Orchid Seed Flasking

Dr. Bill's Orchids offers Orchid Seed Flasking services for green pod and dried pods.

Update 3/15/24 - We are not accepting new pods at this time due to extremely limited time and space to process them. If you have already received advance confirmation for your pods- please send when ready as agreed.  Any questions, please email flasking@drbillsorchids.com

Service Terms:  

  • $17 per pod for mother flasking (2-3 mother flasks made per pod to improve likelihood of germination)
  • $20 per "final" flask produced, approximately 20-25 seedlings per "final", minimum 3 per cross
    • If there is not enough germination for 3 "final" flasks, I will contact the client to provide a progress update and discuss options. 
  • Invoices paid via emailed invoice from Drbillsorchids.com
  • Dr. Bill's Orchids, LLC does not guarantee germination of your pods as some pods may be sterile or simply have poor germination overall due to a number of factors (species or hybrids involved, being harvest too early, poor storage conditions between harvest and receipt, etc). It is our opinion that no flasking service can truly give this type of a guarantee. In the event that a pod does not yield viable seedlings, either from lack of germination or seedling directly off, no refunds of mother flask sowing fees will be given.
  • Recognition required by the seed supplying customer that some seeds take long periods of time to germinate (some Paph seeds will take a year or more to germinate at times!)

Directions for sending pods after receiving confirmation from Dr. Bill that flasking space is available for your pod(s):  

  • Fill out this Information Form, including genus and the parentage (All parentage is kept confidential**) Genus must be identified clearly for each pod so the proper flasking media/concentration is used.
  • Wrap each individual pod in a paper coffee filter and tape it shut. Do not place pods or seeds in a Ziploc or other plastic bag as this tends to promote rot/mold formation while in transit.
  • All pods must be labeled to coordinate with the information on the provided information form. However the pods are labeled will be used to make sure that it is flasked appropriately. 
  • Place pod(s) + Information Form in a small box and send to:
Dr. Bill's Orchids, LLC
747 E Boughton Road, Ste #162
Bolingbrook, IL 60440 

**Note: It is understood that some clients would not like the parentage of their cross to be known to Dr. Bill, however, in the event that a mother or final flask is abandoned by the client, it is now required that parentage is provided. All parentage is kept as confidential Intellectual Property of the Client (AKA not shared), and is only available to Dr. Bill's Orchids staff. A sample label for flasks in the lab can be found here: Sample DBO Flask Label

    Other information about Dr. Bill's Orchids flasking:

    • All pods and progeny produced are expressly the property of the client. Any excess seedlings produced that are not included in the ordered number of final flasks will be destroyed to maintain hybridizing Intellectual Property of the client, unless other arrangements are made. 
    • Pricing for flasking services is subject to change at any time prior to entering the service(s) contract with a client. After service agreements have been made, pricing should not change unless there are extraordinary circumstances- in such events, the client will be contacted to discuss options.
    • From the time seed is mailed or dropped off to Dr. Bill's Orchids to the time that final flasks are ready to be shipped to the client for growing out can vary widely based on viability and genus. Some flasks are ready to be sent out after 12-18+ months, but others may take 24-36 months, depending on germination and rate of growth. However, this time frame is only an estimate- it is dependent on seed viability and germination rates.
    • While in the lab, flasks are labeled with Dr. Bill's flasking code that is only known to him. If anyone else were to look at a client's flask for any reason, they would not be able to identify the flask's contents or the client that the flask belongs to.
    • Stem propagation services are not currently available- anticipated to be offered in the future


    Other Orchid Seed information:


    • Green pod = pod is not "fully" ripened to the point where it has split. Harvested earlier than the split. Usually only has 1 chance at flasking as seed cannot easily be saved once processed for the first flask.
    • Dry pod = pod has fully ripened/matured and is about to, or already has, split open to expose the seeds. Seeds can be separated from the chaff and stored. When seeds are separated, they can usually be plated over a series of platings since the seed can be stored, and portions of the "stock" can be processed at a time for mother plating.
    • Mother plate = the first plate that seeds go on in order to get them to germinate. Mother plates often have many many seeds that eventually develop into protocorms. Mothers will get divided into replate flasks as protocorms develop/grow.
    • Replate = an intermediate flask between the mother flask and the "final plate" that provides fresh nutrients for the protocorms/seedlings. Often is used to spread out the developing seedlings so they are not overcrowded.
    • Final flask = the end result that contains seedlings to be deflasked. This is the last stage of the flask journey before they are taken out of flask. Can be months to years after the mother flask is sown before this stage.

    Not sure if your pod is ready? You can check a table of green pod maturation times published by the AOS (copied below for your convenience)

    Table with green-pod harvesting times for orchids seeds listed by parent orchid type

    Updated 12/28/23