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Orchids/Pollinating phalaenopsis

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Question
I crossed off a long-standing item on my bucket list by visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show. My souvenir purchase was a Phalaenopsis Beauty Sheena 'Rin Rin' in flower.

I made a couple of attempts to pollinate it by hand. The pollinia are hard, compact (i.e., not large enough to touch each other), and not sticky. They didn't stick to the toothpick and are barely held in place against the stigma. Does that mean the flowers are too old to use, and I should use the remaining buds when they open?

If hand-pollination "takes," will that inhibit rebloom of the rest of the plant?

Thanks!

Answer
Janet, Have the polinia been removed from their covering?  If they have not been removed, the covering could be responsible for the adhesion difficulty. The pollinia shoulld be entirely soft such that they can be squashed into the stigma.  At one end of a polinium, there is a sticky structure called a stipe.  The stipe often holds one pair of pollinia together.  In nature, the stipe is the part that sticks to a pollenating insect and is carried from flower to flower.  It may be buried inside of the sheath containing the pollinia.

If you have a strong, healthy plant,and are pollinating one flower, the energy involved should not weaken the plant.

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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