It is not a difficult thing to flask orchids at home in the kitchen. All you need is a lot of Miltons sterilizing liquid a few glass jars, your growing medium and of coarse the seed. Once you have those things you are ready to start. Its even possible to make your own growing medium with agar and a few other ingredients. I will get into that in a second.
This is a flask I sowed on 24/11/2010. This is growing on home made Agar- Agar mix which consists of the following.
1 Table spoon Seagrow
1 Activated ccharcoal capsule
1/2 Banana pulp
2 Cups water Ph 7.1
2 Table spoons Agar- Agar
I was not trying to put the best growing medium together. I just used what I had in the kitchen. The seeds germinated a few weeks later on the 7/12/2010 and looked good. I had made 4 flasks and lost 2 two contamination in a very short time. Its been many months now and it is growing very slowly, but its growing. This is how they are looking right know.
David had sowed the seeds I sent him around the same time I had sowed mine. I got the flasks from him a few weeks later and was surprised at how much they had grown compared to the flasks I had done in the kitchen. Here they are.
These grew very quickly and started filling almost the whole bottom of the flask in a few weeks.
Once they had taken over the bottom of the flask they started growing the first "leaves".The real growing began and they started looking like little orchids.
After the leaves had developed nicely the roots started pushing out from the base of the little plants.
Once the roots started growing, the now proper seedlings grew even faster on Davids enhanced orchid medium. This is how the roots have developed in a space of about two months since they first started growing.
This is how they are looking at the moment.
I have already potted up two flasks that are doing well ! Root development and growth is a bit slower in the com pots, but plants are looking stronger .
Home flasking in the kitchen or in your own laminar hood can be rewarding in a way of accomplishment. The down side is contamination is a big issue and the growth can be much slower if you decide to make your own growing medium for flasking. The seedlings will take many more years to flower due to slow growth.
Sending your precious seed pods to a laboratory is much less of a risk and you can be sure that you are going to have strong seedlings for potting up when the time comes. Plants will also mature faster and flower sooner. We all want flowering plants after all.
This is a picture of both a home flask and a lab flask . Both these flasks are roughly seven months old.You can see there is a big difference.
Happy orchid growing!