In our laboratory, the green pod method of sowing orchid seed is preferred to the dry seed method.

The seed capsule should be harvested while the seed is viable but before the capsule splits.
Optimal harvesting time is specific, not only to genera but also to individual clones.

Harvesting time will vary as a result of extremely complex interrelations between generic and

environmental factors.

Time intervals listed below are meant as a general guideline for those attempting crosses using the genera listed. Adjustments must be made by individual breeders to compensate for local conditions.
The following is a table of harvesting time compiled from records of our own hybridizing program.



Approximate time interval


Cattleya hybrids    
  Labiata type, white, lavender, white with colored-lip
  • 5 to 6 months
  • 4 to 5 months
  SLC., Potinera, yellow
  • 5 months
Epicattleya and other novelties  
  • 5 months
  Epidendrum pseudepidendrum
  • 3 months
Brassavola nodosa and other terete Brasssavola hybrids  
  • 4 to 5 months
Brassavola digbyana and Brassavola glauca (Rhyncholaelia) hybrids  
  • 5 to 6 months
Laelia and Schomburgkia hybrids  
  • 4 to 5 months
Broughtonia hybrids  
  • 2 months
Oncidium luridum and related Oncidium hybrids  
  • 6 to 8 months
Oncidium triquetrum hybrids  
  • 5 months
Most other equitant Oncidium hybrids  
  • 2 months
Oncidium sphacelatum and related Oncidium hybrids  
  • 4 months
Oncidium papilio, Oncidium kramerianum and Oncidium limminghei hybrids  
  • 100 days
Miltonia and Odontoglossum hybrids  
  • 4 months

Vanda, Ascocenda and Ascocentrum hybrids

  • 5 to 7 months
Rhynchostylis hybrids  
  • 5 to 8 months
Phalaenopsis hybrids  
  • 110 days
Dendrobium hybrids    
  Dendrobium phalaenopsis
  • 4 to 5 months
  Dendrobium nobile
  • 5 months
  Dendrobium pierardii and other pendulus Dendrobium hybrids
  • 6 to 7 months
Brassia hybrids (per Howard Liebman)  
  • 12 months


  • The above-mentioned time intervals refer to the plant carrying the seed capsules; usually the pollen parent does not influence the time interval.
    Example: Oncidium papilio x Oncidium luridum 100 days
    Oncidium luridum x Oncidium papilio 7 months
    Unfortunately, the time required for complex intergeneric hybrids is only established after the capsule splits. One can safeguard against splitting by making two or more seed capsules of the same cross a few days apart and immediately after the first one splits, harvest the remaining capsule(s).
    In most cases, the longer a seed capsule is allowed to remain on the plant, without danger of loosing the plant or the seed capsule, the better the obtained results.

Submitted by Ronnie Brandenberg courtesy of:

Ruben P. Sauleda