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Orchid Mycorrizae

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by The Orchidomaniac, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    Have any of you ever germinated orchid seed symbiotically?
    I'd like to perhaps trade for or purchase a section of mount that has orchid fungus on it. It would be interesting to compare asymbiotic germination to symbiotic germination, and I want to put it on my orchids to help them grow.
     
  2. J E

    J E Member

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    I'm not sure it's possible or practical to culture mycorrhiza at this point. There's little understood about the whole process anyway and there's not one species either.
     
  3. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Apparently, the mycorrhizal organisms responsible for orchid seed germination are very specific to the species. In other words, the one that infects Paph primulinum seeds and pumps in the sugars necessary for germination may not do much at all to the seed of another species of plant. (It wouldn’t surprise me if two, distinct species with the same or overlapping territory were, though.)

    On the other had, for the purposes of supporting the health of the plants, there are many species that have beneficial effects.

    I was a big fan of Inocucor Garden Solution, out of Canada, but they ceased production about 14 months ago. Now I use Quantum-Total, instead (Quantum Orchid is the privately-labeled version of the same product, at a higher price.). It contains several different beneficial microbes, but there are a couple of unique ones.

    One is a nitrogen-fixing species that makes fertilizer from the air, right inside the plant, while another is photosynthetic, making extra sugars to fuel the plant without it having to expend the resources to do so itself.

    Both are available via Amazon. Quantum Orchid from Repotme.com, Quantum-Total from firstrays.com.
     
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  4. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    I have read that most species germinated with Rhizoctonia solani. The thing is, this fungus is opportunistic, which means that it does what is best for it. If the action that will give it the most sugars and nutrients is to kill a plant, it does. However, if the fungus grows up as a nice guy, I read that its clones will be kind too. I know that Epidendrums, Encyclias, and Bletillas are not at all picky about what fungus they germinate with, but some plants like Dendrophylax species and miniatures are very picky.
    People have successfully germinated seed on sphagnum with local tree bark sprinkled on it, even though the plants they germinated grew on the other side of the world.
    Laeliinae plants tend to have larger seeds along with Oncidiums in my experience, and are thus stronger to attack from fungus. Even if the fungus attacks the seed intending to kill it, the seed's thicker skin and food reserves mean that it can still dissolve the hyphae.
    I am just wondering if any of you have germinated seed symbiotically in your collections, and if so, I would like to maybe obtain a bark sample.
     
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  5. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Thanks for those comments! I love learning new stuff!
     
  6. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    @Ray
    I am going to purchase Cuitlauzina pendula seeds!
    I'll flask some using the bleach fume method and a glove box, and I will sprinkle the rest on bark inoculated with different fungi.
    I'm crossing my fingers that some will germinate!
    In the case that I do find a symbiotic fungus, I'll try to make it available to other orchid growers.
     
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  7. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    All I can say is “Good luck!”.
     
  8. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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