Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Pollinating sempervivum 101

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 15, 2017 7:10 PM CST

Moderator

I thought this might be a great way for us to share our learning experiences on how breed our very one cultivars of sempervivum.
As you can tell I am brand new to this. Oh I've harvested seeds and planted them, and did haphazard crosses. I know now that I am missing some key steps.

We have learned this week that it is important to bag our bloom stalks so the insects and wind don't take the pollen before we get out in the garden.
tcstoehr said:Thumb of 2017-07-14/tcstoehr/27a857

Like this?
If only there were some referential material on how to do this sort of thing. You know... like a publicly available written resource of some kind.


Nice job of bagging Tim. Thumbs up

I took this photo this evening after using pollen from 'Gold Marie' onto a several blooms of 'Mary Beth'. Not sure if this is even a cross that would be good. Just happened that the two colonies are sitting side by side while I was trying to figure things out.
Tell me what you all see wrong with this photo?


I didn't even think of it until I got the photo onto my computer.

@JungleShadows what can you tell us about this photo, what do we need to learn?

Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 15, 2017 7:43 PM CST
You didn't remove the anthers! Important for plants that are self fertile!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 15, 2017 7:46 PM CST

Moderator

Hurray! Connie you win the gold star. Group hug
I can't believe I didn't think of that until I saw the photo up close. *Blush*
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 15, 2017 7:49 PM CST
I'm glad lilies are self infertile and I don't have to be too concerned about that aspect. I usually remove the anthers anyway because they can be real messy and stain clothing.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 15, 2017 7:56 PM CST

Moderator

I ended up with pollen all over my fingers. Tiny golden grains.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 15, 2017 8:00 PM CST
You might want to keep an eye out on your clothes, I don't know if semp pollen makes permanent stains. Right now I have a pair of good jeans out on the fence trying to sun bleach lily stains out. I need to remember to change into my paint clothing when I go out there to work with the pollen!
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 15, 2017 9:13 PM CST
Lynn,

Yes, pluck the anthers before the pollen opens on the parent you want to use as a pod parent! Luckily semps don't pollinate their own flower as the stigma is not receptive until after the pollen is gone.

No stain from the semp pollen but it's small compared to lily pollen and VERY light. I use forceps to pull the flower off the stalk, using the least motion I can. Otherwise, you distribute the pollen before you get it to the flower of choice.

OK GET CROSSING!

Kevin
Name: Michael
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Sempervivums Hybridizer Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Region: Europe Garden Ideas: Level 1
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parttimegardener
Jul 15, 2017 10:00 PM CST
I'm not using the complete flower for pollination but single or small groups of anthers. I carefully rip them out with my tweezers, carry them to the receiving flower and use the anthers as micro brushes to evenly distribute the pollen on the pistils. (Usually I don't need more than 4 filaments to impollinate one flower. Some varieties produce so much pollen that even 1 anther is more than enough).
This way I'm able to pollinate both the donor and the receptor flower which might be critical as some of the small to medium sized varieties produce very few flowers (I had some with only 3 to 4 flowers this year that I absolutely wanted to cross).
Instead of bagging them up to save the pollen I put my potted plants indoors whenever I saw that a flower was opening.
Worked fine for me. I'm always afraid to break a stalk when bagging it up. In 'Feldmeier' this would be nearly impossible with its >1/2" 'stem', but others that produce stalks of max. 1/4" diameter at > 6" length are very easy to break...
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jul 15, 2017 11:41 PM CST
Lynn, any chance of getting the reproductive parts section of your previous Semp 101 article onto this thread to refer to whenever you guys talk about plant parts? You did a nice labeled flower parts photo.
https://garden.org/ideas/view/...
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 16, 2017 8:13 AM CST
Michael,

That was my original method too but this year I must have 3 K blooming plants, including multiple stalks on some of the best parents. So I've been using one stalk for pollen and one for pods. Makes life easier. Picking the whole flower seems to give me enough pollen to pollinate quite a few flowers (i.e., it spreads better)

The bees work here extremely hard and they are having a field day with the flowers out.

A little semp honey anyone?

Kevin
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jul 16, 2017 10:11 AM CST
Semp Honey Hurray!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 16, 2017 2:57 PM CST

Moderator

Here you go Bev.
Thumb of 2017-07-16/valleylynn/075560

Michael I don't have thousands of blooms stalks to pollinate, I am going to give your method a try.
Okay, tiny scissors, tweezers, more paper bags.
Okay, what to use for shaky hands? And bad eyesight?

Hurray! I just remembered that I have head gear for beading, a great magnifying shield. Hurray!
Taking out right now to play with it. Green Grin!
Name: Michael
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Sempervivums Hybridizer Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Region: Europe Garden Ideas: Level 1
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parttimegardener
Jul 16, 2017 3:43 PM CST
Lynn, be careful not to burn your flowers if they're in the focal point of your shield on a sunny day. Rolling on the floor laughing
No need to cut the filaments - they break of easily if picked with the tweezers.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 16, 2017 3:57 PM CST

Moderator

Thank you Mike. I will leave the scissors in the house. Big Grin
I definitely don't want to look towards the sky when I have this thing on. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Jul 16, 2017 4:33 PM CST
Oh the light is starting to shine in my brain. Thank you!
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Jul 16, 2017 10:27 PM CST
I'm sure my neighbors think the woman has gone crazy. The semps are bagged. Cut off all the other blooms that I'm sure will not be used.
We shall see what morning brings.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jul 16, 2017 11:09 PM CST

Moderator

Way to go Julia.
I will be going out first thing in the morning to see what I can cross.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jul 16, 2017 11:55 PM CST
thanks for the informative pic, Lynn...and good luck tomorrow in the AM with your crossing endeavors! nodding
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jul 17, 2017 10:02 AM CST
I'm on my last flowers of Lion King but I've made so many crosses I'll have an acre of its seedlings! It makes so many flowers and it starts making flowers early so it can be used on a number of different things. Hopefully some will be footballs too....

Have crossed Persephone and Borscht back and forth. I know Lynn was disappointed in the Persephone kids so I'm trying to put something with lots of color on it. We'll see if that helps. I do love its shape but wish that its color didn't fade so fast. Oh well, I'll have some kids to give away if that doesn't work. Borscht is also going on a bunch of very dark semps.

Kevin
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
valleylynn
Jul 17, 2017 4:06 PM CST

Moderator

I put 'Gold Marie' on 'Mary Beth' and selfed one of my seedlings from a couple of years ago. I did put some pollen from one of my heuff seedlings onto the "Pink" seedling. Rolling my eyes.

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