The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Eeek! First Flask Emergency
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:52 pm 
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I've just brought home some flasks, had hoped I had a few days to sort myself out, but it looks like I have to deflask one quick as I have mold growth! The tub is in a sealed bag and I guess it must have got a nick in it at some point in my journeying Handholding apreciated!

Flask is Pabstia jugosa. I had hoped to leave it a few weeks as I can't really see pseudobulbs and I'd thought it best to leave until they'd formed, though the leaves are just touching the top of the pot. Currently the mold colony is not touching the plants, but the size it is I expect it could fill the pot in a day.

My available supplies are sphagnum moss, perlite, chunky bark and Orchid Focus bark and coconut mix (I guess I could break down some bits of the last two, but small bark is not instantly available). I was thinking of using a mix of moss and perlite: would that drain a bit better than moss on it's own?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Since I don't have a fungicide, I'm thinking of giving the seedlings a dunk in a mild bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution. Good idea?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Rowan, I would think that the mould is using the sugars and nutrients in the agar in the flask to feed and grow. Just washing this off the seedlings before you plant them should be enough. From your discription the seedlings are quite large.
The only time I used H2O2 on seedlings they turned white and died :oops: I could have had too concentrate a solution but I thought that I had a 3% one.

I know little of this plant so can't help with specifics.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:07 pm 
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I just rinse my seedlings in tepid water, I would also put them all in one pot with moss and put a clear bag over the top or put them in a mini propagator for a few weeks.

You don't have to get them out as soon as the contamination appears, I left one flask for about a week or two before I decanted( depending how quick it grows) and the seedlings are looking good.

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Last edited by Masdyman on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:07 pm 
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If the mold just start you have a few days still, but don't wait much longer. And be careful if the mold makes a "crust", it's more tough than the plants.

Clean the plants thoroughly with tepid water, you can use a dilution of baking soda as a mild fungicide too in the cleaning process.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Thanks. I haven't done it yet as I'm not feeling great. The mold patch doesn't seem to have spread much to my surprise so I think I'll risk leaving it till tomorrow now.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Just a quick note to say the Pabstias (and some others that were fighting to get out: some Paph hybrids and a single Angreacum elephantium that was a freebie) got deflasked last night. 24 hours on they are all looking well. I have them in a propogator which seems to be keeping pretty constant 99% humidity at the moment! (I have a suspicion that the humidity gauge can't say 100% lol). Will hopefully get round to posting pics at some point...

Any thoughts on temperature? I've been trying to keep it at 20-25C, but it's gone a little under and over that (heating mat seems to be a little too good so can't be left on I don't think...)

Thanks for all the help!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:10 pm 
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RowanGreen wrote:
Just a quick note to say the Pabstias (and some others that were fighting to get out: some Paph hybrids and a single Angreacum elephantium that was a freebie) got deflasked last night. 24 hours on they are all looking well. I have them in a propogator which seems to be keeping pretty constant 99% humidity at the moment! (I have a suspicion that the humidity gauge can't say 100% lol). Will hopefully get round to posting pics at some point...

Any thoughts on temperature? I've been trying to keep it at 20-25C, but it's gone a little under and over that (heating mat seems to be a little too good so can't be left on I don't think...)

Thanks for all the help!


Are they under cool white tubes -lights?

What I like about CFT lights is when they are on for the 13 hour period you get some heat gain, so my area can rise and for that period be at 24c-27 c, then obviously drop in the off period which seems around 20c, so they serve two purposes, they are under my stairs where there is also a freezer! so think some heat gain from this also...
I used to use a heated propagator so like a heat mat, the main problem is there isn't any temperature control so the heat is constant whilst it is on so you have to be very vigilant and watch the temperature. The one I had you could put sand in the bottom of the propagator thus could pour water in and keep the temp controlled to some degree. It is much better though to have a controlled area or an area you can leave and trust, I only have a timer which turns the lights on , which provides the light and the heat gain. I don't see the point in providing the heat if the right amount of day length isn't provided, both go together, we want to provide the seedlings or flasks with the maximum amount of potential to grow, in return we should get plants sooner rather than later :D

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Hi, they are currently in a north facing room with some additional lighting (a daylight ceiling bulb that is left on all day plus an additional bulb a few hours a day when I'm in). Short version: a proper 24 hours a day lighting system isn't an option right now.

There is currently a layer of leca and water in the bottom of the propogator.

So they could probably go a few degrees hotter during the day without harm? And you'd go on the cooler side at night? (Which is good, as they have been!)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:02 pm 
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RowanGreen wrote:
Hi, they are currently in a north facing room with some additional lighting (a daylight ceiling bulb that is left on all day plus an additional bulb a few hours a day when I'm in). Short version: a proper 24 hours a day lighting system isn't an option right now.

There is currently a layer of leca and water in the bottom of the propogator.

So they could probably go a few degrees hotter during the day without harm? And you'd go on the cooler side at night? (Which is good, as they have been!)



There is nothing proper or technical about a cool white tube. For what you need a cool white bulb might be enough for a tray of seedlings.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:24 pm 
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They have some daylight, plus additional lighting all day, plus a powerful daylight bulb near them several hours a day. I still think temperature is possibly more of an issue.

Having said that, they are still looking good after the weekend, so I think they are happy. After a talk with Jerry Fisher on Saturday I re-did the paphs yesterday: they'd 'elongated', with leaves then roots, then leaves rather than the neat fan with roots I'd expected! I'd given them a 'best fit' potting. Following Jerry's advice I took them out and removed lower leaves up to the highest roots, and re-potted burried up to there.

There's a little bit of the same with the Pabstia, though less so. And with them being much more flimsy plants I've decided they'll just have to sort themselves out as they wouldn't take much handling.

I think I might de-flask the phals tonight: while they could go longer in flask, they are touching the top and growing fast at the moment. I'm worried if I leave them I'll end up with them desperately needing to come out and the first lot at a point of 'hardening' where they can't really share the propagator. There's also one with slightly dodgy looking roots: I thought it was maybe because they got chilled during my travels (I think some of the paphs got a little root frazzle and lost some hairs, but they seem fine...) but I think the roots may be dying back a bit and I think it might be wise to get it out and separated from the rest just in case.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Thought I'd update: I did deflask the phals last Monday. 'Stumpy' of the slightly frazzled root ends turned out to have more roots hidden in the dark medium, including one which was huge! It also turned out to have a second tiny plant hiding pretty much under it! So I got 5 plants instead of the four I was expecting/got from the other flasks! 'Little stumpy' only has a couple of small leaves, but pretty good roots so I'm hopefull.

Everything is looking good so far! A couple of the Paphs and the Angreacum have just started new leaves. I can see active root growth on some Phals and the Pabstias (most roots are hidden in the moss at the moment). It looks like the Pabstias are forming pseudobulbs. I gave them their first feed on Sunday: a little bit of Orchid Focus Grow in de-ionised water as I've heard the Pabstias are very picky about water. I've been giving them short bursts with the roof off so as to give them a bit of a taste of lower humidity. I think I'm going to start leaving the vent open more now.

So... the full listing is:

Pabstia jugosa x 4
Paph Schöne von Kaunitz x 4
Doritaenopsis Kenneth Schubert x Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica x 5
Angraecum elephantium x 1

The phals it's going to be a long wait to see what they turn out like! As far as I can work out if the pulcherimma in Kenneth Schubert comes through they could be plain pink (not me...) or dark red (better). If the violacea comes through they could be colourful and patterned.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:39 am 
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RowanGreen wrote:
Thought I'd update: I did deflask the phals last Monday. 'Stumpy' of the slightly frazzled root ends turned out to have more roots hidden in the dark medium, including one which was huge! It also turned out to have a second tiny plant hiding pretty much under it! So I got 5 plants instead of the four I was expecting/got from the other flasks! 'Little stumpy' only has a couple of small leaves, but pretty good roots so I'm hopefull.

Everything is looking good so far! A couple of the Paphs and the Angreacum have just started new leaves. I can see active root growth on some Phals and the Pabstias (most roots are hidden in the moss at the moment). It looks like the Pabstias are forming pseudobulbs. I gave them their first feed on Sunday: a little bit of Orchid Focus Grow in de-ionised water as I've heard the Pabstias are very picky about water. I've been giving them short bursts with the roof off so as to give them a bit of a taste of lower humidity. I think I'm going to start leaving the vent open more now.

So... the full listing is:

Pabstia jugosa x 4
Paph Schöne von Kaunitz x 4
Doritaenopsis Kenneth Schubert x Phalaenopsis hieroglyphica x 5
Angraecum elephantium x 1

The phals it's going to be a long wait to see what they turn out like! As far as I can work out if the pulcherimma in Kenneth Schubert comes through they could be plain pink (not me...) or dark red (better). If the violacea comes through they could be colourful and patterned.


If I may ask, how did all your seedlings fare?? I'll be getting a flask soon, so any advice you have would be appreciated...


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Hi, they are all still with me and doing well, except the Angraecum :( which recently died. It was growing really well, but I oversoaked it's moss one time and it seems that did it. Rot set in and I didn't manage to get it back. The paphs were re-potted several months ago, will be potting the others individually soon.

What flask are you getting?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Hi! Would you be so kind to upload a photo of your little plants. I am very interested how big they are after a year. :clap:
Thank you

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:15 pm 
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I'll try and get some... must post some of the old ones too or the comparison would be a bit pointless! Might take me a while to sort out.


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