Nun Orchid Seed Pods

by Joyce
(Melbourne, FL)

I have what I think are two seed pods on a Nun Orchid. What do I do with them to hopefully grow more orchids? Do they need special care, and if so, what?


Plant Guides Answer

I have good news and bad news for you, Joyce.

The good news is that the seed pods forming on your nun orchid will produce more than a million seeds. If you allow the pods to ripen, they will burst and scatter those millions of seeds to the wind.

There is a very slight chance that one or two of those tiny seeds will land in a spot with just the right conditions to allow it to germinate. There is an even slimmer chance that one would survive and grow to maturity.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that if you pick the pods and sow the seeds on potting soil, they won't make it.

Most garden plants produce complete seeds which contain all the nourishment the seedling will need to get off to a healthy start.

Orchids produce incomplete seeds. They don't contain any nutrients. Because of this they have to be sown under sterile conditions on a media formulated to support their growth.

You would have to wait 9 months or more for the pods to ripen and send them to an orchid lab to be sown. I shudder to think what they would charge you for this service.

You are far better off just purchasing more mature plants.

Also, if you are not planning to send the ripe pods to an orchid lab, it is best to remove them. Ripening seeds uses a lot of the orchid's energy. If you clip the pods off, the plant can direct that energy into growth.

Nun Orchid is a page with information about much easier ways of propagating your nun orchid.

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Apr 23, 2011
Propagating Nun Orchids Using the Flower Stems
by: Lorraine -Jupiter

After you cut off the pods, cut the stems into 6 to 8 inch lengths. I take a zip lock gallon bag, add good potting soil, place the stems half way in the soil, so as not to cover the whole stem. Add water to keep it moist. Each notch has the potential to start a new plant.

Mar 05, 2011
Orchid Lab Prices
by: Anonymous

Orchid labs are not very expensive. The one I use charges $10 to sow the seed and $0.90 per plant replated with a minimum of 90 (3 flasks). Another charges $15 to sow the seed and $1.00 per plant to replate (minimum 30 plants).

There are guides to do it yourself flasking but you will need to buy appropriate materials.
See this site for DIY orchid raising:

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