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Re: pollinating under lights

  • Subject: Re: pollinating under lights
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 09:56:05 -0500

Hi Charles and Alttara,
        I've pollenated seedlings under lights in the winter too, but I've
given that up. It's tempting to do that and speed up the generations, but I
lost seedlings that way and had others set back severely. Setting pods
really stresses a plant that young, sometimes too much, but always enough to
really slow down it's development greatly. Nowadays I sometimes let them
bloom to see if the flowers are interesting, then remove the scapes. It
didn't seem worth it in the long run to get 5 or 6 seeds which probably
won't be better than the plant they came from.
       By the time they can bloom under the lights, I've already culled to
the point where only 1 out of 100 are left. You can see how the odds work
out from there. What happened to some where I let pods mature was the thing
you see in older plants where rhizome tissue dies around the base of the
scape and leaves a few growth buds with very little rhizome and roots
attached for the following year. Instead of a big strong-growing
two-year-old, what comes up the second year is two or three small weak
divisions. Over time the ones that didn't bloom outstrip the ones that did
by an average of three or four to one in growth rate.
      It gets hard to remember which are poor growers and which have
retarded growth because I let them set seed. What I did was set back
drastically or kill some really promising seedlings to get a few seeds which
ended up being culled anyway. It just wasn't worth it. It may work out
better with different species mixes than what I was working with, though.
Most of what I've used tended to be on the slow-growing side to begin with.
       BTW, the species that seems most willing to bloom early under the
lights is yingeri. 24/7 lighting really spurs this process. Since I slowed
the process down to 16 hours light because of a lack of room, I haven't seen
that much of it.
                                                            .....Bill Meyer

ps. Chick, .........27?

> I have a rather young (2 months out of rooting media) TC plant growing in
> ProMix, under lights on a 17/7 photo period, that has sent up a scape and
> the bloom is about to open.  Have you pollinated (in this case self) a
> flower under lights indoors?  Any success?  I have had many seedlings
> flower, but have always cut them off.  This is a rather special longipes
> plant that I would like to pollinate and from which I would like to get
> seed.
> Best regards,
> Charles Tuttle
> Columbus  OH
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