The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Successfully pollinated or not?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:40 pm 
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HI guys, I have 2 phal orchids, a 'gold staff' and what looks like a 'purple princess'. ANyway, I decided to cross pollinate them and I started during the summer 2016 all the way to November. I can't quite remember exactly how many flowers I pollinated, I reckon about 6 or 7 for each orchid.
I think that the pollination was successful because a few days (or maybe a week) after I inserted the pollinia into the other orchid's flower - in the cave-like area that is - that area closed up with the pollinia inside it (I have attached a screenshot of how it looked after it closed, not sure if you can see it properly there). The pollinated flowers then quickly withered and fell off the plant.
So from the last pollination it has been about 4 months and still no pods, that's without considering the pollinations before November. So, do you think that something went wrong and the various pollinations were not successful or it is just a matter of waiting longer?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:36 am 
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Successfully polinated flowers do not just fall off a plant. They gradually dry out and remain attached to the swelling ovary located just behind them. I will try and post a pic later today.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:08 am 
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This is a typical pollinated phal. You can see the remains of the flower, now dry and paper-like, still attached and the seed pod forming directly behind it. This is 4.5 months from pollination. Can you post a pic of the plant as it is now as it would be easier to see what is happening.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:59 am 
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HI thanks for the info and picture. I need to rectify something I said earlier, after the 'pollination' the flowers didn't wither and fell off quickly as I said, but they withered and then eventually (after about a month) fell off.
Now in the spot where the flower was, there is nothing, no swelling.
So from what you're saying I seem to understand that the pollination wasn't actually successful as i though it had been. That's odd though as I followed the steps in videos and various guides... The fflower needs to remain attached until the pod comes out then
Should I then try again?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:04 pm 
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jazzo wrote:
..................... The flower needs to remain attached until the pod comes out then
Should I then try again?


I am not sure if you are understanding where the pod comes from looking at the above comment. The pod does not 'come out' of anywhere. If you look at the phal flowers you will see that they are attached to the spike by a short stem about 4cm to 5cm long. It is this part of the plant that swells to form the seed pod. When a flower ages and dies (rather than pollination) the flower and this short stem detach from the spike.

Look at the pic below and you will see cymbidium flower pollinated 8 days ago. The flower has started to wither and the seed pod is starting to form, as shown by the arrows.

As I said in my previous post if you could post a pic of what you have it would be easier to see what has happened.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:55 pm 
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HI thanks, OK I understand now. Sorry I didn't post the picture because there is really nothing to see there, but in any case, here it is :-)
As you can see there is simply no flower in that area, there used to be 3 or 4 all "pollinated", they withered and eventually fall off. So clearly the pollination wasn't successful.
I don't know exactly how I got things wrong then...I will try again, perhaps I will post the pictures of what I did here on the forum and we will take it from there. In the meanwhile, any special tips for the pollination? Like, for example, pollinating young/old flowers etc etc
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:30 pm 
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OK your pic tells the whole story. There is no pollination. From what you have said then your flowers just got old and fell off, as dead flowers do.

As far as pollination is concerned then young flowers are better than old for both pollen and seed parent. Please do try again as it is a good learning experience and, although it is not easy, it is possible to sow seeds at home. Even if you never get around to sowing the seed you will learn a lot about how seed pods are formed and how long they take to mature.

It takes only about a week to tell if a flower has been pollinated as it starts to wilt while remaining firmly attached to the spike. A pollinated flower will NOT fall off the spike.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:07 pm 
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thanks for your reply. Yes I will definitely try again, as I would like to try to sow the seeds - yes I know it's a lot of work and very very difficult to get orchids out of seed, but I'd like to try.
Now, as I have seen a few different videos and tutorials about pollinating, is there any online resource that you guys recommend?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Its bizarre the way orchids behave. I have a couple of plants that spontaneously self pollinate! Not Phalaenopsis admittedly, but still....

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