Pollinating techniques...

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

I was thinking about mating some lilies but am wanting to know how you folks protect the integrity of your parentage/pollinated flower? I tried using a plastic sandwich bag on my iris but ended up with mush. Perhaps a paper bag with a rubber band? Also I am curious about the amount of pollen used.

Good day,

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

If it is really important for you to know "who's the daddy", then you will need to strip off all the petals to discourage insects and use an aluminum foil cap pinched over the stigma after you pollinate it. It doesn't take much pollen, but get some on each section of the stigma. You can make the caps by cutting little squares of foil, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch on a side and form it over a pencil tip or eraser end of pencil. Make up a bunch ahead of time then head out to the garden with them...

For irises you will also want to strip off all the petals but leave the styles. I don't know if the pros do anything to protect the cross after that. Here is a pic of one of my iris crosses, two strong pinks. The pod parent is Goodnight Kiss.

Thumbnail by pardalinum
Meservey, IA(Zone 4b)

Do you pinch the aluminun caps..or leave them loose?

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

I just close them around the edges, kind of like a little aluminum "balloon".

Meservey, IA(Zone 4b)

Thanks Pardalinum...I think I will try it.

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Cool, I'll give it a go. Now if I can only remember which are asiatic and orientals...

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Does it matter which parent provides the pollen? In others words if you have two lilies say red and the other yellow, would we get the same result if we pollinated (red x yellow) or (yellow x red) ? Also will the same type of plant result if two lilies keep being matted with each other? Unlike humans...

Good day and happy pollinating :*)


Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Sorry, I don't know much about how the genetics work with lilies. What I do know is that backcrossing offspring to the parents might bring out a desirable trait in the parents that isn't apparent in the offspring.

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Ok so I mated my Lolly Pop with an unknown orange and an unknown maroon.
Lets see what happens.


Winnipeg, MB(Zone 2b)

When I hybridize I try to cross both ways, ie: using both lilies as pod parent. Of course with pumilum and the early flowering lilies, I have to store the pollen for a year and do the reverse pollination the following year.

That is always supposing [email protected]#$ bushy tailed rats or other livestock don't get the bud first.


Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Have you gotten any flowering plants from your pollinating?

Fox River Valley Are, WI(Zone 5a)

Can a pollenless lily still be pollinated?

thank you

Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

I can't say for sure about all pollenless lilies, but thinking logically ( dangerous thing, I know), at least some pollenless lilies must be fertile. The trait would be very rare, indeed, if it were not transmittable from parent to offspring.

It wouldn't make sense that infertility would cause the absence of anthers, only the absence of pollen or viable pollen. If such was the case, an ovary would never be produced at the base of an infertile flower, either. And we know that that is never true. That said, while infertility would not cause the absence of anthers (and ovaries), that doesn't necessarily mean that the ovary would be fertile.

So pollinizing a pollenless lily is certainly worth a try, in my opinion.


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