Daylilies forum: How to handle pollen once they begin to bloom??

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Name: emily
East Tn (Zone 6b)
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Redhorseeg
Apr 13, 2013 5:12 PM CST
Hello all i had a few ?s about handling pollen.....first ? is......if say a lily is blooming one day and i want to use it on one thats not blooming that day.....does it keep?? and if so how do i go about that and for how long will it keep?? if it keeps do certain ways of storing it affect its viablility? Secondly....do most of you that hybridize get up very early to make sure the bees do not polinate first or does it matter?? LOL sorry so many questions i am getting excited Hurray!

The reason i ask the last ? is that i work second shift so given the opportunity i will sleep half the day away so i need to know if I need to get my butt outa bed!
[Last edited by Redhorseeg - Apr 13, 2013 5:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Apr 13, 2013 5:27 PM CST
I think there are people who put the flowers in the refrigerator for use the next day, and I know many who take the pollen mid morning, bring it in and put on paper plates or sheets of paper for use the next day. You want to let it air dry in a cool place out of the sun, I think. I have not done it that way.

I take pollen mid morning, bring in, let it air dry till the next day, then freeze for later use. You can buy little plastic tubes to put it in. Some use old 35 mm film canisters. I use contact lens cases. I have used it for a couple years, but a lot depends on how often you are taking it out to use it, how often it thaws.

I have nocturnals that I pollinate after midnight, or very early in the morning. The rest I usually wait till 8:30 or 9 in the morning. I usually quit if it becomes dry or over 85 degrees, or if it rains.
Name: emily
East Tn (Zone 6b)
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Redhorseeg
Apr 13, 2013 5:32 PM CST
ok thanks! great info...how interesting that it is still viable even after frozen....how long after you freeze it can you still use it?
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Apr 13, 2013 5:36 PM CST
I have used it a couple years later. But not if it has been in and out of the freezer a lot. I think that freezing and thawing would degrade it. I have a lot of contact lens cases... Several hundred... So if I think I will use a lot if pollen, I will freeze several smaller batches and not put it all in one. That way I am not thawing and freezing all my supply every time I want to use any of it.
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Apr 14, 2013 5:37 AM CST
When freezing pollen remember to remove the pollen sacks from the stamens before freezing.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 14, 2013 7:24 AM CST
yes indeed. You can do this by laying the stamens on a paper plate...it must be paper. The stamens will dry and stick to the plate and then you can just pick up the pollen with tweezers and put them in whatever you want to freeze them in. Lots of people use the vials they sell on the LA. You can also use match boxes. I agree with Juli,it will stay good for a couple years at least, if not longer. The contact lens case is a new one to me and sounds like it would work great. I think Im going to try that this year. Anyway, you dont have to get out THAT early, you want to give the pollen time to fluff up. The trick is not to wait until it heats up, they dont like to set pods in high heat.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Apr 14, 2013 7:39 AM CST
Pam, I ordered the disposable contact cases from my eye doctor in lot of 500 if I remember right - each one has 2 sides. I split the order with another person. WAY less expensive than buying them individually in Wal-mart etc. I put a piece of tape on the top to write the name of the pollen on. Easy to wash out and use over. Also, air tight. Last year I filmed on how to use them. I just need to sit down and edit it to make a video and upload it. They are pretty handy.
(Zone 7a)
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dormantsrule
Jun 14, 2013 7:00 PM CST
I use these cases which have alpha numerical slots.

Thumb of 2013-06-15/dormantsrule/64caaa

I write the same alpha/numerical system on all the tubes and throw them all in a ziplock.

Thumb of 2013-06-15/dormantsrule/cf4f12

In Excel, I make a chart with the same alpa/numerical.

Thumb of 2013-06-15/dormantsrule/1381a6

When saving pollen, I just grab whatever tubes out of the bag, have my chart on a clipboard and record pollen parent with the corresponding alpha numerical designation written on tubes and then put them in the correct slots. In the winter when there's 4 feet of snow you can transfer your handwritten data in Excel so it's readable. :0 I no longer grow seedlings but like to donate the seeds.

The cases and tubes are from Earthstar but just saw a note that he's going out of business.
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[Last edited by dormantsrule - Jun 15, 2013 8:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jun 15, 2013 7:14 AM CST
I just have had no luck at all using frozen pollen. I have tried it for 2 years and have never set a pod with it. I follow all the directions everyone says to do and still no luck.
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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jun 16, 2013 5:45 AM CST
I agree I also have had no luck with my frozen pollen (that I know of, - I haven't kept track formally but it seems to me no pods developed from frozen-pollen crosses) but by next year I hope to try tracking pollinated flowers with a designation for whether the pollen was fresh or frozen. It would be so much easier to make hoped-for crosses with frozen since the desired partners are so seldom open at the same time. I do wonder if taking out previously frozen batches of pollen (to add newly-dried pollen in) thaws the old and makes it all non-viable...?

Here's a question for those who store pollen from doubles. Often, the pollen on a double is incorporated directly into a petal, and even using tweezers to remove it from the flower will bring a bit of petal with it. Since it is bad to have a moist part of the stamen (or, I assume, petal) in with the pollen, how to you remove pieces of attached petals? I find it very hard to separate the pollen capsule from the bit of petal, and I can see the petal is quite moist and sticky.

I'd love to see Juli's in-progress video when ready - hope you will post here with a link when it is done! Hurray!
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Jun 16, 2013 6:36 AM CST
I don't add new pollen to old pollen, I just have several vials/matchboxes of the same pollen. If I end up with too many I throw out the older ones. Once in a while I will combine them into one container but I do it in the freezer without taking them out into room temperature.

In my experience, thawing and refreezing pollen does not make it non-viable. We take pollen out and use it sometimes daily then put it right back in the freezer. I have some pollen that's a year old that was used last season and then I kept and used this season.

I use a lot of frozen pollen in the beginning of the season when the new ones I'm wanting to use have not bloomed yet. Another reason I use frozen pollen is because some days I am out pollinating before the anthers are open and the pollen is ready. Sometimes I just don't have time, especially when the mornings were cooler, to wait until all the pollen is ready. I try and use a limited number of pollen parents so sometimes they aren't blooming when I need them.
[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jun 16, 2013 8:04 AM CST
That is extremely helpful information, Michele, thanks! I will stress less that I'm wasting my time and just try to keep good records now of which pods appear from my frozen stock of pollen. Hurray!
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

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[Last edited by chalyse - Jun 16, 2013 8:05 AM (+)]
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