Daylilies forum: A Daylily Pollen Question

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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 3, 2014 8:20 AM CST

I have been told for 20 years that pollen once rain has touched it, the rain makes it infertile. Is this really true?? What if after a very misty light rain the sun comes up and dries the pollen up, can it not be used?? What are everyones thoughts on this. A lot of times pollen is wet from dew in the morning but once it dries out it can be used. Why can't the same be said for pollen that is wet from the rain. I realize if there is a heavy rain there may not be any pollen left at all to use.


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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jul 3, 2014 8:45 AM CST
I agree I've wondered that too. There are time I can see that it seems "melted" after getting fully drenched, but often enough a light rain, or light spattering from hose-watering nearby, and it doesn't look too bad at all.

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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Jul 3, 2014 8:49 AM CST
In my somewhat limited experience, I have found that most of the time the anthers aren't even open until they get hit with more light than they would during morning rain. In these instances I will pollinate at lunch rather than the morning and have had decent success once things have dried out.

I have never tried using pollen that was nice and ready to go before it rained.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 3, 2014 9:13 AM CST
I will give it a try later. It's supposed to clear up and not rain any more the rest of the day. Thanks.
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jul 3, 2014 9:21 AM CST
If you have a microscope and you place pollen on a slide in some water you can see that the pollen absorbs too much of the water and bursts. Of course, the pollen does not burst when it is placed on a stigma that is wet with its fluid (stigmatic fluid). That fluid is special and has perhaps fats or oils, sugars and other compounds that are specially for the pollen so that instead of bursting, the pollen grains germinate and develop a pollen tube that enters the style and grows down to the ovary, etc.

Now we come to my speculation.

As pollen that is placed in ordinary water bursts the material inside the pollen grain becomes mixed with the water. That material contains sugars, proteins, fats, and other compounds. If there is lots of pollen and little water then as the pollen grains burst the ordinary water may become more like the stigmatic fluid (or more like artificial pollen medium). The most important part (in terms of bursting or killing the pollen) is the amount of sugar in the water (5% to 10% is probably enough to stop pollen from bursting). So it may be possible that as more and more pollen grains burst the water (when there is only a very little) becomes less and less able to make the pollen grains burst and some pollen may survive.

I would suggest trying the pollen, especially if after a light rain and the pollen has dried it looks and acts fluffy (or normal).
Maurice
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 3, 2014 1:14 PM CST
Thanks Maurice, I will certainly try it.
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Jul 3, 2014 1:22 PM CST
There was one day that I thought all the pollen had been ruined after it rained; the anthers looked totally drenched and I thought the pollen had been destroyed. Well after the sun came out and dried everything the anthers opened up and the pollen looked great and fresh.
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 3, 2014 3:15 PM CST
Perfect topic Cindy! It misted/rained her this morning also. I was not sure about the pollen I wanted to set and collect today when I first went out. After seeing the info here, I did try setting some (we'll see on that) and collected some to store in the fridge.
Cat
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Jul 3, 2014 5:28 PM CST
If I know it's going to rain or possibly rain I will put a cup over the bud that will open and I want the pollen from.
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 3, 2014 6:03 PM CST
Great idea Michele Thumbs up
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 8, 2014 8:12 AM CST
What about pollinating with stored pollen after it has rained? Will it set?
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Jul 8, 2014 8:38 AM CST
Usually.
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Jul 8, 2014 8:48 AM CST
Cat said:What about pollinating with stored pollen after it has rained? Will it set?


I find I get much better pod set after a rain.
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jul 8, 2014 4:19 PM CST
Are we talking about wet pollen being more fertile? Or better pollen production after it has rained?
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Jul 8, 2014 7:24 PM CST
No, Cat was asking about using stored pollen.

I find that with it being cooler from the rain and overcast that the pistils are less likely to dry out before the pollen takes. After a rain most every daylily here will have sticky pistils.
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 8, 2014 7:50 PM CST
Thanks for clearing that up for me, Michele!
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Name: DancingGenes
Western WA (Zone 8b)
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DancingGenes
Jul 9, 2014 1:53 AM CST
I've had pods set after applying pollen while it was raining. I guess it had already rained lightly for about 20-30 mins. Wasn't a major loss if they didn't take, so I went ahead and tried it.
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Jul 9, 2014 4:19 AM CST
I have been known to go out with an umbrella to pollinate if it is a light drizzle Thumbs up
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jul 9, 2014 9:46 AM CST
Michele, that is good to know! I was wondering if the rain would keep it from pollinating by diluting it or something.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall

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