Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Freezing, storing and using frozen pollen

I believe I read somewhere that someone was asking about using and storing frozen pollen. There are probably as many ways of using and storing pollen as there are hybridizers. Some use match boxes, some use little plastic vials, etc. This is how I do it and have found that it is a very simple process, at my age, I need simple.

These pictures are quite old as you can tell by the cultivar name.

This is the grand prize, the anther with viable pollen. If your pollen is of a white color or looks like corn rowed hair and is hard, chances are that it is not viable.

I remove the stamen with anther attached from the blossom and remove the anther (pollen) using my thumb and forefinger. You must remember, when you change cultivars, you must clean your fingers so to not contaminate the next pollen.

I place each cultivar's pollen in a compartment of an egg carton being careful when transferring to not contaminate the next compartment. I then take the egg carton into the house and place it under a cieling fan for a couple hours to let it dry.

This is the pill box that I use for bulk storage. These pictures are quite old as you can tell from the cultivar names. I tag the lid of each compartment with the cultivar name or seedling number. This bulk storage then goes into a plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator freezer compartment. This is known as the weekly pill box. 4 compartments per row, 7 rows.

This is the pill box that I use for my daily hybridizing. The box is removed from the freezer and warmed for approximately 30 minutes. I will remove anthers from the bulk storage that I want to use and place in this smaller pill box. The bulk storage then goes back into the zip lock bag and into the freezer. The working pill box, when not in use also goes into a zip lock bag and is stored in the freezer. I will take it out approximatel 30 minutes before I want to use it. I have used pollen from this box for up to a week and still have viability. The bulk storage has been carried over 3 to 4 years and still had viablility. Just remember to keep frozen when not in use.

When handling pollen, I use reverse tweezers. When you squeeze them they open, and when you let go they close.

The best thing to know is that you can freeze pollen for future use. Then you can find the way that works best for you to store and use this pollen. JUST KEEP IT DRY.

Life is fun, and very, very good.


1 comment:

  1. Hi ! I tried frozen pollen for the first time this year. I use plastic tubes that can be get out of the freezer separately from the others. The most important problem is water on the surface of the tube. It appears when warming the tube because of condensation. I use tissue at the bottom of the tube, then pollen then another piece of tissue. I had 50% succes but I hope to become better. Thanks for your expenaitions. Regards from France.