Pollinating Your Plants

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Orchids are unique to most conventional flowers that contain separate male and female reproductive organs. The male stamen which contains pollen grains and the female pistil with a stigma that receives pollen makes them bisexual. Orchids on the other hand have both male and female organs fused together and thus called the column. At the tip of the column is the anther cap that conceals and protects the yellow pollen grains. The pollinia represent the male part of the flower. On the under side of the column, just behind the pollinia is where the female stigmatic surface is situated. The stigma represents the female parts of the flower. The stigmatic surface is sticky and very receptive to the pollinia.


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orchid pollination

Pollinating your own orchids is a simple but delicate task. All you need is a tooth pic, a steady hand, and you will have maturing pods in no time at all. When pollinating your orchids remember to remove the pollen from both parent plants so there can be no chance of self pollination, unless it is intended. Then only take the pollen and place it in the recieving pod parent. The pollen parent is always the male, while the female is the pod parent. When tagging your seed or new hybrids the pod/seed parent always comes before the pollen parent (pod/seed x pollen).



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After pollination has taken place the flower will start to fade and the ovary will have started to swell. Orchid seed can take anything from two weeks to twelve months to mature. The seed pods are ripe when the pod starts to yellow and split. If you are planning to harvest your seed it is best to remove it from the stem before it splits.


It is wise to log pollination to harvest when pollinating your orchids. It will help with future pod maturing times and also fellow orchid growers in need of some advice when to harvest seed.


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