hybrid pollination
User Name

Registration is FREE. Click to become a member of OrchidBoard community
(You're NOT logged in)

menu menu

Donate Now
and become
Forum Supporter.

hybrid pollination
Many perks!



Fauna Top Sites
Old 02-15-2019, 12:04 AM
neophyte neophyte is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 160
hybrid pollination
Default hybrid pollination

Hi, this question has probably been asked before, but I've been wondering why a lot of hybrid/cultivars can't produce seed pods. I don't have a lot of experience pollinating orchids, so maybe I just haven't given the orchids the correct conditions to create seed pods, but I've only managed to produce seeds with one phalaenopsis that had solid pink petals (ie., no patterns on petals, which seems to be more common in hybrids/cultivars). With any other of my orchids (I've only tried pollinating phalaenopsis), it just doesn't work. I noticed that those two flap thingies protecting the stigma are usually open but after you pollinate they close together to prevent other pollen sacs from pollinating the plant (which is cool), and usually when I try to pollinate my other orchids the flaps do close, but nothing beyond that happens -- the flower just aborts . Why does this happen?

edit: When I said pollination, I meant I took pollen from one flower of the plant and put it on the stigma of another flower on the same plant (or took pollen from one flower and put it on that flower's stigma)
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 07:44 AM
Ray's Avatar
Ray Ray is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oak Island NC
Posts: 10,451
hybrid pollination Male

There can be a number of reasons a cross won't "take", including ploidy, size, age and overall strength of the plant.

Orchids are diploids, just like people, with pairs of chromosomes. Sometimes, whether natural or induced, that is doubled to produce tetraploids that tend to have "better" flowers. If a diploid and a tetraploid are crossed, the offspring may be triploids, and those cannot breed with either of the others.

If the plant's flowers are distinctly different in size, the mismatch might hinder the pollen reaching the ovary.

Pollination seems to occur most reliably if done a couple days of a flower opening.

A tip you might try: Using a toothpick, "mash" the pollinia on a piece of waxed paper to better expose the pollen within before applying it to the viscidium (it's not a stigma).
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
Want Better Plants? READ THIS

Free Shipping in the US! (see terms & conditions for details)
Reply With Quote
Post Thanks / Like - 1 Likes
Likes neophyte liked this post
Old 02-15-2019, 10:49 AM
estación seca's Avatar
estación seca estación seca is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jun 2015
Zone: 9b
Location: Phoenix AZ - Lower Sonoran Desert
Posts: 9,702
hybrid pollination Male

Ability to accept pollen varies over the life of an individual flower. You might have been pollinating too early or too late. Go to the library and read Joe Arditti's book on orchids.
It's a dry heat.
Reply With Quote
Post Thanks / Like - 1 Likes
Likes neophyte liked this post
Old 02-15-2019, 02:58 PM
neophyte neophyte is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 160
hybrid pollination

Thanks for the replies!

@Ray thanks for the tip! By the way, I read that Cavendish bananas (the ones you get at the supermarket) are actually triploid and all Cavendish bananas are actually cuttings from one ancestral plant. And now there's a banana blight that's killing the Cavendish bananas and since they are triploid and can't reproduce, they all have the same DNA and have no resistance. :O

@estacion seca thanks for the advice! I'll go check out the book.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 01:45 AM
Fairorchids's Avatar
Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2013
Zone: 6a
Location: Maplewood, NJ
Posts: 1,746
hybrid pollination Male

In Phalaenopsis, a standard diploid plant (2n) has 38 chromosomes. As Ray mentioned above:
  • 3n is normally sterile.
  • 4n exists too, which will not easily breed with a 2n.
And, have just seen a notice that at least one 8n has been identified.

If you are selfing, this should not be an issue (unless the plant is a 3n).

In certain other genera, the chromosome count varies from species to species (and sometimes within the species). This significantly limits the seed production (especially in Paphiopedilum).
Kim (Fair Orchids)

Founder of SPCOP (Society to Prevention of Cruelty to Orchid People), with the goal of barring the taxonomists from tinkering with established genera!

I am neither a 'lumper' nor a 'splitter', but I refuse to re-write millions of labels.
Reply With Quote


hybrid, pollination, scienceeeeeee, seed, species

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bc. Hippodamia - spotted primary hybrid catwalker808 Cattleya Alliance 3 09-08-2014 06:58 PM
My new vanda hybrid seed pod sthh Vanda Alliance - others 5 03-06-2014 04:25 AM
Naming a Hybrid? Cattleya17 Advanced Discussion 31 03-04-2013 11:23 AM
what is a complex hybrid orchideya Beginner Discussion 2 01-13-2012 08:24 PM
Naming plants in the forum..... Bolero Beginner Discussion 32 01-05-2010 06:23 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:23 AM.

© 2007 OrchidBoard.com
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.37 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Clubs vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.