Brugmansias: Brug Pollinating 101

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Continuation of this thread http://davesgarden.com/t/362575/
Here is the flower inside. The red end of my artist's brush shows the anthers which contain the pollen. The anthers are the male part of the flower. The pollen is a fluffy powdery substance. By stroking the anthers with the bristles of the artists brush, you can collect the pollen for transfer to another flower. This flower is Eventide.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here is the stigma of the flower.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here I am transfering pollen from the brush to the stigma of the flower. The stigma is the female part of the flower. I'm using pollen from Eventide and applying it to Rosamond.

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High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

thank u Cala :)! taking notes here. need to learn one day soon.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here is an immature seed pod, the calyx is still attached, but you need to leave it alone. I sometimes make a slit in one side of the calyx to allow moisture to escape and to check for bugs like aphids and mealy bugs which love to get up in there and eat the little pods.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here is an immature seed pod and the calyx is turning brown. this is normal too, FP, EP, L'Amour and most suaveolens will do this. You can leave it alone, but if it's wet and rainy, I usually tug on them and they come right off.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Matthews, MO(Zone 6b)

OK question, how do you clean your brush in between, do you bleach it, as you would a knive you cut with?

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Tracey, I usually use a little bottle of sterakonium chloride, I can't stand to smell bleach and hate to carry it around with me, either that or alcohol. It's not like I'm breaking a part of the plant to allow the juice to contaminate the brush, so the only time I clean the brush is when I change pollen varieties.

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Cala, I clean my brush when I change plants I'm pollinating with the same pollen. I just thought there could be a chance, due to several reasons, like wind, accidental touch to the anthers of my brush, that could put pollen on the brush that could be carried to the next plant on the brush I'm using a different pollen on. This was hard to put into words here, but couldn't it be possible to pollinate with two kinds of pollen this way? I think about all the times I've seen loose pollen inside a flower and thought it could be transferred to my brush by the wind or just movement of the corolla. Just thought it would be safer to wash between plants. If I'm wrong, KICK ME!! :-)

Matthews, MO(Zone 6b)

Ok that is what I meant, like if you were going to pollinate three differant brug's all with the same pollen? Sorry I should make myself a little clearer.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Yes, I know what you mean. I do that, I clean off the pollen, but usually I've already collected all the pollen I could brush off. I collect pollen first, to keep from contaminating the pollen I'm collecting.(did that make sense?)

Matthews, MO(Zone 6b)

Got it.

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Cala, if you can find that email you sent me, post it too. You explained things so well, I have seed pods forming on Pink Beauty, Butterfly and Cherie Amour. I just followed directions.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

TiG, I will look, but doubt if I saved it.

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

hope you don't mind if I post it?? I have it.

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Brugie.......bend over!! I do not care if you are right or wrong.

we need to save this primer to a special how to thread. great pictures. Why does your camera take such great closeups and mine does not Cala??

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Cala is working on a FAQ for us, and I'm sure this will be part of it.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

TiG, you can post if you like, I didn't save it.

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

It's really easy. Pick a bloom that is almost ready to open, you can tell if the pollen is ripe, it is all fluffy and there is lots of it on the anthers. Sometimes when you tug the bloom open, the pollen is still green, give it a few hours and check it again. Hold the corolla with one hand and take the artists brush in the other. Rub the brush UP the anthers, one stroke, the pollen is now on the brush. Carefully pull the brush out and tap the brush over the container, repeat till the pollen is all collected. Some pollen will fall on the corolla, just sweep it up with the brush. If you hold the corolla so that it's horizontal, you won't lose the pollen that falls. I tried to collect over my head and it's nasty when it gets in your eyes(Rosamond is 10 feet tall and my ladder wasn't tall enough). I'll get Bill to take pictures while I collect this morning if you want me to. I can put them in my journal so others can see if you'd like. Wash the brush by swishing it up and down in water to remove any left over pollen. I smooth out the bristles and let it dry for a few minutes before going to the next variety.(sometimes I dry it on my shirt if I'm in a hurry)




Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Thanks TiG.
Kell, I forgot to mention, the camera takes great close-ups, but terrible far off shots.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

LOL Cala... maybe that is why humans need a prescription eye glass. at least humans can correct their eyesight. i wonder how digital camera fix it's shots. LOL!

Ace, TX(Zone 8a)

OK this is totally new to me so I hope this dosen't sound to stupid. Can you use the same plant to polinate or do you have to mix the plants. If you use the same plant can you get seeds that are true to that plant. Did that make sense. :0/

Newberry, FL(Zone 8B)

cajunace, it makes sense but the answer is no. the same plant will not cross with itself, two plants of the exact same variety, i.e. 2 dr suess's will not make seeds.

you guys are so good. i rip the flowers up to get the pollen, rip off the anthers, rip up the flowers i am putting the pollen on.

cala, i appreciate the detailed instructions.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Arlene, I ripped up a Tiara the other day, just couldnt' hole the center open with all those extra petals, it was raining and I got agrivated and ripped the flower all apart!! It is making a seed pod, so doesn't matter if you rip them apart. To pollinate Kyles Pink and Ecuador Pink, I make a slit in the corolla right where the stigma is and go in from the side because it's hard to reach the stigma from the bottom.
Eric(Brugman) told me to squeeze the corolla top to make the anthers spread apart, it works like a charm, just wish I had 3 hands to make it easier!!
Most species/varieties of brugmansia are self sterile.

Villa Rica, GA(Zone 7a)

Ok here's another question for you Cala, One of my brugs (not sure if it has ever been ID or not) but it bloomed beautifully on my birthday a couple of weeks ago, now I see that there are more bud looking things on it. Am I to assume it is going to bloom again soo soon or is this the seed pods?? Also, if I didn't pollinate them will they make seed pods on their own maybe from bee's or something??
Still learning here!!

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Cala, how do you do the doubles?? I keep trying but there is so much stuff in there. I ripped one open from the side, pollinated and tried to tape. the tape didn't stick:)

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Molly, if you have more than one variety of brugs it's possible for it to be pollinated by bees or moths. Sounds like your new little pointy things are buds. I'll try to remember to take a picture today of some buds just forming.
TiG, you gotta get the doubles just as they start to break open, too early and the petals are too "crispy" and the tendrils break off. I pull the folded up center part out tendril by tendril(I'll take a picture if there are any in the right stage today) and then pry the center apart, the stigma is usually hanging down if it's in the right stage of development. Sometimes the stigma gets pushed out to the side and you have to pry the petals apart looking for it, that's when I tear them up, lol. The tip of an artists brush(not the brush end)works to pry the petals apart, then I hold them between my fingers.(I'm sorry, I'm terrible at explaining things, made a B in Technical Report Writing) while reaching in with the pollen on the brush. If you decide to go in from the side, just leave the slit open, tape or glue will cause the petals to rot. You will have a deformed bloom, but hey, at least it will be pollinated!!

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

well, cross your fingers cause I got my double white with L'amour. I have so many flowers on them, and they are coming in, I need to get back out there and get the rest of them with something pink!

lagrange, GA(Zone 7a)

Dang, I better double up on the paxil before I start this operation. I guess the more you do it the easier it gets. I will be trying it. Thanks

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

GRC, Paxil will make your hands shaky, try something else, lol.
TiG, watch those doubles and when the blooms starts turning brown, you may have to tug on it to make it fall so the pod doesn't rot. I've been experimenting with that and the ones I pull the old blooms off of do better and don't fall off as bad. A gentle tug(not a yank) is all that's needed if the timing is right. You can see the calyx just beginning to turn loose from the penduncle. You may want to hang on to the penduncle while tugging the bloom.

lagrange, GA(Zone 7a)

I have noticed a lot of moths around the brugs and can't remember ever seeing them around any other plants of mine. I guess that must be normal and something good??

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Jim, they are pollinating everything here. I have to get out and make the crosses I want before the flowers open (about 5 pm or 6 pm is good here) you should have some seed pods if you look.

Matthews, MO(Zone 6b)

bump! for the classic's too!

This message was edited Saturday, Nov 16th 5:03 PM

The Heart of Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

BUMPED.. This one for all us 2004 newbies...

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

This is a great thread. Susie made a simple yet informative site that covers brug basics here:
http://calastropicals.com/content/page3.html

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

bump

Wichita, KS

Thanks so much for the info. I brought my brugs into the house and it has 10 buds on it. I was afraid that they wouldn't bloom. I have one in full bloom now, another opening and a third showing signs of fingers pushing their way out...LOL

I am so excited.
I remembered this post and looked it up. I am trying the hand pollination method. Hope it works.

Thanks for sharing your love of brugs with us.
~nuts

Calhoun, KY(Zone 6b)

Thanks for sharing all of your info--you answered questions I had only been thinking about.
Peggy

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

This is the site where I learned how to pollinate also. Susie is a natural teacher.

Nuts, you do know you need 2 different kinds of brugs for a cross to take?

I was out again this morning crossing brugs. I swore I wouldn't do any after September. But some I did 2 weeks ago took so I was out again trying my luck. It is so much fun!!

Wichita, KS

Oh, no, Kell, really?
I wasn't really looking for a cross, just pollinate for seeds. Do I need a different kind for that, too.

~Nuts

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