Out of curiousity, I tried to cross pollinate two different Cymbidium orchids. I took the two yellow pollen balls (pollinia) from behind the anther cap of a small greenish yellow Cymbidium flower (no identity) that I bought recently and transfered them into one Cymbidium tracyanum flower, also behind the cap. Now it has been about 10 days and I notice some changes. First I noticed that that the colum was getting longer and thicker. Then the flower stem is also changing. While the rest of the C. tracyanum flowers have yellow stems, the one that was cross pollinated is getting longer and larger and very green. The sepals and petals of the other flowers are still reasonably good, but the one that I cross pollinated is starting to wilt. Hopefully it will turn into a pod with seeds inside.
Once I manage to get some seeds, hopefully they will grow into a new kind of Cymbidium orchids that look different from the two parents. I cannot imagine the long process of growing orchids from seeds, it must take a long time to grow and bloom.
It is just a little experiment, it may be sucessful or fail. I just do it for fun!!
When seeds are produced, it is just the beginning and easiest part of the very long and tedious process. Germinating the seeds is a much more complicated task as they have to germinate in a complete sterile environment by using special germinating mix that consist mainly from agar-agar with specific nutrients added. Then growing the seedlings to grow into healthy and strong plants is another challenge. The last one is the long wait for the plant to grow flowers. I wonder if I will have enough patient and dexterity to succeed. No wonder newly released orchids hybrids are expensive to buy.
1 liter demineralised water
1 level tablespoon (9 grams) Agar (from Health Food Shop)
1 level tablespoon sugar
40 gram nearly ripe Cavendish banana, blended
Potato, walnut size, optional blended with banana improves root formation
Bring to boil and decant into prepared jars for sterilising. Sterilise complete jars with lids for 15 minutes in pressure cooker.
*** It is better to use seeds from unopen mature pod as these seeds are not contaminated. Seeds that come from open dry pod need to be sterilized by soaking in distilled water and bleach solution, rate 9 – 1. After seeds sink, rinse to get rid of bleach with distilled water before used. This process is better to use a sterilised syringe in stronger water – bleach solution (6 – 1).
Note August 25, 2012:
Something wrong with the pod! All of sudden it is getting very yellow. I don’t think that it is supposed to be matured yet, as I read that Cymbidium orchid pod will take months to develop and mature. I am afraid that mine will soon fall off before it has a chance to grow. Well…… it does not matter that much to me. I was just trying it for fun. I will try it again with the other orchids.