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  • 4 Post By Dorsetman

3 Blooming Orchids & 1 New Breeder

This is a discussion on 3 Blooming Orchids & 1 New Breeder within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; Hey, everyone. I have a quick question for you guys. I've only attempted to pollinate ...

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  1. #1
    GreyThumb is offline Junior Member
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    Default 3 Blooming Orchids & 1 New Breeder

    Hey, everyone.

    I have a quick question for you guys. I've only attempted to pollinate an orchid once and nothing came of it. I have a Phalaenopsis that I bought on discount, that has blooms. I have a Maxillaria Tenuifolia that has recently put out a single flower (smells awesome by the way). I also have a Miltassia Shelob "The Weed", that is currently in spike. So if all goes well, I'll have three different plants with multiple flowers a piece.

    I'd really like to attempt to breed one or all of them, just for the experience. Even if I fail to establish them, I'd at least like a seed pod out of one of them. So, I'd like to know if I can breed any of these plants to each other or self pollinate one of them? I suppose, if I had to, I could grab some pollen from a Phal at a store in town, but that might be a little sketchy. I wouldn't want to end up in the clink for grand theft pollen.

    The Miltassia Shelob "The Weed" was my first orchid and I'd really prefer to breed it. I have divided it recently, when it was first starting to spike. I didn't intend to do it while it was spiking, but I'd been meaning to do it for a while and it was out growing it's pot pretty badly. It seems to like the sphagnum moss I put in with the bark. The newer bulbs are plump instead of wrinkled. I usually get 6-8 flowers on a spike, when it blooms. So barring the buds dying, I'll have several of those flowers to work with.

    The discount Phal has 2 spikes and several flowers. The Maxillaria Tenuifolia only has the one flower, but I could take the pollen and refrigerate it till I get another flower. On the other hand, if I can cross any of these, that'd be fine as well.

    If anyone can give me advice on getting a seed pot out of any of these plants I'd appreciate it. I know they say you won't get keikis or new spikes out of the Miltassia Shelob spike, but I didn't know if that meant you couldn't pollinate the flowers either; or if you could pollinate the flowers, would it pollinate off different flowers of the same plant or off of a clone's flowers? Thanks for any help you can provide.

    GreyThumb

  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
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    You could try selfing them. I am not sure of if the selfing would be successful for the big box store Phal's as some of them are modified to be sterile and don't produce any viable seeds. Maxillaria and Miltassia can be tried and would be a good learning experience. There are quite a few videos in youtube on how to self pollinate

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    GreyThumb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks a lot ksriramkumar. I have been watching some of those youtube videos. I just didn't want to waste time or cause the flowers to drop early for no reason. I'll give them a try. Do you think, with the Maxillaria having only one flower, I should try to self it, or should I save the pollen in the fridge and see if I get another one? There is no guarantee I'll get another. That flower has to be getting long in the tooth, though. I've had it for at least 8 days now. I'll give the Miltassia Shelob a go when some of them bloom.

  4. #4
    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
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    You could always try with a single flower as a learning experience nothing to loose.

  5. #5
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    Dorsetman is online now Senior Member
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    They won't interbreed btw - too far apart in their relationship.
    Btw, the pollen is good almost as soon as the flower opens, but the viscidia ( sticky patch where you put the pollen) may not be receptive until the flower has been open for a week or more - and with some orchids at least, soon after that happens, the pollen loses it's fertility. More of nature's tricks to avoid self-pollination.

    However, be aware, that carrying a sed-pod is a big strain on a plant. As a beginner, I thought like you - lets have a go ... after some plants died whilst carrying a pod, or alternatively produced pods which had no fertile seed in them, I decided not to do it again, except on stronger plants .

    Another thing , with a spike of several flowers, is that the first and last to open may be sterile - I have heard it said that they are there to increase the display to attract the pollinator, but the pollinator is never seen trying those flowers. may be just an interesting idea , but worth following.

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    GreyThumb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks Dorsetman. I'll keep that in mind. I think I'll try with this plant, because it seems pretty healthy, I got it on sale, and I'm not in love with the color of the flower. I figure it's as good a candidate as I'm willing to test. I'll avoid the first and last and try to pollinate maybe 3 of the flowers. Hopefully one will take. If it stresses the plant, I can always remove the other two once I'm sure one is forming a pod.

  7. #7
    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    Another thing , with a spike of several flowers, is that the first and last to open may be sterile - I have heard it said that they are there to increase the display to attract the pollinator, but the pollinator is never seen trying those flowers. may be just an interesting idea , but worth following.
    New interesting info for me!

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    GreyThumb is offline Junior Member
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    Just an update for everyone, I took the phal and pollinated about 4-6 flowers. I didn't start with the first or last flower on either of the two spikes. I picked the easiest ones to get to and pulled the pollen from them. I locked myself in the bathroom so no stray breezes could hit the pollen. Everyone in the house probably though I was either weird or had hit a buffet for lunch. I then pollinated them in reverse order, so the pollen from the furthest flower on the left stalk went to the far right, and so on.

    That was on 4/22/2016. On 4/26/2016 I noticed that the petals on the flowers that I pollinated, especially the inner petals where starting to curl in around the pollen receptacle. I don't know whether this is an indication of successful pollination or not. I'm hopeful, though as the flowers I left unpollinated aren't showing this behavior. I haven't noticed any swelling of the stem, though. If anyone can comment on this, that would be great.

    Also, I didn't know if any of these would take, which is why I did multiples. Is having multiple pods growing okay? I know it would happen in the wild, but is it a good idea to have backup pods or will trying to grow multiple pods stress it out and cause it to drop all of them?

    I recently read a thread on here where one user said they could get pods, but would loose them after 2-3 months. The response was that some Taiwanese bred orchids are sterile. The OP said their orchids were from Taiwan. Would they grow pods even if they're sterile. It seems to me that they just wouldn't do anything when pollinated.

    Lastly, this is an orchid I just got. It's in straight bark. I'd like to add some sphagnum to the mix to prevent it from becoming dehydrated between watering. Would it be okay to repot it, or should I wait? Should I just add some to the top of the pot? It's in a plastic pot, inside of a heavier pot to keep it from tipping. Thanks.

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