I'm curious about something I was reading on a website which I've since lost.
When tropical orchids first made their way to Europe in the late 1700s, where they ever propagated by seed? And if so, how? I would imagine it was trial and error but mostly error for countless generations. By the time of Victoria they had become really popular from what I gather because you had to keep them in glasshouses, which displayed and indicated wealth.
I'm guessing people growing them didn't have agar and sterile flasks. So what did they actually have?
I've done some Google searches and emailed an orchid society but the most info I can seem to find is that growers did things "the old fashioned way," without explicitly saying what that way was.
I love Victorian history in particular (and actually used to live in the world's largest Victorian neighborhood) so the way things have changed since that time period really fascinates me. I know that Queen Victoria had an orchid house devoted to growing orchids, and at least 2 different staff whose job was to maintain them. Are there any online resources I can read in-depth about this?
Anybody got any info or links to share?