Growing Ponerorchis from seed needs experience and takes time. The seedlings usually need three or four years until they flower for the first time and a further two years to prove themselves. Usually, the first spikes ( the third or fourth year after sowing), start with a few, rather small flowers. The trusses become more substantial with age. After five years of good cultivation the single blossoms reach their full size, and strong plants develop around fifteen or more flowers on their truss.
When raised from seed, an exceedingly high percentage of plants of the “wild type” is the result with often less than 5% of choice forms and a smaller % still of forms worth selecting. One grower in Japan has, however, developed a very unusual method for propagating these from seed on wet cardboard. You could almost not believe the growing medium and method, as it is so unusual and orchid “experts” will have to re-think flasking.
Mature tubers develop offsets and smaller new tubers on their sides. These can remain fused for a year or even two but at some point these clusters fall apart, and the single tubers can then be planted separately.
Text, content and pictures © P.J. Christian, BSc Phd 2015