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Thread: H. minor self fertilization guidance

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Exclamation H. minor self fertilization guidance

    Hi guys,

    My H. minor has opened a beautiful flower. There is a second one on the stalk and the idea is that I should collect pollen from the first one and use it to fertilize the second.

    Since this is the first for me, any guidance is appreciated and I don't know if I will get any seed, but if I do, will be glad to share. ALthough with the flower size, I am not sure if I will get a lot of seed.

    cheers,

    Varun

    Pics:



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    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    First of all...vibration is needed to get pollen out of the pollen sacks (they look like tubes) or you could tear them open to get the pollen. Pollen is not mature untill the stigma of the flower is brown....this means that you must take pollen from an older flower and pollinate a new flower with a green stigma with it.

    Hope this helps.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

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    Av8tor had a cool instructional video where he used a tuning fork to extract the pollen.

    Another thing you may try is static electricity. Take a drinking straw or plastic rod if you have one and rub it very fast for a few seconds with cloth, wool, etc. Then wave the straw where you were rubbing it as close to the pollen sacks as possible without touching it. The charge is enough to bend a small stream of water from a faucet, it may have enough of a charge to attract pollen.

    Just an idea... I have never tried that but it may be worth a shot.

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Great idea Dashman. I'll give ti a shot. Lol! I already tried messaging Av8tor. I am waiting for his reply. The problem is I don't have a tuning fork.

    Thats what I plan to do Exo, I was thinking about slicing them open with an exacto knife to grab the pollen dust to brush it on the next flower.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Hey V!

    Congrats on the Heli Flower mate, sorry for the delay.

    IIRC David cuts open the anthers and wipes their interior onto the receptive stigma...

    Timing is critical and seems to be more of an art with a big dose of luck at this point. The stigma is receptive as the petals start to open. The flower in the top right picture of your post is probably ready (at the time of the picture).

    Here is a pic:


    If you look carefully you will see a drop of nectar on the very end of the stigma....

    Notice the anthers are perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the pistil. As the pollen ripens they will drop down and become more parallel to the pistil.

    Your biggest enemy is moisture.... pollen viability is inversely proportional to moisture. So store them in the fridge or freezer. However, it has also been shown that there is a point of diminishing returns.

    (I believe the high humidity most of us maintain our helis in is at least partly responsible for the low pollination rate in cultivation. I would love to try growing pollen tubes to verify this but oh well :P )

    Once pollination has occured the stigma it will dry up and darken.
    Over the next few weeks the ovary will swell from seed development



    my video:


    Hope this helps and keep us posted
    Butch

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vraev View Post
    The problem is I don't have a tuning fork.
    Just an idea...maybe try using a pair of tweezers in the same manner. Just hold them by the base and hit one of the tips against a table. (with the surface between the tips parallel to the table...hitting it as if you are closing the tips together.) I kinda found this out by accident...dropped a pair of tweezers once, and found that they were very tuning-fork like.
    Last edited by Presto; 01-02-2011 at 07:11 PM. Reason: clarification
    -Emily

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    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Thanks very much B. Very informative. Yes!! I completely see your observations. The stigma is green ATM and the anthers are perpendicular without any pollen outside. I guess I will wait till the anthers drop a bit. Does pollen start to shed on its own?

    And then all the storage jazz and immediately fertilize the stigma as soon as the next flower opens well.

    Great suggestion Emily. I have quite a few foreceps of different lengths, I'll try it with one of the longer ones and see if it works. I still think perhaps its a better idea to use an xacto knife to slice open the anthers.

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    Xacto the poor man's scalpel.
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