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.
Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 01-13-2012 at 10:05 PM..