The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - I just tried to pollinate my orchid
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:06 pm 
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HI guys, as my previous attempt to pollinate my orchids wasn't successful, I tried again today. This time though, I took a picture of what I've done, to make sure that I've done it correctly.
So, I took pollen from one orchid and inserted it (well in fact you should be able to see 2 pollen balls) into the stigma of the other orchid, see attached picture of the orchid flower with the pollen inside the stigma
Do you guys reckon it is OK?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:23 am 
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That looks fine. Now just watch the flower for signs of wilting within a few days.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:28 am 
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Here is a pic of the pollinated flower I showed in the other thread. This is now 15 days after pollination and you can see how the flower is drying out and becoming brittle while the ovary is still green and starting to form the seed pod.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Looks good: -)! I will keep an eye on it and see how it goes, I will keep updating this thread
I suppose the first thing will be the stigma closing up?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:17 pm 
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jazzo wrote:
Looks good: -)!
I suppose the first thing will be the stigma closing up?


To be honest I never bother checking. If the flower starts to wilt then pollination was OK.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:23 pm 
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OK, no worries, I said that because that's what happened last time, the stigma closed and then the flower withered, but no swelling and then the flower fell off and nothing happened for some strange reason! Hopefully this time it will be OK
thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Hi
It looks like one of the pollinea is in the right place. The pollen capsules need to be hard against the stigma ( white bits in the photo) the receptors are right behind that. When pollinating my Pleiones I manually squeeze the stigma gently on to the column to ensure contact, but be careful not to break it off!

Good luck

Steve



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Thanks Steve&Doreen,
do you mean that the pollen needs to be pushed against the wall of the stigma or on the two white 'teeth'?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Chaps, I've taken a picture of the orchid flower today (about a week from the pollination) and it is withering but there is no swelling, not sure if it's too early or what, anyway, picture attached.
Let me know what you guys think please


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:17 am 
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To my eyes there is no polination but normal ageing of the flower and the whole thing will fall from the spike. The telltale sign to me is the yellowing of the area connecting flower to spike. This should remain green. I hope I'm wrong :(

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:27 pm 
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I think you're right. So where do you think the process goes wrong? This is exactly what happened last time. You've seen where the pollen was inside the stigma, and it seemed in the right position, yet, the pollination isn't successful, nothing happens. Could it be that the two phals are, somehow, 'not compatible' with each other and therefore the pollination can't succeed?
One interesting to notice though is this: you said "normal ageing of the flower" but that flower hasn't been around that long (there are other flowers on the same plant which have been in bloom for a lot longer and still doing ok, but they haven't been 'pollinated'), and what it seems to me, is that as soon as a flower gets the pollen in the stigma - at least in my case - that flower 'ages' very quickly, in a matter of 6-7 days and then it falls off. What I'm saying is that, curiously, if I hadn't 'pollinated' that flower, I'm almost 100% positive (this is based on previous observations too) it would still look all right now. I thought this was just a coincidence, but it's happening all the time.
Any idea?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:18 pm 
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It is difficult to tell why your plants are not setting seed. It could be you are using flowers that are just too old..........Try using young flowers to pollinate and to supply the pollen. The older the flowers the less likely to get success​.
.

Also some plants will just not set seed for some reason but if you have tried several different plants with no success then flower age is more likely the problem.

You are probably right in the theory that the pollination attempt has triggered the demise of the bloom.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Hi thanks for your reply. I have to wait for new flowers to come out first, then I will try with those.
In terms of age, well I got the plant last year but I don't know how old it was when I got it to be honest


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:48 am 
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Jazzo, just to show you that things don't always go according to plan. Here is a pic of the same pod I showed earlier in this thread. The first pic showed a pollination progressing normally. Now, however the developing pod has turned yellow and will probably fall off within a couple of days.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:18 pm 
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Hi
Pollinating is a bit of hit and miss at the best of times even with species. Age of both the flower and the pollen is a factor as Terry suggests. In pollinating my Pleiones I aim for a flower at five or six days old and pollen at about ten days old. That equates to 1/3 life of the flower and 1/2 life re' the pollen. However you can use pollen if kept in the fridge for at least two months in my experience.

There is probably another factor at play here, and others may be able to express it more clearly than me, but I will have a go. Pollidy numbers, otherwise known as 2N, 3N and 4N count for a lot. 2N is a diploid, 3N is a triploid and 4N is a tetrapliod. 3N's are the most vigorous growers (2N X 4N) because they are almost always sterile plants and most commercial nurseries aim for that, and that I am afraid is probably what you have got.

However give it another go, but use a flower lower down the stem next time in the hope that the sap going to the flowers above, may help keep your attempt alive.

Steve



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