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  #1  
Unread 01-13-2012, 04:20 PM
orchidsarefun's Avatar
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Default Pollination - subsequent effects

I have a couple of questions. I pollinated 5 flowers on a zygopetalum. It was a first time thing. Well I now have 5 seed pods developing ! I am in a quandary - do I remove 3 or 4 ? The plant itself doesn't seem to be impacted - there are 2 new growths and a lot of root development. I read somewhere that a seed pod could terminate the entire plant eventually. Is this true ?
BTW - I pollinated these flowers after ALL were open - so after a few weeks.
On to phals
If one of the first flowers are pollinated, does this stop others from opening on the same stem ?
what about flowers on another stem, same plant ?
I want to experiment with a couple of crosses. Whats the maximum amount of seed pods that have been grown on to maturity, per stem, per plant ?
is it better to pollinate the last flowers opening , or the first ?
Thanks in advance for any input/advice.
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  #2  
Unread 01-13-2012, 10:00 PM
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1. Are the Zygopetalum and Phalaenopsis self pollination efforts, or are they outcrosses?

Some orchids don't self pollinate. Most (not all) of the orchids in the Maxillariinae and Zygopetalinae subtribes are known to usually be self sterile.

2. When you pollinate an orchid and it starts to form capsules, it does affect the plant, but usually in a healthy individual it doesn't tax them to death. In a healthy individual, they may skip a blooming season or two.

Only for a sickly individual would it be ill advised to set seed to a blooming plant.

In case you weren't aware, sometimes sickly orchids will still put out blooms in efforts to preserve its genetics.

3. If the plant doesn't have enough energy to produce mature pods that will produce viable seeds, it will automatically abort prematurely.

4. Pollination of one flower does not usually have an adverse effect on other flowers from the same inflorescence in any great significance.

It may affect the formation of blooms from another inflorescence if that inflorescence is younger than the one you pollinated flowers from. There could also be less flowers produced on the newer inflorescence. Nothing is guaranteed. For all I know, for your individual plant, there could be no significant adverse affects whatsoever.

5. Pollination of flowers that are too newly formed or too old is not usually recommended as the rate of a successful pollination is rather slim with these extremes. Know how long the blooms on each of your plants lasts so you can kind of figure out the middle ground.
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Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 01-13-2012 at 10:05 PM..
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  #3  
Unread 01-13-2012, 11:15 PM
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the zygo pods could be selfed or an outcross. I used pollinia from an outcross AND pollinia from "self". So it could be either ! I basically doubled down to make sure ! All the pods have been developing, and I even sent photos to a flasking expert and he said that everything looked good. I read somewhere that it takes 200 days for zygo seed pods to mature, so I suppose they have another 5 months to abort, or not. Hey - you live and learn. I now know that orchid pollen is not like the dust-like pollen from an amaryllis or lily..... Its going to be interesting in view of your comment about many zygos being self sterile.

I haven't pollinated any phals as yet. I will wait until there are more flowers open until I do so. Yep - I have learnt and will ensure that the crosses are properly identified.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 09:35 AM
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Even sterile capsules can appear to grow and develop fully, only to yield no seed.

Don't count on "200 days" to be exact. It'll likely be about that far along, but be observant of the capsule, and the day you see the slightest yellowing of either end, harvest it for green-capsule culturing.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidsarefun View Post

The Zygo pods could be selfed or an outcross. I used pollinia from an outcross AND pollinia from "self". So it could be either! I basically doubled down to make sure!
The only thing I gotta say in this regard is, "may the best man [sperm] win."
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