hand pollinating morning glories - Selfing bagging and tying

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi all! I`m going to show a quick picture thread on how to pollinate morning glories to self or pollinating within the same variety. This is useful if you want the same type of flower and vine to occur again and want to greatly increase your chances of getting the same vine and flower from seeds off your parent plant. You want to greatly decrease the chances of bees mixing pollen with other flowers and altering the genetic make up of your seeds resulting in flowers and vines that if not right away looking different the next generation will show most likely unwanted changes if bees are mixing the pollen on your flowers.

Why not hand pollinate a few pods so you can enjoy that variety again without having to go hunt for seeds? It saves money and time. Still, buying new seeds every few years and pollinating the new vines in with your older vines will keep the genetic diversity and help your vines stay healthy and vigorous.

Anyone, feel free to add to anything I have written here since it is for everyone I am contributing this.

I`m using the Gypsy Bride to show the bagging method. I recommend this because of all the frilly petals makng it impossible to tie very affectively. There are multiple blooms on the end of each stem so I found a lightweight water resistant cloth bag to try out on these. I have found this can be left on for days while all the blooms take place over several days and it does not collect moisture or harm the pods.

The first step to pollinating to self or within the same variety of vines is taking a walk in the afternoon hunting for about to open blooms. They look puffy yet still kind of wadded up at the end. You tie a yarn around the stem to identify it at the beginning.




This message was edited Jun 8, 2007 2:27 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

It may be necessary to experiment with different kinds of bags and materials until you get it right. You will make mistakes but then you get a chance to fix the error and make improvements over time.

We are still on the evening walk here and have found the about to open flowers. You have already tied a yarn the identify the stem of flowers you are working on. Then you slide the drawstring bag over the blooms and gently pull the strings to close the bag around the stem.

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Then you gently pull the string to close the bag and your flower is prepared for tomorrow morning.

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

In the morning you remove the bag and check the inside of the flower. you should see a white tube called a pistil and also anthers of powdery pollen.

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

You remove a anther of pollen. You can try tweezers or like me just reach down toward the base and pull one right out. Or you could use a cotton swab or even a paint brush to distribute the pollen if you desire. You need to wash your hands and use a clean swab or brush between different varieties.

This message was edited Jun 8, 2007 2:29 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

You gently rub the powdery pollen on the end of the white tube in the middle called a pistil.

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

This is as close as I can get with a 2 mg camera. :)

You make gentle dabbing motions to distribute the pollen over the top of the pistil without breaking it. You will notice a cauliflower look the end of the pistil and see the pollen sticking to it like glue as you apply it.

This message was edited Jun 8, 2007 2:32 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Next you cover it back up. If there is a flower about to bloom right next to the one you just finished pollinating then you just put the bag back on and remove it again the next morning and pollinate it.

When all the flowers are done on a multiple boom stem such as Gypsy Bride you can remove the bag permanently.

Once you have finished pollinating the flower, the bag can be removed the next day since there are no more concerns of cross pollination because the flower is "done". Your yarn is left tied to the main stem connected to the flowers so you can come back to check and see if they are "taking" or showing swelling meaning the pods of seeds are developing. You also need the yarn as a visual indication of which pods you hand pollinated and when collecting mature pods you can find them easily.





This message was edited Jun 8, 2007 2:15 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Now for how to tie blooms. This is a blue ipomoea nil or Japanese Morning glory large flowered variety.

First,you do the scout for about to open blooms in the evening. Then you tie one yarn on the stem and another yarn on the tip of the about to open bloom. Make sure it has the fresh crispness of an about to open bloom and you are not tying one that has already opened. Any kind of dryness or browning is a sign that it is an already finished bloom.

This message was edited Jun 7, 2007 2:01 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

The next morning you untie and inspect for the parts needed to pollinate. You can uncover several if you want to spread pollen for genetic diversity among your old and newer vines that get the ok for being true to type and the vines marked for ID. Do make sure you keep up with the tied stems and don`t accidentally get pollen the bees mixed in with your clean pollen.

This message was edited Jun 7, 2007 2:05 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

This is taking a lot of time for the pictures to load. Here is another attempted close up of hand pollinating. You make brushing dabbing motions to distribute the pollen over the end of the white tube in the middle called a pistil. The end of the pistil has a cauliflower like appearance and it seems to catch and hold onto the pollen as you apply it.

This message was edited Jun 7, 2007 2:10 PM

Thumbnail by gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Then I roll the whole thing up like a burrito and wind the yarn around it and secure. This probably isn`t 100% foolproof but I guarantee if done right it will reduce the chances of cross pollination and greatly increse the number of flowers you want to see. :)

Wash hands between different varieties.

Well that`s it for today. I`ll see about bringing my camera along when I do a cross pollination between two different kinds of flowers and make it another thread.

Any comments,corrections or suggestions are welcome.

bye/bye for now,

Karen

This message was edited Jun 7, 2007 2:58 PM

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Awesome, Karen! Thank you for taking the time to photograph, post, and explain all these steps! Very, very helpful for me, personally. I so appreciate it!!!

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

your welcome :)

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

My last picture of the tied bloom didn`t show. Here it is. :)

In a day or so the flower will dry and the yarn and remains of the flower will fall off on its own. You need the yarns tied on the stems so you can come back and look the for the little green swelling inside the stamens left behind which is the beginning of a pod of seeds. If you see a little green swelling then your pod "took" and you have seeds on the way. You collect the fallen yarns and either throw them in the trash or sometimes I "recycle" them using them to tie stems for ID and fresh yarns to tie the tips of new about to open flowers.

It takes about 30 days or so for pods to mature. You simply keep an eye on them checking by every week or so until they turn brown and papery looking which indicates that they are ready to harvest. Don`t wait too long or the ripened pod will break open and spill your seeds on the ground.



This message was edited Jun 8, 2007 2:22 PM

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Mesilla Park, NM

Thank you from me also. Great explainations and your series photos are also great.

A.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Thanks. :)

That last picture is the final step. The next thing that happens is the flower dries and falls off so you can collect and throw the yarns in the trash as you make rounds. I have recycled the tied yarns putting them on the stem parts to begin the next round of tied blooms the next day and I don`t think there is any harm done there.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Then in about 7 days you check your tied stems for the little green swellings of pods forming and keep an eye on them. It takes about 30 days or so for the pods the get the brown papery look that means the seeds are ready to harvest.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

I`m now going to scrub my nails after seeing those pictures. But I have been gardening and it is my sacrifice so my plants can look beautiful. :)

Mesilla Park, NM

That is what they call Nature's Manicure,, I have it too.

This message was edited Jun 7, 2007 2:36 PM

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

A few questions (forming a brain cloud here!!)

When do you untie the blooms, when the seeds start to form?

When do you remove the bag?

Is the yarn on the stem for identification so you know that is the flower you pollinated?

Please don't think I'm dense, I want to feel like I might know what I'm doing!! ☺LOL

Which method do you like better?

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Good questions, luvsgrtdanes! I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering about such details! :-}

Do tell, gardener2005! Inquiring minds want to know. :-)

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi luvsgrtdanes and beckygardener!

Well ,you don`t have to untie them. They sort of untie themselves when the bloom dries up and falls off with the yarn still tied to it.

And with the bagging you remove the bag the next day after pollinating the flower. After a day there is no more worries of cross pollination because the process is "done".

Yep,you Need that yarn on the stem to remember which flowers you pollinated unless you have super human memory abilities. :) I Need that yarn tied and left on there or I`d be wasting time...

As far as which method I like it depends. I like bagging for the double ruffly flowers like hige and Gypsy Bride because they are difficult to tie securely. I like using little bags for the kikyo flowers because they are very small and it is easier to keep them covered without damaging the little flower.

I like tying for when I have bunches of flowers about to open and limited time..and all the bags I have are being used. It is a quick process to tie them and is a good method especially if the plants are blooming in three digit numbers. :)

Many of these flowers are so good at self pollinating that when I untie them to check I see the pollen is already where it needs to be and I simply tie it back.

I hope that helps! I`m going to go edit a bit to maybe help improve the discriptions on the posts.

Ya`ll have a great day!

Karen



(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Karen - Thanks for clarifying that for me. Makes sense to me now. You make it look so easy!!! I'm gonna give it a try!!! Thanks! ~Becky~

This message was edited Jun 9, 2007 12:38 AM

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

Pictures are truly worth a 1000 words. Nice thread here, Karen!

Joseph

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Thank you! :)

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Thank you so much Karen for your wonderful info!! Yes you do make it sound and look like something we can do. It is amazing how the pictures help. Now all I need are the flowers!!! LOL

North Augusta, ON

Wonderful information, thank you. Only one question...where do you get those cool little gold bags?

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Type in jewelry bags on ebay...they are available in little and little bitty sizes. :)

You could make them yourself if you know how to sew. Look for some fabric that is thin, light weight,water repellant,breathable and without holes in it.

Good luck! Karen



This message was edited Jun 10, 2007 9:07 PM

Fort Myers, FL(Zone 10a)

awesome! That is a huge help!

I am going to try a few crosses to see if I can get something different! It will be fun!

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

For crosses you have to remove the pollen anthers from the pod parent the night before and cover or tie it back up. You tie or cover the pollen parent to keep the pollen clean and no bees can get in the flower to mix it with pollen off the other flowers.

Then you transfer the pollen off one onto the prepared beforehand "de-pollinated" flower. I`m not sure if "de pollinated" is correct term but sounds good to me... kind of the same way a animal is neutered I guess. It is birth control for morning glories.

When our weather clears up I`ll do a picture thread of crossing two different varieties. The procedure is the same for purpureas,nils etc.

Mesilla Park, NM

Karen,
Thank you, this photo series really takes the mystery and fear out it. I've been trying some and broke a couple of stamens..

I am looking forward to your next photos on crosspollinating.

What type of tags or labels do you use to list the pod parents? It seems like they would have to be written somewhere for later identification.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi, Yes, you will mangle a few flowers in the beginning. It takes practice. I`ll show the process of the tags and all when our weather fairs up and I`m back in business of pollinating soon. I post a new thread and direct from here as well. I`m gone. See ya`ll later...

Karen

Fort Myers, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks Karen

I need to find a book called "flower sex for dummies" ;)

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Very interesting information. Thank you!
So if you remove the pollen anthers the night before the bloom opens, how do you get to them? If I remember correctly, with daylilies you can kind of watch the pollen become visible when the bloom first opens. If you cut them off before they get powdery, you won't get a self to self X. But MG's are different in this respect?

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

If you tie a bloom without removing the anthers by morning when they come open the pollen is usually either absent or sparse if the flower is low or no pollen or it is all over the place already selfed when you untie the bloom. The idea is to remove the anthers if you want to do a cross and put pollen from another flower on there instead of letting it self pollinate. You tie the pollen parent to keep bees from mixing the pollen with pollen from other flowers as they climb inside the flower to get nectar.

If you want the flower to self you tie without removing the anthers and just look in to check and make sure the pollination is complete and tie it back.

If you want to cross two flowers but do not remove the anthers from the pod parent the flower will likely be already selfed and if you mix your pollen the cross may not yield satisfactory results.

This message was edited Aug 15, 2007 12:04 PM

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7a)

How does one decide which will be the pod parent and which will be the pollen parent? Take a stab at it and see what grows out in F1?

Joseph

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

That's my theory, Joseph!!! (grinning ...)

But I also look at the traits on the pod parent to see if those are some I hope to carry over in the cross. My theory is that the mother plant will possibly have the more dominating features. But my "Lady Yaguruma's Kaleidoscope" exhibited more traits of "Yaguruma Blizzard" than that of the parent pod "Lady Laura Pink Form". So that throws that theory out the window! LOL! So I think that is why it depends more on traits that dominate rather than which is the parent pod and what vine the pollen came from.

I so wish we could get the thread I started going.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/882353/

Maybe this is a sensitive topic on this forum. Don't know.

This message was edited Jul 30, 2008 4:45 PM

Mesilla Park, NM

Good information, just re-reading.

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