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Orchids are some of the most phenomenal breeds of flora that any garden can feature. Those exquisite flowers are beaming with rarity and naturalness. And because of their commonly expensive price tag, planting them has been considered a privilege of the wealthy. With the growing demand, methods such as flasking have been developed to help cultivate them.
Since its conception, Orchid Flasking has been a very popular hobby. It is done for business or as a personal hobby. And looking at its processes, it seems more like a botanist’s laboratory experiment rather than planting. Yes, it can actually get quite technical and complicated. As such, the practice might require some studying and getting used to.
What is it?
To generally define the procedure, Orchid Flasking is a process of growing orchid seedlings under closed and confined conditions. This allows the sensitive plant to grow healthily under a controlled environment. This prevents exposure from contaminants, parasites, and other unlikely conditions that can impact the plant’s growth.
To illustrate what happens during orchid flasking, a small usually rectangular case made of glass, optic fiber, or plexiglass houses a small controlled environment where orchid seedlings are grown in flasks and fed a special diet of sugars and fertilizers.
The seedlings are allowed to grow under these conditions until they are strong enough to be taken out to the badass world. They will then be grown in gardens.
At first, the discovery and introduction of the procedure called orchid flasking might seem like garbage-turned-to-gold
discovery by an alchemist. However, many in the industry of orchid breeders have a different opinion.
Because orchid flasking is generally open to anyone who is willing to do it, many breeders fear that many low quality orchids with unhealthy genetics might start to flourish. As a result, the future of the orchid industry might be face with many low quality breeds.
On the other hand, proponents of Orchid flasking argue that many of today’s breeds which are considered first class have been produced by amateurs and that many were also the results of accidents.
Although there are many tools and equipments used in orchid flasking, you can generalize them into three. First is the flasking case which will house the growing orchids and separate them from external elements, then there are the flasks which will hold the orchids as they grow, and then there are working tools which will be used to a number of tasks such.
For convenience, the flasking case can just be bought from planting and gardening stores, although this can be an expensive convenience. For improvisation, an aquarium turned on its side with the opening covered with another piece of fitted glass is used. The fitted glass is cut with two holes installed with gloves secured with duct tapes. This is for accessing the growing seedlings.
The tools can also be bought but improvised ones can also be used. For example, you can pound the tip of a steel rod so that it is flat and scoop-like. Bend the flattened part into a hoop and you can already use that of removing contaminants, re-plating, and such.
The process itself is very complicated and can take a long time to really master. Usually, it starts with pollination wherein the pollens of the male flower are taken to the stigma of the female flower. The seeds are then allowed to form into capsules.
Before taking the next procedures, sterilization is done both on the flasks and the seeds to be used. Flasks can be sterilized by boiling but you have to be sure the materials can stand high temperatures. The seeds are sterilized by using 5% bleach solution and a gentle dishwashing soap.
The following procedures are called sowing, replating, and deflasking. Each consists of long procedures that need mastery. You might want to study each subject separately to completely master the art of orchid flasking.