Bletilla and seeds

Joyce Miller
Tue, 15 Jun 2004 11:14:23 PDT
Dear All,

Snip...>  Bletilla is apparently one of the few orchid species that can be
>germinated in damp sphagnum >peat moss but my one attempt at this was
>unsuccessful.  Kenneth Hixson

         I have successfully sown Bletilla striata seed on agar.  On agar, 
Bletilla seed germinates as though rocket propelled.   The seedlings even 
made it through the transition from flask to potting mix.  The key to agar 
success aka asymbiotic germination is that the nutrients, sucrose, salts et 
al replace the function of the mycorrhiza (fungus)required in 
nature.  Without the fungus, sowing on peat or other media is not likely to 
be successful.

         One writer reported successfully germinating orchid seed using 
damp bark taken from a mother plant container.  The report is not at hand 
this morning.  The underlying theory was that the bark would have been 
inoculated with the correct mycorrhiza (fungus) for the specific genus.  In 
the early history of orchid cultivation in England, plantsmen sowed seed 
into the base of the mother pot.  This methodology did work but the yield 
was very poor.

         Good luck.  Tissue culture of seeds and plant tissue is tedious 
and lots of work.  After finally perfecting my sterile techniques, I was 
able to raise a number of different orchid genera.  Except for the 
Bletilla, most of the seedlings failed to survive unflasking.

Kind regards,  Joyce Miller

Joyce E. Miller
Zone USDA 9A Summer highs 100+degrees F for several to many days.  Winter 
lows 27 degrees F  

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