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Tomatoes & Bud Blast True or False

This is a discussion on Tomatoes & Bud Blast True or False within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So, I'm trying to figure out the truth of an old orchid wives' tale. I ...

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  1. #1
    sadie's Avatar
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    Default Tomatoes & Bud Blast True or False

    So, I'm trying to figure out the truth of an old orchid wives' tale. I have heard that tomato plants give off a gas or otherwise will cause orchids to drop their buds and blooms. The other version of the story is that it is the ethelyne produced by ripening tomatoes (not the plants themselves) that cause the buds and blooms to drop.

    This question arises because of an on-going discussion with my husband. He would LOVE to grow tomatoes from seed in my greenhouse during the winter. I have my reservations--particularly if the tomatoes will somehow cause any or all of the orchids to drop their blooms.

    So, mythbusters--any truth to the tomatoes cause buds to drop theory? Better yet, has anyone actually grown tomatoes and let them ripen in your greenhouse along with your orchids? ?????

  2. #2
    Mehera's Avatar
    Mehera is offline Just Another Senior Moment
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    What an interesting question! Surely someone must know....

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    Bikerdoc5968 is offline Senior Member
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    I don't have an absolute scientific answer. However, the ethylene gas to which you make reference comes from the decay of certain fruits. As an example, placing sliced apples in a plastic bag with a bromiliad will force it to bloom. I believe this works with some other plants also. I don't think ripening tomatoes would do this.....now if they fall off and begin to rot, that may be a different story.....I'd like to hear from others because this is interesting, since I have used sliced apples on my chids to attract snails in the past and this definitly works to catch those little critters and I saw no ill effects on the chids or their flowers.

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    I think its a gas called Ethelyne. I know that apples and other ripening fruits will do it. A way to ripen tometoes that have been picked is to put them in a bag with apples. I think that all ripening fruit gives it off to some extent. It may shorten the lives of your blooms.

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, your husband is only planning to grow the plants, not the fruit in the GH and if that is the case, you will not have to worry. LJA did the tomato from seed thing when we first built our GH. He also grew peppers that way. In the spring, we would put them out in the regular garden. The little plants did nothing that I could see or remember to damage the orchids. They do however take up space and the trays have to be kept warm when the seeds start to grow.

    My understanding is that the ripening fruit is what causes the release of gas that could cause bud blast or damage if in close proximity to the orchid.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Okay--so the consensus then is that if he wanted to start the seedlings and get seedlings going for transplant into the garden--no problem. But growing the plants and letting them actually produce and ripen tomatoes could affect my orchids. ???

  7. #7
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
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    Ripening fruit (any fruit, even when picked from the plant) secretes ethylene gas as part of their natural process.
    Ethylene (among other gases) is responsible for triggering the ripening of fruits, and the senescence of pollinated flowers.

    Ethylene is actually produced inside the plant, and delivered to the flowers and fruits. Ripening fruit receives heavier doses of ethylene and therefore provides a larger chance of expending the ethylene in the form of ethylene gas.
    The ethylene in the plant rarely escapes through the plant membranes. But do be careful about pruning plants inside the greenhouse (or chopping them up in preparation for composting).

    Obviously you do not want ripening fruit in close proximity of flower that you do not want to wilt as it would trigger the flowers to senesce without being pollinated first.

    Kerosene heaters also produce trace amounts of ethylene gas as a byproduct, and is actually used by fruit warehouse companies to induce faster ripening of fruit stock that were picked green during harvest.

    Info Link 1
    Info Link 2
    Ethylene and Auxin Participation in Pollen Induced Fading of Vanda Orchid Blossoms

    I can dig up more info if you need

  8. #8
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    ....ripening fruit also causes cut flowers to wilt and cattleya sepals to brown

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