Lilies forum: Pollen Applicators

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Name: Patrick
Midland, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Jun 8, 2017 8:02 AM CST
What do you guys use to apply pollen to the stigma of your lilies?

I do different things depending on how much pollen I have. If I have a small amount of pollen that is still on the anthers I will pick up the anthers with a tweezers and dab directly onto the stigma. If I have a larger quantity of pollen, I will use a Q-Tip cut in half so I can use both ends without getting pollen all over myself. I think I lose a fair amount of pollen to the Q-Tip so I don't like to use this unless I think I have pollen to spare. At times I have also just poked the flower stigma into an envelop containing pollen and swipe it around.

The thing I am cautious of is that some lilies produce lots of stigmatic fluid and I don't want to end up adding this to my pollen. This is where the Q-Tip can help - when it starts to look wet, I discard and get a new one.

When I am messing around with cut style pollination, I need to use something to help transfer the pollen from the storage container to the freshly cut surface of remaining stub of the style. I will be adjusting what I do for cut style pollinations this year - I have read where others shorten the style to ~1 cm and then slice the remaining stub lengthwise into quarters (cut an X in the end) to allow it to be "opened up" and packed with pollen. I have heard of someone using a piano wire to help push pollen up into the cut style. The only thing I have done in the past is to shorten the style with a razor blade cutting it at a 45 degree angle leaving only about 1 cm and then applied pollen to the cut surface. I have found that pollen does not stick real well to the cut surface. The only time I use cut style is for wide crosses - if it is not needed it can produce less seed for normally fertile crosses.

So what do you guys use for pollen dabbing?
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Jun 8, 2017 9:24 AM CST
Gentle rolling motion of a Q-tip. 'On the spot' pollination by dangling the anther on the stigma.
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Jun 8, 2017 12:14 PM CST
I'm with Lorn!
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 8, 2017 8:25 PM CST
I pollenate as daintily as possible. My preference is to hold the whole anther and dangle-dab the anther on stigma. Sometimes you could swear there is no pollen on the anther, but after multiple tries, the stigma colors with the pollen.

Otherwise I like the softest paint brushes I can find. Usually, I wouldn't have enough pollen to waste on a Q-tip. Seems I am always at "war" with the insects, trying to beat them to pollen before they gather it all up!
Thumb of 2017-06-09/Leftwood/5feb75

Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
Jun 9, 2017 4:09 AM CST


I literally "hand pollinate". And disinfect between each pollination.
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Peonies Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader
Hybridizer Daylilies Garden Photography Dog Lover Lilies Irises
Jun 9, 2017 5:00 AM CST
I have just snipped the filament with the anther attached. Then just rub the anther on the stamen until it's covered I pollen.
Name: Patrick
Midland, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Jun 9, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Thanks for sharing everyone!
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Jun 9, 2017 11:28 AM CST
If I'm using fresh pollen I do it just like Dave but I don't even snip. I rip them off.

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