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Storing pollen? Is it possible?

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Marco

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I haven't flowered any multi's yet but once I get a flower I would like to store pollen if I could. Is there anyway to store pollen for future use? If so what's it's life before becoming sterile? Also, are there any methods that would be optimal for storing pollen?

Thanks in advance :)
 

Heather

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Yes, sure!
You can harvest it and keep it in the refrigerator for several months. If you go to the health food store, you can purchase empty medicine capsules. I always thought those to be the best storage containers.

Rick and Rob know the exact details better than I, but the answer is yes, absolutely!
 
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Jmoney

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I throw one of those silica dessicants in there. Of course I've never once used any pollen that I had stored...
 

silence882

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I say yes as well!

I keep mine in the fridge in small unsealed envelopes made from wax paper. Before using, examine it with a 10x loupe to check for mold and you should be good to go.

--Stephen
 

Marco

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silence882 said:
I say yes as well!

I keep mine in the fridge in small unsealed envelopes made from wax paper. Before using, examine it with a 10x loupe to check for mold and you should be good to go.

--Stephen
When would be the best time to pull the pollen? When would the earliest time to pull the pollen?
 

silence882

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As soon as you can get at it! Some species self-pollinate, so the earlier the better.

You have to be careful with some species when removing the pollenia, as they fall apart quite easily. Also, when storing them, don't seal whatever they're in, as the moisture build up can lead to mold. As a further nag, be sure not to crush the envelopes, as that will disperse the pollen and you'll end up fertilizing wax paper... However, when it's time to pollinate, crush the masses against the stigma and smear the pollen around. Best time to pollinate is about a week after the flower starts to open.

In one of the files on Antec's site, I remember reading that they had success will pollen even after it had been stored for 3 years.

--Stephen

Marco said:
When would be the best time to pull the pollen? When would the earliest time to pull the pollen?
 
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Mahon

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If you haven't checked out my reply to the same post at the Lady Slipper Orchid Forum, please check there...

Jeweler suppliers carry these small round, plastic, air-tight containers to store loose gemstones inside. If the foam pillow is removed, you have a perfect seed pod and pollen storage container. Check to make sure it is truly air-tight by placing and shaking underwater. Then, put pollen or pods inside, and store in the fridge. The containers can be marked on the top or bottom with little paper labels. They cost about $6 for 20... you can get them off the internet. I have succesfully stored pollen of Enc. tampensis for a whole year, the only difference from the time I put it in the fridge and took it out is the slight oranging of the pollen... its a great way to store pollen, very reliabel for me, and seeds...

-Pat
 

Rick

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Heather said:
Yes, sure!
You can harvest it and keep it in the refrigerator for several months. If you go to the health food store, you can purchase empty medicine capsules. I always thought those to be the best storage containers.

Rick and Rob know the exact details better than I, but the answer is yes, absolutely!
I used to use wax paper or aluminum foil envelopes, but the pollen got too dry and brittle over a month or so. I switched to the pill capsules, which do breath a little bit, and have kept pollen much longer without the pollen getting too dry in the butter compartment of the fridge. I also wrap the capsules in paper towels so I have something to write on. Haven't had any problem with mold at this point. I haven't had any problem with pollen pulled as late as when a flower started to wilt, and you can generally get good pollenation with only one pollinia. Some people actually have had success scrapping pollen that has been placed on a stigma for a week or so and putting it into a second flower, so I guess there is way more pollen to do the job in only one pollinia.
 

Marco

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Pat - Thank you, I did read your reply on the other forum. Just a little slow on responses. :poke:

Thank you everyone for your responses. It's helped a a lot.

Most of the plants I have will be first time bloomers when the time comes. I just want to get my self prepared because I will be cutting the spikes off :sob:. I figured I might as well pull the pollen. I'll post the pollen I pull which will be available to anyone who wants them when the times comes.

Thanks again.
:p
 

Rick

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If you cut the spikes off before it buds then you won't have any pollen to pull. If you wait until you have developing buds then the plants already invested 90% of the time and energy to flower, so you won't be saving the plant of anything.

I guess thats why you started the "cut spikes" post.
 

Marco

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Rick said:
If you cut the spikes off before it buds then you won't have any pollen to pull. If you wait until you have developing buds then the plants already invested 90% of the time and energy to flower, so you won't be saving the plant of anything.

I guess thats why you started the "cut spikes" post.

You got it on the head Rick. Honestly, now I don't know if I will be cutting the spike.
 

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