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Old August 23, 2017   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 5,949

Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
Is there anything wrong with just taking the whole anther to the female? It just seems removing the pollen from the anther gives you more intermediate steps for things to go wrong.

I've been using pollen still on the anther to try to cross pollinate. What is the advantage to removing the pollen from the anther?

Nan, if it works for you, then it's fine nothing wrong with it.
Personally I find the emasculated flowers to be somewhat delicate. Just dragging the pistil through pollen I collected is a challenge and sometimes they get loose and the cross fails. So for me, trying to transfer pollen from a whole anther would be even more challenging.

It's interesting that pollen collection can be such an issue. It seems in my greenhouse the optimal time for pollen is between 11 am and 4 pm, and it can be difficult if the weather is humid too.
Also a flower may look mature to me but doesn't release any pollen. Another one slightly more mature gives lots of pollen. It's not that easy to judge. So if I was trying to lay an anther on an emasculated flower, I would have a hard time to know if it was even ready to release pollen unless I had already tapped it to collect pollen...

One thing that Tom Wagner recommended was to collect pollen from several flowers at one time, so you also have pollen at various stages of maturity.

So I think the usual practices are built on experience and are intended to maximize your chance of success.
But that doesn't mean that you can't have a successful cross using another method. It may just be more difficult and more failures along the way. JMO.
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