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Author Topic: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed  (Read 1977 times)

annew

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Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« on: January 29, 2014, 06:47:51 PM »
The problem - some of the snowdrops I want to pollinate are in my frames in baskets, and so can't be lifted to bring into the warm to get the pollen running etc. Any ideas about how to raise the temperature just over single pots to a) get the pollen running and
b) allow the donated pollen to germinate and grow down the pollen tube for fertilisation?
Also does anyone know how long it takes for the pollen tube to reach the ovary? In fact is there a minimum temperature at which this occurs? Bearing in mind the prevailing weather at the normal time of flowering of snowdrops, maybe it will happen even at low temperatures?
Next year, I must try and get potential parents into the greenhouse to make it easier (and save my knees). Next problem, how to make more space under glass??
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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Tim Ingram

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 06:53:47 PM »
Anne - would those heated pads sometimes used to reduce back pain work? You'd probably have to rig up a clamp to hold them in place (and maybe enclose the snowdrops in a prop. box if that would work?).
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

annew

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 06:57:48 PM »
They'd certainly help my knees!!
Current suggestion from husband is bottomless lemonade bottle to make tall mini-propagators. Maybe some sort of light bulb to provide heat?? The question is really how long would these need to be in place to have the desired effect? Even half an hour would probably get the pollen running, but it's the actual fertilisation that I'm completely in the dark about. 8)
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Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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Maggi Young

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 07:07:54 PM »
Margaret Taylor taught  the trick  at shows of covering a plant with an upturned bowl  - warmed by filling with hot water then emptied  and upturned over the plant for a few moments to encourage buds to open with the  resulting warm humid atmosphere .  Perhaps an old glass cloche ( if made of thick enough glass) or a large plastic container would work over larger plants.  Pyrex ( unbreakable glass) bowl or jug would do the trick.

 Better to be glass or something transparent so you can easily follow the progress of the opening flower.
Worth a try?
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annew

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 07:09:59 PM »
Sounds like the knees are in for a long haul....
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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ichristie

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 07:52:03 PM »
Hello Anne, I can see you have a few problems to pollinate the snowdrops I have often wondered and asked many questions just how long the pollen is viable and when we have wild colonies with two different species G. nivalis which are usually late and G plicatus where some are early and some are late like the ones at Brechin the resulting hybrids can flower around end of January whilst nothing else is anywhere near also the hybrids between the two species some look like G, nivalis produce a twin flower spike and leaves that are folded on one side. I will post some pictures just to show this.
Ian ...the Christie kind...
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annew

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 10:50:18 PM »
You are clearly getting some overlap in the flowering period, Ian.
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Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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hwscot

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 11:30:55 PM »
The reusable heat pads are chunky enough they'd be quite easy to prop up beside the plants, I would think. They stay warm about an hour. We get them from Lidl, couiple of quid a packet of two. Invaluable for back ache and may be adaptable for knees. Simmer for ten minutes to reset - pads, not knees.
Harry
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Margaret

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 11:50:16 PM »

Have you tried knee pads, Anne. They help a bit.
Margaret
Greenwich

annew

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 08:29:41 AM »
I do have a very good memory foam kneeling pad, it's just the last couple of weeks I've been redecorating and un-flatpacking furniture so they've been hammered more than usual! I also have some gel packs which I keep in the freezer for headaches/muscle problems, but they can be used as heat pads by microwaving them, so they would probably do the trick for heating the flower to get pollen.
Still don't have any info on speed of growth of the pollen tube down the style, or minimum temperature at which this happens. Given the time of year they flower, can we assume the pollen will germinate and grow at 'normal' January temperatures, do you think?
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Alan_b

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2014, 11:26:49 AM »
I would guess that if it's warm enough for the bees to come out then it's warm enough for germination.  That's probably just a few hours on a few days in January.
Almost in Scotland.

mark smyth

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 01:11:22 PM »
Easy - grow some pots in your sand plunge then bring them in for a few hours
Antrim, Northern Ireland Z8
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Maggi Young

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 01:18:19 PM »
Easy - grow some pots in your sand plunge then bring them in for a few hours
No it's not that easy - such plants will have roots going out into the plunge and it will damage them to lift them .  I think Anne already mentioned that. 
It 's for that reason that Ian doesn't lift pots even from  from the glasshouse plunge for photographs.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Garry Edwards

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 01:56:02 PM »
Depending on the size of cold frame and its construction ,hang 4ft twin strip lights with 30 watt tubes,then cover frame with a layer of frost blanket or similar product then finish of with poly to keep blanket dry. 4ft of strip light per 6 ft frame approx.I have tried different types of bulbs it does not seem to matter which ones you use.

The lights are not there to help the plant growth but to provide a warming effect for the bench.

During the day the frost blanket is removed as soon as the sun is up or the temperature has risen in the tunnel,if the temperature does not increase in the tunnel the frost blanket remains in place with no adverse effects on the plant material.

This should raise the temperature by at least 6-10 degrees.

I am using this system on a raised bench 48ft x 4ft with multiple lights with a layer of poly then three layers of heavy duty frost blanket inside a double skinned unheated poly tunnel. The outside temp can drop to minus 20 and the bench will hold a temp of  plus 10 to 12 depending on the wind chill factor.

The bench also has soil warming cables installed which are on a thermostat set at 7 degrees, this only seems to come on when the temp drops below -25 outside  and because the bench is well insulated they do not run for very long. 

mark smyth

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Re: Snowdrop pollination - brainstorming needed
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 11:14:30 AM »
I lift snowdrops, grown in clay pots in the sand plunge, to bring them inside to warm up to photograph. I rarely find more than a few roots out of the bottom hole. This one I just lifted
Antrim, Northern Ireland Z8
www.snowdropinfo.com / www.marksgardenplants.com / www.saveourswifts.co.uk

When the swifts arrive empty the green house

All photos taken with a Canon 900T and 230

 

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