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Procedure for Handling Seedlings Out of Flasks

  1. Remove the seedlings carefully from the bottle with a hooked instrument, pulling the mass of seedlings out of the bottle by the root ball first.
  2. Wash the agar solution from the roots in tepid water.
  3. Soak the seedlings in a solution of Natriphene at 1/4 strength for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Allow the seedlings to dry before potting up.
  5. Pot in a media that will drain well but retain moisture. Do not pot into a vessel more than 3" deep unless the roots of the seedlings will reach all the way to the bottom of the container.
  6. Allow the seedlings to harden up a bit, providing water only through mistings until they show some root growth. Keep the media just moist through misting, not wet.
  7. Maintain a temperature above 70 degrees F. if possible, and provide at least 12 hours of light per day, for optimum recovery and the initiation of new growth and roots. The number of hours of light is more important than the intensity of light to encourage growth, as the seedlings do not need very high light.
  8. Light about as you would for mature Phalaenopsis
  9. Your seedlings may take on an opaque texture for several weeks, but this is normal and should not be cause for alarm.
  10. As the seedlings become more turgid and appear richer green color, increase water and begin fertilizing at 1/4 strength, every other watering. Increase watering and raise the fertilizer concentrate to 1/2 normal strength when you see active new growth emerging with new roots. You can begin fertilizing as early as two weeks after potting out. Mineral or vitamin supplements can be applied at 1/4 strength beginning with the first misting out of flasks.
  11. If you do not water too much, keep the air moving constantly and use a sterile media for potting up, there should be no problems with fungus or bacteria. Keep a close watch, however, as these problems can spread very fast through your seedlings. If you find that you have to use a fungicide or bactericide for a curative use (the Natriphene is done for preventative reasons), do not fear some burn on the tender parts of the plants; it is important that you take care of the infection quickly and surely, and the damaged leaf will soon be forgotten with the size of the new growth. If you get a chemical burn, leach the seedlings well as soon a possible and keep them from any direct sunlight.
  12. Keeping your humidity high will keep the seedlings from drying up considerably, but does invite the germination of spores that can cause a lot of problems early in the life of your seedlings after potting out. It is better to keep things a little on the dry, or "hard" side until you see active growth. The pale appearance of the plants grown a little hard will pass when new growth appears and fertilizing begins.
  13. Let your plants develop at least one new growth before potting up into individual pots.
  14. Try to pot into individual pots as a new growth in just emerging, or when new roots are clearly coming out from the base of the plants. If this can be done in early spring for plants grown in natural light, the plants will respond quickly.
  15. Do what you can to provide fresh air to young seedlings as frequently as possible.

Note: For specific care, please click on one of these links:

Carter & Holmes Orchids PO Box 668 629 Mendenhall Rd. Newberry, SC 29108 USA

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