t get torn in the wrong places. The downside to this method is that it takes a bit of time for the plant to flower. But since reproduction is the goal then the wait will be worth it.

Like division, the back bulb type of propagation is another method to multiply your plants. Some plants produce bulbs that have no flowers or leaves but are capable of becoming a new plant. These are called back bulbs. It will take a long time before you see any flowers using this type of orchid propagation but if you’re the patient type then you can probably wait this one out. Keikis are baby plants that spring from little nodes along the stem of the mother plant. It needs to be cut from the mother plant with a sterile blade then transferred to its own pot. The three preceding methods of propagation can be done by a beginning orchid grower because they don’t require complicated procedures to achieve orchid plant propagation. No fancy equipment is needed either.

Unlike regular plant seeds, orchid seeds have to be grown under special laboratory conditions that require a sterile environment. They are very tiny and need to be grown in these special conditions. It is a long and complicated process to grow orchid plants from seed and that’s why only special companies do it. There have been individuals who have tried this method at home and have succeeded but if you’re a weekend gardener this will not be for you. Another method that is best done in the lab is meristem propagation although this is only done by big orchid growers who have the funds and the facility to produce their own orchid propagation. Scientists and technicians work together to culture orchid plants for their own orchid farm. Some companies sell seed flasks that contain prepared seedlings which the orchid grower can then transfer to bigger containers.

Different species of orchids have different means of propagation although some types can be propagated in more than one way. The common denominator in all these methods is using sterile equipment in cutting the new plant or stem. This will guard against viruses or bacteria that will cause the plant to get sick and die. Even with the hardiest of orchids, a sterile cutting instrument will make sure that your new plant will be free from contamination. The new plant will need to be nurtured carefully so that the orchid grower will be able to enjoy success in increasing his stock. It is no mean feat to care for several young orchid plants. Different types of orchids need different means of care for optimum growth and health. All the orchid grower needs to do is to make sure that he follows what is recommended for his orchid type is to make sure his orchid propagation efforts are successful.

About the Author

If you would like to learn more about orchid propagation you can click here or you can visit my website at for helpful tips and information on buying, growing and caring for many types of orchids.

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Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)

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Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)
propagate orchids

Image by guzhengman
Family: Fabaceae 豆科
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae 蘇木亞科

The Bauhinia blakeana Dunn was first chosen as the City Flower of Hong Kong in 1965. The species was later on selected to be the regional emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997 when Hong Kong returned to the Chinese sovereignty. Bauhinia blakeana has been widely cultivated in parks, gardens as well as roadside amenity areas in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. Its interesting leaf form and showy flowers throughout the winter months make this handsome tree well known to most of our citizens. However, not many of us would know its history and how it was discovered in this world.

This species was first mentioned in the Report on the Botanical and Afforestion Department for the Year 1903. The report described, “The mysterious origin of the tree and its magnificent flowers at once arrest the interest. A tree of it was discovered between 20 and 30 years ago in the woods on Mount Davis from which it was introduced by its finder into the gardens of the Pokfulum Sanatorium and from there to the Botanic Gardens. So far, all efforts to identify them with any foreign species have failed”.

Specimens had subsequently been compared in the Kew in Britain and other herbaria, but without the discovery of any similar plant elsewhere. Until 1908, the then Superintendent of the Botanical and Afforestion Department, Mr. S. T. Dunn described the tree in Latin and formally published it as a new species in the Journal of Botany. Mr. Dunn added in the article that, “It is indeed to the Fathers of the above Mission (Missions Etrangeres at Pokfulam) that we owe the preservation of the Bauhinia. It was discovered by them near the ruins of a house on the sea-shore; from the trees thus produced the Botanic Gardens were supplied.” The species Bauhinia blakeana was named after Sir Henry and Lady Blake to commemorate the kind interest taken in the Botanic Gardens by them. Sir Henry Blake was the Governor of Hong Kong from 1898 to 1903.

Bauhinia blakeana was propagated by cutting, grafting or air-layering. All the individuals we see today are probably the direct descendants of the one first cultivated in Botanic Gardens

Ref: Hong Kong Herbarium

propagate orchids

Image by _foam
Propagated plants are placed back into the forest like this.

really wild
propagate orchids

Image by therealbrute
my mom has propagated this one…
we had an old talisay tree which was killed by
a vaiety parasitic ficus…
when the phycus taken over, it was then
overwhelmed by this wild cymbidium…
we don’t know where it came from…
it was there for about 10years before it bloomed..
now, it’s growth is controlled by mom
and the method of propagation is by shoots… or from extended roots..

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Propagate Orchids

Article by Brad Erickson

Orchid propagation is a little more difficult than propagating other types of garden plants. However, propagating orchids involves different techniques that make the process easy. There are six major techniques in orchid propagation. These are the division, back bulbs, aerial cutting, keiki, meristem and seed propagation. Two of these techniques can be done at home or in greenhouse, while two of these must be done in a laboratory to maintain the sterility of the orchids.Orchid propagation by division is the most common as well as the simplest and the best method. Division is done by separating the original plant from the new growths, or sorting out the orchids’ roots and separating them from one another. This procedure of orchid propagation is very easy and will definitely produce a large quantity of plants. If there is new growth from the original plant, carefully cut the rhizome to separate them. If there are a lot of healthy roots, divide them so that each root contains one shoot. When each division is cared for properly, it can produce a full-sized orchid.Another simple technique is propagating by back bulbs. This is the procedure of producing a new plant from the old back pseudobulbs with or without flowers. However, this method takes many years for the orchid to bloom a fully-sized flower. The process involves removing the old back bulbs and placing them in ideal planting places with good growing conditions to stimulate rooting.The third technique is orchid propagation by aerial cutting. This procedure is commonly done on the Dendrobium type of orchids such as the Nobile. This technique is easy to do because the orchid is nearly fully grown before it is removed from the parent plant. Moreover, this method does not require fertilization, so the new plant will be similar to its parent plant.The fourth major technique in propagation is the propagating by keiki. A keiki is a small plant grown on a lump along the flower which will eventually develop new branches when grown in normal conditions. Keiki’s are produced by the Phalaenopsis type of orchids. The fifth major technique is orchid propagation by meristem or tissue culture. This technique is not common since it needs laboratory conditions to enable new growth. Laboratory conditions require extreme cleanliness and sterility of the propagating area. Without these conditions, propagation will be useless. Meristem or tissue culture is not really recommended for home or greenhouse propagation because sterility and cleanliness cannot be achieved under those conditions.The last main technique in propagation is another method that also requires laboratory conditions. Absolute cleanliness and sterility are necessary; otherwise every attempt will be unsuccessful. Orchid seeds are similar to dust and ashes, and unlike ordinary seeds, these seeds do not have starch content which helps sustain seed growth. Orchid propagation by seed is really a special technique for developing new growths of the plant.Every technique comes with its own special methods, and these methods are the most effective means for propagating orchids. Knowing the major techniques in orchid propagation will help you know the best propagation technique that is suitable for you.

About the Author

Want to learn more about orchid propagation? Visit my website at for helpful tips and information on buying, growing and caring for many types of orchids.

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Propagate Orchids

Propagate Orchids

Lisa Jenkins shares her tips to propagate orchids at home -  growing orchids, splitting orchids,  time to repot and lots more useful information for successfully growing and propagating your beautiful orchids.

propagate orchids

So, you’ve been growing orchids for a little while and they look so beautiful you’ve decided that you want to have even more of them. You’re a bit of a green thumb but you’ve heard that propagating orchids is fraught with difficulty. It’s not true at all. The truth is that what you really need is a little confidence and the right information about orchid propagation.

Of course, the method you need to employ to propagate your plants will depend on the root system of the orchids you are growing. The two methods most often used by home gardeners are division and back bulb propagation.

The best time to perform your propagation is generally after your plants have finished flowering and have started to develop new root growth. When you decide the time has arrived, wait until your pots have almost dried out before you undertake the procedure as this will make it a little easier to remove plants from their pots.

Use these tips to work through the propagation process step by step:

1. Gather together the garden tools you intend to use and sterilize them. You’ll need to repeat the sterilization process after you handle each plant as bacteria can easily be passed from one orchid to the next via your tools.

2. Collect any other items you need. This might include new pots, bulky material for the bottom of your pots, orchid mix, sulfur or an alternative anti-bacterial product that you’ll need to dab onto any cut rhizomes before replanting.

3. Position your bulky drainage material into the bottom of your new pots and have your orchid mix close by.

4. Remove your orchids from the pots by pressing or rolling the outside of the pot gently. The contents should loosen easily, allowing you to slide the plant out.

5. Using your hand, gently loosen any excess material from around the roots and inspect the plant’s roots or bulbs for any signs of disease. Rotten roots or diseased sections of rhizomes should be removed. Don’t forget to dab cut rhizomes with your anti-bacterial product.

6. Divide your plants. If you’re dividing a clumping plant simply look for what seems to be the obvious place to divide it and gently separate the sections. “Obvious” is simply where the roots appear to be less intertwined and easier to separate.

7. If you’re propagating back bulbs, make sure your plant has enough of them to allow you to propagate successfully. Ideally, new plants should have three bulbs and a little new root growth. Separate the sections.

8. Lower you new plants into the pots and tip your orchid mix into around them. Don’t compact the mix or you’ll inhibit air flow.

9. Water your plants thoroughly.

Wasn’t that easy? Next, give them the love and attention they need for the next year and await your floral reward!

About the Author

For more interesting tips on propagating orchid, visit my website at expert advice on growing, watering, pruning, repotting, propagating and general care of orchids.

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Propagate Orchids

Article by Mark Alber

Orchid propagation can be as simple or as complex as you allow it to be. This is great news, because the wonderful propagation process can be used by beginner orchid gardeners, commercial orchid growers and on up to those involved in the creation of new hybrids. There is literally a process available for everyone.

There are six main types of orchid propagation that are commonly practiced. They are as follows: back bulb, division, aerial cuttings, keikis, seeds, and meristem tissue culture. Propagating orchids with seeds can be done at home although you will need an extremely sterile environment and a good deal of knowledge and experience to properly perform this, as well as a very gentle and precise touch. Orchid seeds can be very challenging to work with because of their dust-like quality. Meristem tissue culture propagation must also be performed in a very sterile environment and is best suited to a laboratory. Tissue culture propagation basically uses the plant cells of a healthy plant to reproduce, or often clone, more plants with the same makeup.

The remaining four methods do not need to be performed in a laboratory, although sterilization of the tools and table is always a good idea. Aerial cuttings are commonly taken from Dendrobium orchids to reproduce a healthy plant. This process is pretty quick and easy as you just snip them off and replant. Keikis are very common on Phalaenopsis orchids. They are a small plant that grows as a node along the flower spike of Phal’s. You can clip these off and replant them as well. They will usually take 3.5 to 6.5 months to grow.

Another very common form of orchid propagation is to use the back bulbs of an orchid to grow a new plant. Again, because you are taking something from the parent plant, the new plants will generally mimic the original once they are fully grown, so pick an orchid that blooms well.

To propagate using back bulbs, simply sterilize your clippers and cut off as many of the little bulbs as you would like to grow. However, one important thing to make sure is that there are at least two good back bulbs on the original flowering plant. If you leave it with less than that it is not likely to survive.

After you have removed the back bulbs you will want to plant them and nurse them under the most ideal conditions for that species. Back bulb growth can be a long process. It will most like take 2-3 years for it to grow to a flowering stage, but if you make it that far, give yourself a big pat on the back. You’ve just crossed a new line as an orchid grower.

The quickest and easiest way to propagate an orchid is through the process of division. The best time to perform this method is when you are repotting your orchid because you need to have the root structure exposed. Simply remove the orchid from the pot and clear away all of the potting media that’s tangled up in the roots. Grab your sterilized clippers and cut the orchid in half so that you have two distinct shoots and sets of roots. Repot them as normal and that’s pretty much it. There are some variations as it relates to different species, but for the most part, that’s all there is to it. Just make sure that each “new” orchid has at least two to three back bulbs before dividing so they will have the strength to grow in their new potting environment. Good luck and happy gardening!

About the Author

Mark Alber is the owner of can find more resources on orchid propagation at his website.

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