Discussions and Q and A about hybridizing irises forum: Hybridizing techniques that are more efficient to transfer pollen

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irisawe
May 30, 2012 11:27 AM CST
Name: Katherine Howe
Raytown(Kansas City) MO
This year I was gung ho about doing crosses. I even found myself enjoying the blooms less and that showed in how I took fewer pictures. I was using a new camera and a previously used camera and wasted alot of time comparing quality of the shots I took of the same subjects. IT became very frustrating. I wasn't getting the quality I expected. After that was behind me I soon found the earliest crosses I was making were not "taking". I decided that I would try a new technique(for me) for transferring pollen. I devised to use a flat toothpick, a fresh one for each cross. I would remove the anther, Hold it down with my tweezers and scrape the pollen off with the flat toothpick and found it to be a very controllable spatula and much more efficient. I found more of these crosses were successful. I didn't implement this until almost near the end of blooming season. So far, I am thrilled with the results.

K
Katherine
[Last edited May 30, 2012 11:54 AM CST]
Quote | Post #874247 (1)
ImagePaul2032
May 30, 2012 12:14 PM CST
Name: Paul Smith
Pleasant Grove Utah
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Simple but great idea........
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
irisawe
May 30, 2012 1:53 PM CST
Name: Katherine Howe
Raytown(Kansas City) MO
Paul,

I was even able to use anthers that were otherwise unusable because of age and the beginning of deterioration. The tiny toothpick spatula was a much more efficient tool.

K
Katherine
ImageMShadow
May 31, 2012 10:39 AM CST
Name: Marilyn Campbell
Houghton Lake, MI
Thanks Katherine! I think I am going to try that. Smiling
irisawe
May 31, 2012 11:11 AM CST
Name: Katherine Howe
Raytown(Kansas City) MO
See how it works for you, Marilyn and Paul. There was a little learning curve to the technique, but I had grown tired of using anthers that were collapsing or bending or otherwise disintegrating too soon. There were times I thought the anther might be not only leaving pollen, but removing pollen, too. The toothpick method allowed me to more precisely get that pollen exactly where I wanted it and keep it there. The hard surface of my 6 inch little tool box became my disecting tabletop. Later when I tried to use the old anther application method when I was in a hurry, it became obvious using the old anther method had become a more tedious and less exacting procedure for me.

K
Katherine
Imageavmoran
May 31, 2012 11:22 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
For bearded:
I carry the pollen with me. I choose a pollen parent that I want to make at least three crosses with strip it down to style arms and take it to those I want to cross with. The pod parents are also striped down but left on the stalk and the take the antler from the pollen parent and put it on each of the ones I want to cross then label. I can lay what is left of the flower down and the Style Arms will keep the pollen still on the flower off the ground and I have two hands to work with. I went from 30% success to nearly 85% using this.

For beardless:
Same as above but use toothpick to get pollen off antler then place it on lip.went from 10% to 40%. Still haveing probelms getting pollen and still tearing up antler
Imageirisarian
May 31, 2012 9:30 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
I am new to using the anthers on the flower of the pollen parent but tried once this yr with good results. That works on the larger plants with more flowers (some are wasted). On the smaller plants when you want to make the cross both ways, you can't give up the flower.
Imageavmoran
Jun 1, 2012 2:46 AM CST
Name: Anita Moran
Pylesville, MD Zone 6B
Depends on the cross Lucy, Since I get good results and can chill the pollen for a few days when new flowers open I will take the chance
irisawe
Jun 1, 2012 7:22 AM CST
Name: Katherine Howe
Raytown(Kansas City) MO
Anita,

You can chill the pollen? What about chilling the whole flower when its timing is out of sync with one you want to cross it with that is not quite open yet to receive the pollen?
Tell me about this, if you will.

K Ears perked up! all ears Smiling
Katherine
Imageirisloverdee
Jun 1, 2012 8:14 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Gubijin does not bloom at all near the time of the Japanese/ensata and wanted to try some psedata's, I froze some JI pollen two years so I could put it to the Gubijin this year and it worked.

I have coin envelope's I carry with me, and if I see the pollen I want, I take the pollen put in the envelope and then when I get to where I want to be in the next couple of days I use it. Get great results this way. If I am in another garden (friends) and they allow me the use of the pollen the best transport I have found then is take the entire blossom and bring it to my iris that day or next works like a charm every time.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

irisawe
Jun 1, 2012 8:56 AM CST
Name: Katherine Howe
Raytown(Kansas City) MO
Dee,
Some of that was in Greek to me. On the other hand some of what you said made my mind explode with questions that are still formulating. Some of what you said opens up possibilities and future experiments on mailing pollen to a distant location without having to mail a plant or being able to store pollen from one year to the next. Oh my!!!

Thanks for your input,

K

Katherine
Imageirisloverdee
Jun 1, 2012 10:41 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
I have mailed seedpods, pollen, and seeds to Europe...

If you have any questions either call in the evening or email me direct and I will do my best to answer

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

ImagePollyK
Jun 6, 2012 7:29 AM CST
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY

Or please ask on here, because we are all learning here.
Imageirisloverdee
Jun 6, 2012 7:43 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Today if no rain. I will take all the pollen off of Gubijin to use on the Japanese to try for some of the pseudata's as this is new for me....

Maybe this will help.

What I do is in Sept dig the entire field, put all the iris in onion bags or on the compost pile then divide and trim and replant after completely done, I use 10-10-10 or triple 15 to get the going, come spring after weeding I use Freehand as the pre emergement to control the weeds. When I plant the seedlings in May or June I will lightly fertillize those and put down more freehand.

After we till the entire field, we string about 5 rows and compost the stringed rows with sand for another 2 years then plant and continue until done. Now in 2014-2015 we will use compost.

D
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

Imagenaomimade
Jun 28, 2012 10:48 PM CST
Name: Naomi DiVincenzo
Colorado Springs
zone 5b
I thought I was going to get 2 doz. seed pods at least... but only got three....&:-( I think I got over 'efficient' and trimmed the dead flower off too soon.... what a dummy... oh well... I do have three good seed pods from SDB crosses.... it's a start!
Imageirisarian
Jun 29, 2012 3:19 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
The little string tags which we use sometimes get lost in SDB foliage so have to have notes so I don't mess up. Easier to see on the taller plants like the MTBs which didn't take this year. The plant which I used as a pollen parent has a large bee pod. Sneaky bees. Last years picture, but Mom to be.Thumb of 2012-06-29/irisarian/ffbebd
Imageirisarian
Jun 29, 2012 3:23 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
A video was posted by a friend about hybridizing showed the person taking off flower parts from the pollen parent & using the flower as a 'tool' to pollenate other flowers.
He was working with TBs which have more flowers to play with. Also you lose the opportunity to work both ways.
I did try the technique with a SDB & got good results, but you have to have quite a few flowers to try that.
Imagetveguy
Jul 10, 2012 5:07 AM CST
Name: Tom
Wisconsin
I wish I would have read this tread a while ago. Thanks all of you for the great information. I've been muddling around for a while trying to make this work, and this should be a big help. I just found a u tube video that hellped me see that I was doing it wrong. Once again, thanks all for the great info. Here's the link to the video in case you want to see it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljCTuBIUa90
This process ruins the bloom, something I was always trying to avoid, but I guess I have to sacrifice the bloom to get the results. He also uses a nylon stocking (called a knee High) to put over the seed pod it allows the pod to develop, and catches the seeds if it opens before you get there to harvest it. Sounds like a cool idea to me.
ImageOldgardenrose
Jul 10, 2012 6:54 AM CST
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Dee: You mentioned making new rows and composting them with sand for 2 years then plant. Do you mean you let the new rows lay fallow for 2 years before replanting? That follows the general practice and recommendation of not digging and replanting in the same area for the first year. Farmers use a crop rotation method to help prevent diseases and certain insect infestations.
Imageirisloverdee
Jul 10, 2012 8:44 AM CST
Name: Dee Stewart
Willamette Valley OR
Snowpeak Iris
Since I do not want to open a new field ever so often. What I meant was for 2 more years I will compost with sand then one of regular compost.

d
Denise Stewart
541-259-2343
Snowpeak http://snowpeakiris.com

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