A Thai orchid comes from a flask.
A Thai orchid or any other orchids, you have to start to grow the seed or tissue culture in a flask.
Orchids are either made from tissue culture or from seeds. And both are grown in a flask. When the orchids have grown to a size where they start to be too big to be in the flask, the flask is broken and they are placed outside on netting for further growing.
Each grower has his secret for how to make the growing medium, that is used in the flask.
One of my friends have one of the best orchids farms in Thailand, and I have made this picture series about how orchids start to grow, at his farm.
5 piece orchid flask.
This type of flask is mostly sold to collectors and it is also very popular among tourists. The flask is a reused Thai whiskey flask.
40 piece orchid flask.
This type of flask, is used by professionals. You here see how the orchids grow in the medium.
Flask with labels.
There is a small hole in the cork which closes the bottle, to prevent overpressure. The hole is closed with a small piece of cotton, to prevent bacteria from entering the bottle. You can see the white cotton piece.
5 piece orchid flask.
My friend has his own lab at his farm where he makes the flask. He has a special boiler where he cleans the flasks.
Flasks head to head.
When the tissue culture or the seeds are put in the flask it is mostly done in a special box with overpressure, so no bacteria enters the bottle.
Ready for export.
Some years ago I shipped some boxes of flasks to an orchid collector in Europe, I had to pack them very carefully,
Flasks in Storage.
When seeds have no stored carbohydrates, it is important they have the right media to initiate germination and growth. Every grower has his own secret formula, for what he thinks is the best media.
The flasks have to be in shadow.
First, you place the media in the flask. Then you have to place the seeds or tissue culture in the media. It very important everything is sterile if you want a beautiful Thai orchid. Therefore it is normally done in a laboratory.
A big nursery needs a lot of flasks for production.
A Thai orchid has to stay about 2 years in the flask before you can take it out. When the Thai orchid comes out of the flask, as a small plant, it is placed on netting before it is big enough to be put in a pot.
Orchids just out if the flasks.
here you see the orchids just out of the flask on black netting, they spend the first months on frames of with black netting.
Starting to grow.
When the orchids are getting too big for the frames they first were placed on, they are placed on netting and are given more space to grow on.
First they get a little pot.
When the orchid shows it will grow, it is first planted in a little round pot where it spends the next year.
The orchid out of the pot.
When the orchids, start getting too big for the pot it has to be replanted. You take the orchid very carefully out of the little pot.
The orchid in a hanging basket.
The orchid is placed in a square basket, and one of the roots is secured, with a piece of wire so the orchid will not fall out of the basket if it is windy.
Now the orchid is handing in its own basket.
Now we have a nice little Vanda orchid hanging in its basket. Now we just have to wait some years to get the first flower.