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Thread: Nepenthes pollination techniques

  1. #1

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    Iíve got a general idea but have a few questions for those of you that have more practical experience than me with pollinating your Neps.

    1. At what point of the female flower opening do you start to apply pollen? As soon as the sepals start to open and the tip of the carpel is exposed? Or... once the sepals are fully folded back?

    2. Do you apply the pollen only to the tip of the carpel? OrÖ along its length?

    3. What time-frame do you feel there is for pollinating?

    4. Small paint brush or male flower directly for transferring pollen?

    Right now I have started pollinating my N. ventricosa with N. mirabilis pollen (all I have available right now). The sepals have opened enough to expose the tip of the carpel and I am applying the pollen with a small paint brush.

    Interested to here what others do...

    Aaron.

  2. #2

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    Aaron, it's a mixture of science and art. In relation to your specific queries:

    1. Apply the pollen as soon as the female flower opens. As the flowers open over a number of days or longer, you will need fresh pollen to apply as the flowers open sequentially.

    2. Only apply the pollen to the tip of the stigma, the rest of the structure (such as the ovary) is not receptive.

    3. The stigma can stay receptive for a couple of days to over a week. You can generally tell by the appearance of the stigma whether it's still receptive.

    4. This is more a matter of choice. I tend to cut the anther off and dab pollen directly on the stigma, but it can be a bit awkward. A brush gives you a bit more control of the process, but may waste a bit of pollen (which generally is not that material.

    I also put a wax coated paper bag over the female scape after pollination to keep the humidity up, so the pollen doesn't dry out (which may not be an issue in a greenhouse where the humidity is sufficiently high).

    And a word of advice to any who wants to send pollen in the mail. Tap the pollen into foil or wax paper envelopes prior to sending. Don't send the whole anther - the anther will ooze sap and render the pollen into a goey, unusable mass.
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

  3. #3

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    Michelle does the Nep pollinations. Her fingers are smaller and steadier. She removes the male flower from the spike and rubs the pollen onto the stigma surface as soon as the flower is fully opened. This is done a flower at a time. One male flower is good for several females. Often, the process is repeated again the next day, re-pollinating the same female flowers with a fresh male flower.
    We recently pollinated our female thorelii (she's a beauty, too!) with stored pollen. It had been frozen for a month, and seems to have worked because we're getting nice fat pods. It will be interesting to see if they germinate.

    Trent

  4. #4
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    Heck, I just used a q-tip. I think it worked, as it looks like the ovarie is swelling. I guess time will tell!
    17 Nash Rd.
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    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

  5. #5
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I shake the pollen spike over a sheet of foil or waxed paper and then rub the entire female spike in the pile of pollen. I've also used a paintbrush but thats tedious.

  6. #6

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    Looking good so far:



    I finished pollinating the top flower a few weeks ago. She is crossed with N. gracilis green (not a successful pollination I think) and N. albomarginata x veitchii. You can see the few buds sticking out from behind the plastic collar are not as large as the rest. This, I believe, is due to the gracilis pollen not being viable.

    Bottom flower just opened this week. 1st 1/3 is N. vent squat, 2nd 1/3 is N. khasiana, last 1/3 will be N. alata striped in the next few day I hope.

    2x more female and 1x male Vents still on the way of various forms.

    Aaron.

  7. #7
    rattler's Avatar
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    Thanks for bringing the post back to the top Aaron. i was planning a similar one but now i dont have too. im starting to pollenate a few flowers on my veitchii tomorrow.

    Rattler
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  8. #8

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    Interesting to hear how other people do it. I'm much lazier, if the plants are in pots that can be moved I simply place them so that the flowers touch and leave the work to the ants [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

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