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Experiment!

This is a discussion on Experiment! within the The Pollen Vault forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; >Manchua, yes, mashing the pollinia into a paste before >applying it to stigma works very ...

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  1. #11
    Manchua is offline Junior Member
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    >Manchua, yes, mashing the pollinia into a paste before
    >applying it to stigma works very well

    Great. I'll give that a try. As I said, I only have one more shot at this and I want it to work.

    Do I need to use BOTH pollen capsules or can I separate them and save one for later?

    >As long as swelling has occured, and the plant didn't
    >abandon the capsule, there's still a very good chance
    >that you have viable seed.

    Ok. That's good to hear. Tomorrow, I'm going to the monthly meeting of our local orchid society and the speaker is Howard Ginsberg, an experienced Phal grower, so I'll be able to ask him what he thinks of my skinny seed pod. I asked someone at the last meeting and I was told that one end of the seed pod begins to turn yellow just before it splits so that's a good time to pluck it off and mail it to a service.

    I'd really like to get two seed pods going because I like one orchid much more than the other. The one I'm having trouble with is my oldest orchid, the very first one I bought back in 2000. It's a real fast grower and I'd like to have a bunch of baby fast growers to play around with. The one with the seed pod now seems to be a sluggish grower. But hey, I got it for free so I can't complain.

  2. #12
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    You don't need to use both sets of pollinia at all. Doing so, however, will increase the chances that a greater number of cells contact the stigmatic surface.

  3. #13
    Alicia is offline Junior Member
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    Out of curiosity what is the rate range for using a flasking service?

  4. #14
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    orchidaddict789 is offline Senior Member
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    , Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by LJA
    Not a dumb question--I've always been told a year, year and a half in the fridge before it starts becoming less and less potent, so I've always gone by that. The pollens of some plants can last for centuries, but I don't think that's the way it is with orchids.
    Not that I really plan to do some serious orchid sowing (well, maybe if all goes well), but just out of fun and curiosity I think it'll be interesting to pollinate an orchid and see what happens. Okay, I've read that you should harvest pollen when the flower is new--only a few days old. But I can't bear to lose a flower, lol, hehe that's just me, especially a brand new one. But I have this habit of collecting dried orchid flowers that have fallen off and storing them in a box (just for memories, lol). And I'm pretty sure the dried flowers still have their pollen. And most should be less than a year old.

    Will the pollen still be potent if the flower is allowed to wilt due to age? *thinking about dried flowers*

    lol my curiosity...

  5. #15
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    Lily, I've never tried that. Maybe it was just because of humid greenhouse conditions, but when I've looked at pollinia on Cattleya flowers here that have started to wilt, the pollen masses have gone from a bright healthy yellow to a dull brown, and any attempts to use it have failed.

    If you have any intergenerics in bloom with lots of flowers, you could try yourself though, without feeling like you're "wasting" a flower. It would be interesting to find out what happens--if pollen from dried flowers will actually take.

  6. #16
    LJA's Avatar
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    Alicia, rates for flasking are pretty much all over the board, just depends on who's doing it. Some places will do it for free provided you tell them what the cross is and allow them to keep the flasks you don't want. (Most people aren't interested in getting all the seedlings out of any particular cross--they don't want hundreds and hundreds of one kind of plant...) Others charge in the neighborhood of $25.00 - $50.00 if they send you the mother flasks, more if you want them to keep the stuff and send you only after it's been replated with 20 - 25 plants per flask. Hobbyists with access to equipment will often flask things for a minimal trade provided you pay for supplies (agar, flasks, etc..). So it really all just depends....

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJA
    Lily, I've never tried that. Maybe it was just because of humid greenhouse conditions, but when I've looked at pollinia on Cattleya flowers here that have started to wilt, the pollen masses have gone from a bright healthy yellow to a dull brown, and any attempts to use it have failed.

    If you have any intergenerics in bloom with lots of flowers, you could try yourself though, without feeling like you're "wasting" a flower. It would be interesting to find out what happens--if pollen from dried flowers will actually take.

    Thanks! That sounds interesting. I checked several dried phal flowers collected in June and they still have orange pollinia. Perhaps different orchids are different or growing conditions go into play. No idea if the phal pollinia will still work. Have some pretty old onc blooms and the pollinia aren't discolored, but they look dried up and shrunken. Looks bad to me.

    Pollinating a flower will put stress on the plant/spike, so I don't want to ruin a spike or somehow affecting the other flowers (because if I get a pod, I'm going to let it ripen)...I don't know how big of an impact. Maybe I'll enjoy flowers first then pollinate after a while? Just a test, nothing serious, but it'll be great to see the pollen take.

  8. #18
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    ATester is offline Minster of Silly Flasking
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    Default Experiement

    I've been tryng to prepare myself to get ready and sow some seeds from a pollenation that I did earlier this summer with my Epidendrum (I now have two pods the thickness of my thumbs). One of my biggest concerns is what to do with the potential numbers of plants I could end up with. In my apartment space is limited. But, I try to keep reminding myself that I have some other necessary steps that I must accomplish BEFORE I even start thinking about the burgeoning protocorms...namely the flasking process itself. In theory it seems relatively simple (though many steps are involved ), but the more I think about the logistics of trying to keep everything sterile, that's really where my anxiety is hanging out at the bar talking my ear off (after too much SoCo and Moxie).

    I am considering contacting the local university to see if they would allow me use of their facilities (again, if available) to sow flasks in exchange for plants. UNH does have an agriculture department, and I don't know wether or not orchids would be of interest to them. Does anyone think that might be of interest to them?
    Last edited by ATester; September 10th, 2005 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #19
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    I seem to recall hearing that the University of California at Santa Barbara does a lot of work with orchids. Perhaps you could connect with someone there who could do the flasking. I don't know anyone myself, but I'll check the web pages....

  10. #20
    dahlia_guy is offline Member
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    Question uh oh...

    I am keeoing my pollen in the freezer, is that OK?

    Travis

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