Daylily Pollen Gathering and Storage



In the past, I haven't been so certain the pollen I saved would be
viable pollen. Though I saved pollen every year, I seldom used it,
except when I saved a blossom, brought it inside to use the pollen
the next day. One of the reasons I didn't trust frozen pollen was
that I had saved too much of it in each container. The thought of
taking it out of the freezer and it thawing improperly or subject to
dampness when using it tested my trust as well. When one is 
making a cross with a particular goal in mind, you don't want to
miss the chance to hopefully initiate the goal by using bad pollen.
Also, I usually had plenty of choices for crosses with pollen from
the flowers. Now, I have become far more selective in parent 
choices. So, this year I will be saving only a small amount in each 
vial.

There are many good reasons to save pollen. For example, to be able
to pollinate flowers that are not blooming at the same time, it is
still worth the effort to try, at least for me. Also, a blossom can
be brought inside, placed in the refrigerator and be viable for
a couple of days or so, although fresh pollen is still be very best
to use when possible. Saving pollen is, for me, a back-up plan
for a just-in-case situation.

This year I am trying something different. I bought the micro-
centrifuge tubes, 100 of them, and I can put a couple of anthers'
worth of pollen in each tube, and will not refreeze after use. With
this many tubes, I should have plenty of different pollen choices.
I feel more confident with this method.

As an update, I also placed some of the anthers in matchboxes, 
transferred them to the refrigerator for a 24 hours or so, or until
the anthers opened to reveal fluffy pollen. After the pollen was 
scraped off the anthers into the matchbox, the matchboxes were 
placed in a large plastic bag and transferred to the freezer. Very 
quick and easy to do, although it takes a bit more space than the 
micro-centrifuge tubes.

Update note:
This year after checking the frozen pollen, I noticed that the pollen 
can fall out of the matchbox unless they are stacked or placed in a 
section of the freezer where they are not likely to be overturned or 
disturbed. I also placed the anthers in the matchbox without scraping
off the pollen. The anthers fell out of the boxes as well. If using this 
method to freeze pollen, my suggestion is to tape the ends of the boxes.

The pollen does dry very well in the matchboxes. To avoid the deal with
taping matchboxes, and having to take it off to use, I'm considering
using the matchboxes to dry the anthers in the fridge, and then 
transferring the anthers into the tubes for freezing, unless I come up
with some other idea.  

Found this at Michaels. The size is 6.5 x 5.5 inches
for the box which has a lid. The small containers
have a screw-on cap.

  Photos of the micro-centrifuge tubes:

---Micro-centrifuge Tube Storage Box---
A little less than 6 x 6 inches, and it has

a hinged lid. Fits very nicely in any part
of the freezer. To label, I put a narrow
piece of tape around the tube with the
name of the daylily written in ink.
---Micro-centrifuge Tubes---


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