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Orchid question

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by The Snark, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. The Snark

    The Snark Dumpster Fire of the Gods Old Timer

    To @schmiggle and anyone else who can give insight.
    Just saw it again today. a WTF????????????????????

    Once the orchid seedling sprout they are placed in small jars, a little water is added and the jars are hermetically sealed. They happily thrive in this environment for up to five years.

    How in heck? Produce their own self sustaining ecosystem?
  2. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Ideally they would get fertilizer, but strictly speaking, they grow until there isn't enough CO2 to continue to grow, then they enter a cycle of respiration and growth where they just cycle through the following system:

    6CO2+6H2O [​IMG] C6H12O6+6O2
    That is, carbon dioxide+water [​IMG] glucose+oxygen gas

    When one side of the equation becomes overweighted, plants merely do the reaction the other way. There's some guy in England who has a large hermetically sealed plant jar that's been going strong for almost fifty years. My guess would be that this method is only useful with orchids and other slow-growing plants, though, because once they reach the equilibrium state no growth happens and there's not much point.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnolord Active Member

    The pictures of that 50 year old plant in a vase are pretty cool. I tried to make one with a Johnny blue bottle and ferns and it worked for a while but it got moved to a spot that didn’t have enough light and died. I may try again.
  4. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince

    Wow - I have kept terrariums enclosed but not quite sealed for 7+ years. But 50 years sealed? Impressive.
  5. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    At the end of the day, there isn't much difference between being completely sealed for 1 year or 100 years if it's truly a closed system and it gets light (this would usually be the only open part of the system, I suppose). I think the biggest problem would be that I'm sure there's something out there that can digest the rubber and plastic in the "cap," which would destroy the closure that's necessary not to lose water. In the end, drying out is the biggest risk in this situation for most plants.
  6. The Snark

    The Snark Dumpster Fire of the Gods Old Timer

    This is remarkable. And in the case of these orchids, the growth and cycling is regulated by how much light they are exposed to.

    Something else remarkable. I've never entertained the possibility of an entirely isolated biosphere. In my mind plants have always been a part of an ecosystem and required interaction with it in one form or another.

    Meanwhile, over in it's cave we have plants quietly humming one note songs to themselves in their own private nirvana.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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