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Old 12-26-2008, 12:22 AM
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Pollinating Phalenopsis

hi

Does any one have any experience in Pollinating Phalenopsis.

Any Info is appreciated

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Girish
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:23 AM
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Especially some diagramatics of phalenopsis identifying the parts of the flower would be greatly helpful
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:03 AM
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eh...i have done that. wouldn't it be nice, where you can have the people in your local orchid society in your area show you how it is done? oh, put a paper under where you
are doing it. I always drop my pollen end up looking for it...
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:34 PM
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I dont have any diagrams but ill try to give a little tutorial.

First of all the flower parts:

Petals=three petals, one of which is modified into an ornate lip.
Sepals=the colorful petal like structures located behind the petals.
Column=the ridged structure located in the very center of a phal flower. It contains all the sexual organs and will be the focus of pollination.

Also important is the area that will develop the seed pod. I is the stalk that holds the flower to the spike. I has a few small grooves that will become more apparent when this area swells with seed.

I dont have experience breeding but I have pollinated a orchids out of curiosity and I love to try to figure out the mechanisms by which they are pollinated in nature, so my first advice when pollinating any orchid would be to think "what would a bee(or whatever the pollinator is) do?".

In your case a toothpick or something similar can take the place of the pollinator. The lip is the landing pad and the pollinia (packets of pollen) and pollen receptive surface are on the underside of the column. When you look very close at the underside of the column you will see a paper-thin triangular sturucture near the tip. The backside of this structure is sticky. when the pollinator is in the correct position the back of its head or thorax will become attached to it. When the insect (or your toothpick) withdraws from the flower it drags two small balls of pollinia with it (sometimes the little cap on the end of the column comes with it and this must be removed). Removing the pollinia exposes the receptive surface. Orchids can usualy only be pollinated after the pollinia have been removed.

Now you have your pollinia stuck to the end of your toothpick. Do the same to the flower you wish to pollinate in order to expose the receptive surface. The receptive surface covers much of the underside of the column and is shinier than the rest of the flower. Now take your pollen and rub it on that surface. the pollen is very small so you will not always see yellow pollen on the receptive surface, you can stick the whole pollinia to the surface and leave it there for insurance.

The flower is now pollinated and will wilt and brown within a few days. If the flower wilts but does not fall off this is a good sign that you have pollinated it properly. The structure holding the flower to the spike will begin to swell and should be ready in a matter of months. I dont remember exactly how long, something like 130 days. maybe someone else will correct me.

Also keep in mind that producing seed takes a lot of energy out of the plant and should only be done with a healthy plant.

Last edited by LouisW; 12-26-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:01 PM
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Here is a diagram from a book I have - An Illustrated Survey of Orchid Genera by Tom & Marion Sheehan - a book I highly recommend!
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:04 AM
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1 Picture = 1000 words.... Thanks u Mayers
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:04 AM
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:26 AM
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You also could kiss the bloom and transfer the pollen to another flower like Jenny's daughter did! That's one of my favorite postings from orchidgeeks!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:58 AM
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Hehehe. Rachel took one bloom in her hand touched the other. The one in her hand was upside down cause she kept saying it was a "butterfly". She touched the columns together and kept saying they were getting butterfly kisses. LoL

There's a sad note to this story though cause the seed pod didn't make it. My oldest son got one of those Havoc Helis for Christmas and it sure did create havoc. Needless to say the chopper crash landed on the seed pod and the blades chopped up the petals before completely crashing. I thought it would make it as it was starting to turn color. Well it turned alright. From nice and plump to shriveled nothing.

Rachel was so mad at Spencer. She said that he owes her a new pod. LoL
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:17 AM
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This is a subject I'm very interested in, I really want to breed phals when I feel that I'm capable enough to take care of the ones I have already. I'm having a hard time understanding where you put the pollinia on the "mother" plant. So you take the pollinia from the father plant, and from what I'm understanding, you also remove the pollinia of the mother plant? And then where on the mother plant do you put the father plant's pollinia? Which structure is it in the diagram that mayres posted? Also - can the two plants "trade" their pollinia, so that they both become mother plants?
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:22 AM
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Here's a link to my recent post with Miltoniopsis. The "parts" are the same. Sure, you can cross back, also.

http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/gen...rchid-sex.html
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:29 AM
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Oh... so the pollinia just go inside the little cave in the underside of the column? You didn't have to remove the anther cap of the pod-parent? Did you remove the pollinia of the pod-parent?
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:19 AM
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I have tried with Phals but , they haven't taken Yet!! I'll keep trying!! Everytime I want to breed them the Pollen is always dried (hard). I have even tried to use flowers that are not open all the way. Is the pollen supposed to be dry?

Tom
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:39 PM
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Hi Tom,
Phalaenopsis pollen are round and hard.
Two grains only.

Glen
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