SEED: Storage and Viability

Orchid Doctor Propagation

by Robert M. Hamilton (Compiler)

Originally published in The Orchid Doctor in 1980 and 1988

Posted by Sys Admin over 3 years ago.

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Seed is stored & paper packets placed in dessicator or Mason jar provided with anhydrous calcium chloride; keep in refrigerator at about 45 deg.F.; cattleya seed germinates about 75% after five to 10 years. A53-260+; A66-134

Seed of 30 listed species placed in cold storage (-10 deg.C.) after process of drying out, keep their viability up to three years. OR72-120+

Without refrigeration viability is not more than ten days in a hot climate. NH75(2)-6+

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More The Orchid Doctor Articles under the Heading Seed

Seed Comments
SEED: Cattleya How to grow a pod removed 80 days after pollination: use the usual green pod technique. A71-609 0
SEED: Cleaning The removal of chaff can be done by means of apparatus made from glass tube and rubber tubing and an air bulb to blow the chaff gently, leaving viable seed behind; illus. A63-891 0
SEED: Contaminants To render them sterile before sowing: some spores are only weakened in treatment of seed with calcium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide and can contaminate the flasks months later; use a solution of 4% honey in water for pre-soaking the seed for four hours at 98 deg.F., then treat them. A64-111 0
SEED: Disinfectants Calcium hypochlorite is a very reliable choice; some people prefer Clorox. A62-925 0
SEED: Dispersal by Hand in the Wild From a pod shake seed into pint jar of water, add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon dilute fertilizer solution, 1 drop liquid detergent; place in refrigerator 24 hours; pour into bucket of water and agitate occasionally while dispersing on previously wetted trees or rocks in the open, or on suitable hosts in the greenhouse; an appropriate climate is a must. AU71-21+ 0
SEED: Dormancy Released by Refrigeration Cypripedium reginae seeds after several months of refrigeration reach high percentages of germination; for the results of the experiment refer to A87-935; Wll-292 0
SEED: Home Growth Stimulus Seed sown in places distant from their native home or habitat will still measure time and respond to it in terms of the native habitat and become active when the necessary home growth stimulus, such as a spring rain, occurs. OR77-338 0
SEED: Irradiated Use of X-rays, gamma and beta-rays on orchid seeds to produce mutants may have discouraging effects as the surviving plants may not produce recognizable or desirable ones. A59-688 0
SEED: Mailing Fold a piece of letter paper in two, cut a triangle out of it and seal one side with Scotch tape to form a cone, put the seed in, seal the opening with tape, write the names on the paper and mail. Ca81(3)-36 0
SEED: Shelf Life in a Dessicator Seed is viable up to five or six months at room temperature; at 45 deg.F. it is viable for one to several years; green pod seed is less viable. A77-314 0
SEED: Sterilization For the technical processes outlined for the treatment of Cephalanthera rubra, refer to A87-817Mature seed is commonly sterilized in saturated calcium hypochlorite, 7 grams to a liter of water, the solution stirred well and decanted before use; add 2 or 3 drops of mild househols detergent; place the solution and the seed in a vial or test tube and shake for 17 minutes; if you are doubtful about the sterility of the seed in the end, wash it again in sterile water before sowing. OBIII-275 0
SEED: Storage Directions: cut the capsule open, place seed on paper, write date and identification; let dry for about two weeks; store in small envelopes in a large jar with a six- or eight-ounce packet of silica gel; place in refrigerator. OD68-208 0
SEED: Viability Proof There is no certain method of testing except to wait after planting to see how many germinate; mature seed can be examined under a 20 power lens and if the seed is plump and an embryo (dark spot) is seen it is likely viable. F74-68 0
SEED: Viability Test By the use of tetrazolium; for an explanation and methods followed, refer to OR78-258+ 0
SEED: Viability Test by Immersion There is no published proof of testing orchid seed by immersion in chemicals; for non-orchid seed see: Proc. of the Assoc. of Official Seed Analysts, 1952, 143+ A65-721 0

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