My first cross

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I am wanting to try soem orchid breeding, and in particular, slipper orchids. I have 4 Phrags in bloom and in spike right now, and would like to try a cross. I have been trying to find info how to do this, what are the best ways, which species/hybrids are best to use and so on, but I have yet to nail it down. I will only be making the cross, not doing the actual flasking. So, here's my questions:

I have a Sergeant Eric in bloom, and Rosalie Dixler, Cardinale 'Ingrid' and Hanne Popow in spike right now. Which would make the best cross? Well, I should rephrase that, as 'best' is relative. Which would you make and why? I have many other Phrags, but these are the ones that will flower soon. After doing quite a bit of research, I found, surprisingly, that none of these crosses have been made before. At least, not registered.

A question: if they have not been registered, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have never been tried before. If not, why not? If yes, then did they not have good germination? I have a hard time believing that they would result in a bad flower. I have found similar crosses, but not exact. For example, Elizabeth Castle is Mem. Dick Clements x Hanne Popow. Close, but not quite, as Rosalie Dixler is just a smaller version of Mem. Dick Clements.

As far as the actual pollination, is there a trick? Some people say the humidity has to be high in order for the pollen to stick. Some people use honey. Is it best to leave as much of the flower intact when pollinating, to possibly put more energy into setting the seed? What are the chances that any of these crosses will actually take?

Which parent is best to be used for the pod or the pollen? Sometimes the pod parent lends more dominant traits to the cross, but not always. I would suspect that the pod parent should be a very large, healthy plant. That would disqualify my Hanne Popow, as it is a very small division. The others should be good.

My goal would be either a bright red flower, like Rosalie Dixler, or a nice white/pink, along the lines of Cardinale. I'm thinking that the Rosalie Dixler x Hanne Popow would be nice. Or Sergeant Eric x Rosalie Dixler. Maybe I should wait until some of my other Phrags bloom.

Sorry for the long intro here, but I would like some input. I could just go ahead and try any cross, but this a long-term endeavour, so I want to make it count. Thanks in advance for your help.
Kevin I have no advise to give you, but I wish you good luck with the crossing and I hope you can get perfect plants with stunning blooms...:D
Hi! Kevin,
Breeding is a long term procedure, you have to know all individual plants in your collection for that... Nobody can tell you or show you that... Breeding is a long learning procedure and you will have to learn and always learn by doing that; it is that why it is so interesting... Taking and keeping data’s is very important too... There is always a new clues, the exception to the rules and wondering... You will have to learn with your own try and fail. And sometime it is very long to get the answer......

No! If a cross is not yet registered it is not necessarily because it was not done before.

You don’t have to be hurry in breeding too; it is a long process, why do you think that people are working on besseae hybrids now or why we do see much more besseae hybrids on the market... Sure colouration is help, but you can have 5 generation of besseae hybrids before to see one of a long petal in bloom....

With my experience, seed pod need 2 to 18 months to ripe, 1 to 24 months to germinate and 2 to 7 years to flower.... This mean than to get the result of a cross it could take more than 10 years after the pollination. Yes you are right! .... A long-term endeavour....

Hope it help! Good luck!
If all 4 plants you mention are are of quality to justify breeding with, make 2 or 3 crosses, using the strongest plants to carry the pods. Making 2 or 3 crosses greatly increases your chances of getting at least one to take. Any you mentioned would make valid crosses with any of the others so just follow your instincts. The pod parent might contribute more in terms of vigor and temperature preferences, but doesn't necessarily influence appearance of the flower more.

Removing the pouch makes it much easier to see what you are doing to begin with, and causes no harm. Don't worry about any 'tricks', just make sure your plants are in an environment that keeps them healthy.

Keep good records the crosses you make and when you make them, so you can learn over time what works and what doesn't. Good luck, and have fun...
Thanks for all the help! I was sure I had posted this reply earlier, but I can't find it. Anyway, thanks!

I like the idea of making more than one cross. As has been mentioned in other threads, it is best to cross something that is to your liking, rather than just 'because', since it takes so long to see the results. I'm thinking of Rosalie Dixler x Cardinale, but the closest picture I can find of this is Cardinale x Mem. Dick Clements = Sarah Eadie, which isn't quite what I was going for, but I only saw one picture. Maybe I'll try anyway.

Surprisingly, I've only found one Sergeant Eric cross, and that is by besseae = Acker's Luminary. There must be more using this parent, aren't there? I also only found two Rosalie Dixler crosses - using Barbara LeAnn = Fox Valley Fireball and x schlimii = Tammi Jo Hilsenbeck. Does anyone have photos of this last one? Perhaps I'll try Rosalie Dixler x Hanne Popow. That should be nice.

Does anyone know of any reasons why these have not been readily used as parents? Perhaps I shouldn't use them for my first try.

Another question, is, after a phrag flower has been polinated, does the spike still continue to flower? I would think the energy would go into making seeds, not making more flowers.

Edit: Another question: Probably a dumb question, but Paphs and Phrags have 2 pollinia, right? Are both needed to make a polination, or can I make two crosses using the same flower?
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I did my first pollenation...I think I did it around a week ago. It was besseae x Michel Tremblay

Is the bloom supposed to fall off? It just did right this minute, though the pouch was all wrinkly and browning

I will redo the cross if it is not supposed to fall off this soon as I have fresh pollen and stigma
I did my first pollenation...I think I did it around a week ago. It was besseae x Michel Tremblay

Is the bloom supposed to fall off? It just did right this minute, though the pouch was all wrinkly and browning

The bloom does fall off. So, I wouldn't worry about that. The ovary won't swell to much either.

Sounds like a nice cross.

Kevin: I have a few things in bloom or spike that you might be interested in. vittatum, schlimii, Micheal Trembley, besseae flavum, fisherii, hirtzii. Hmmm, looks like its going to be a nice winter...

Thanks Kyle. I was thinking of asking for pollen, but I think I'll try first with my own plants. Thanks for the offer, though. I'll keep you in mind. Actually, I'd like to cross my Belle Hougue Point onto a caudatum type, just to see what I can get. If I can grow the wallisii I'm getting from you, I'd like to cross the two. Or, I could use the Grande 'Maybrook', which hopefully will bloom soon, onto the BHP. I don't want to burden you with flasks, though!
I also have caudatum in bud.

About those plants...I'll talk to you next week. Its not looking to good.

NOOOOOOO!!!! :( :viking: :mad: :confused: :fight: Okay, that pretty much covers my feelings on that. I'll wait for you're call.

Anyone have a besseae that they want to part with?

Now, back to this thread. My Rosalie Dixler is opening today! Is it best to take pollen, or pollenate another flower using the freshest one you have? Are the chances of it 'taking' lower with older flowers?
Remake Fox Valley Fireball (Rosalie Dixler x Barbara LeAnn). It's a great cross. Fox Valley Orchids has a picture on their website.

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