Make sure that pods are old enough for fertilisation of seeds to have occurred. Times can vary considerably by species and the growing conditions, so use this as a very rough guide only:
Cymbidium 9-12 months
Paphiopedilum 10-14 months (some multifloral species as low as 5 months)
Sarcochilus 8-14 months
When removing the pod from the plant, be sure to leave enough of the stem in tact for us to worth with. Around 2-3cm of stem is sufficient. Pack pods to protect them from damage during transit. A small box filled with shredded paper is ideal. Do not sell pods in plastic containers or bags as this will promote fungal growth. Make sure you label each pod appropriately.
Express Post or other expedited service should be used to ensure that the pods get to us as soon as possible. Avoid posting over weekend. Please do check with us before posting to ensure that we will be available to receive the package.
If you are collecting dry seed it is imperative that you try to keep the seed dry at all times to avoid disappointment. First, try to find out roughly how long the pod will take to reach maturity. You will need to start checking the pod regularly for signs of splitting shortly before maturity. A change of colour in the pod is a good indication that it is going to dehisce soon. You may find it help to move the plant to a sheltered location where you can keep an eye on it and where the pod won’t get wet. For terrestrial species, we find it helpful to cut off the whole flower stem and put it in a jar of water on a sunny windowsill just before maturity. Once the pod starts splitting, cut it off and place it on a piece of paper in a dry location. Over about a week, the pod will completely dry and the seed will fall out onto the paper. You can then pour the seed into a paper envelope and label it accordingly. Please avoid plastics, as they are a pain to get seed out from.
Regular postal services are fine for dry seed, as it is not imperative that delivery be fast. Seeds are however very delicate, so should never be sent in an envelope. To avoid crushing, send in a small box or something similar to prevent crushing by postal machinery. Please do check with us before posting to ensure that we will be available to receive the package.