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Thread: Cattleya breeding

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  1. #1
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    Default Cattleya breeding

    The society has a lab where members can try their hand at growing orchids from scratch. All of the equipment is there and a couple of the senior members teach a hands on course gratis. I'm think of giving it a go and was wondering about plant size. The two plants in question are an orange flowered mini and a large yellow. Would I be better off using the small plant as the pod parent or visa versa or does it matter. I'm thinking the small plant simply because it would be easier to handle.

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    As long as the parents are healthy, I would give it a shot. You can check the chromosome count on both the parents to be sure that they would be viable

  3. #3
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    Let me guess. Shinfong Little Sun and Haw Yuan Gold? They are both very complex 8th generation (or more) hybrids with a dozen or more species ancestors in common. Haw Yuan Gold is the more proven breeder (55 registered crosses vs. 5) but it has been around longer so that's part of the reason. Both have been successful parents both pod and pollen. There's not much reason to pick one over the other for pod parent. If there is any difference between them in terms of how they perform for you, use the more vigorous easy grower as the pod parent. That may give you an edge in abundant seed and vigorous seedlings.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksriramkumar View Post
    As long as the parents are healthy, I would give it a shot. You can check the chromosome count on both the parents to be sure that they would be viable
    Thank you Sriram! I wouldn't begin to know how to do that!

    ---------- Post Merged at 05:31 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    Let me guess. Shinfong Little Sun and Haw Yuan Gold? They are both very complex 8th generation (or more) hybrids with a dozen or more species ancestors in common. Haw Yuan Gold is the more proven breeder (55 registered crosses vs. 5) but it has been around longer so that's part of the reason. Both have been successful parents both pod and pollen. There's not much reason to pick one over the other for pod parent. If there is any difference between them in terms of how they perform for you, use the more vigorous easy grower as the pod parent. That may give you an edge in abundant seed and vigorous seedlings.
    Thanks Kirk. I would be aiming for a more floriferous mid size plant. I don't have any idea how one would go about selecting the plants to keep at certain stages of growth after deflasking. I mean if a hundred potable seedlings are produced I wouldn't have the space to continue on with that many. On such a small scale do you just keep the vigorous growers? Perhaps the smaller ones would have better flowers? I guess I'm going o have a lot of questions when and if the pollination is successful.

  5. #5
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    So I went with Haw Yuan Gold as the pod parent. I have a Dendrobium cross I'd like to try as well but have to wait and see whether they'll both bloom at the same time.

  6. #6
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    It is probably best to make the cross a couple times both ways to maximize your chances, and let both plants carry a pod if they are healthy. Until a pod is mature you can never tell how much viable seed there might be. Most plants from a cross like this will probably be pretty big, a few more compact. I would try to select the small but vigorous ones, and anything with conspicuously broader leaves. And if any come out consistently bifoliate they may have a better chance of high flower count per spike. The rest you give away to people who at least will post pictures when they flower. We will expect progress reports...

  7. #7
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    I hope premature wilting is a good sign??

    Name:  Rlc. Haw Yaun Gold wilting 2017.JPG
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  8. #8
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    Pollination would result in wilting of the flowers as its job is over and energy is diverted for seed formation. Next milestone is swelling of ovary

  9. #9
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    Keep an eye to the back of the flower. If it starts to become green, probably it is starting to be "pregnant".

  10. #10
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    Alan Koch, who does a lot of breeding, once told me that, with flowers of wildly disparate size, often, the pollen of the smaller flower will not grow pollen tubes sufficiently long to reach the ovary.

    I was of the impression that the phenomenon was a direct, genetic effect, sort-of like short parent typically having short kids. However, apparently some of that is simply a case of running out of resources to keep growing at a sustained rate. Some recent studies have shown that Kelpak (sold as KelpMax in North America) stimulates pollen tube growth, so maybe applying it to plants at the time of pollination (or a little before?) might help with that.

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