Re: philodendron selloum

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Wunderlin <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: philodendron selloum

>>Hi everybody,
I have some flowering Philodendron selloum in my garden. I always wondered
how to pollinate them. I live in South Africa and was told that the insect
that usually pollinates them does not exist here, only in the natural
If somebody could share the secret of how to hand pollinate them I would
appreciate it a lot.
Best Regards

Dear Peter,
I have not pollenated Philo`s as yet, but in Homalomena, a "cousin", it was
easy, and Philodendron sps. are probably very close.  The trick would be to
determine when the pollen was being shed, and you would have to cut a
"window" in one spathe and observe the sequence of "events" that occur as
the infloresence matures, and note the timing.  In philodendron the female
flowers are at the base of the spadix, and are "ready" first BEFORE the
spathe is "open", as the scarab beetles that pollenate them under natural
conditions force their way in when the chemical signals (odur?) and heat
production are just right.  You should cut your elongate "window" in a
not-yet fully, but nearly mature bloom; keep it as small as necessary, and
then keep it covered with plastic wrap to prevent internal drying out, then
observe daily for the production of the little "wet spots" or drops of
liquid on the tips of the stigmas (female flowers) at the base of the
spadix.  This indicates the "pollen-receptive" stage, and usually lasts only
one day or less.   A day (or maybe slightly longer) later, copious amounts
of powdery pollen will be produced by the male (upper) portion of the
spadix.   The pollenation will be done by you collecting this pollen with a
wet/damp clean paint brush from one bloom, and transfering it to a second AT
THE CORRECT STAGE!  You will know this by your experience with the
"experimental" first bloom.  Cut the elongate "window" with a clean razor
blade, and treat the edges of the wound with a fungicide, as these blooms
"carry" the developing fruit for a considerable time to maturity.  The
plastic wrap can be removed in a few days once pollenation occurs, and the
edges of the wound have scabbed over.
Good luck.

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