Recently I succumbed to a fit of orchid madness and bought 30 seedlings of the Dockrillia Teretifolium ‘Bridal Vail’ in a flask. I saw a mature specimen on display at an orchid show and was smitten at once.
These are laboratory babies that arrived in a sealed plastic flask – their artificial womb that provided the perfect condition for their development. They had been kept in sterile condition with 100% humidity and optimum temperatures in a jelly rich in nutrients. To say that I was nervous about introducing them to the world in my bathroom basin would be an understatement. However, this I did.
First I washed the black jelly off them in running lukewarm water then gently tease the clump of seedlings apart, lining them up on some paper towels to take a breath while I prepare a tray of 50mm pots to house them.
It was a struggle: despite their size they are wiry and wilful creatures and fought me all the way into the pots then tried to climb out again:
I think the potting mix supplied by the vendor was far too coarse and added to the difficulty of bedding them down but at last I had them in 22 pots and covered them with some cling wrap.
For the next couple of days I was obsessed with them and checked them frequently, taking photographs day and night. The next challenge would be to take them outside. They need to learn to sleep rough.