Preventing cross pollination (if possible)

J.E. Shields
Wed, 17 Feb 2010 06:20:35 PST
Hi Justin,

It all depends.....

Yes, you do want to avoid random, uncontrolled cross pollination.  If the 
bulbs are in pots, move the pots while in bloom inside, away from wind, 
rain, and insects.  Also, move away from pots of related species.

I cover the newly-pollinated stigmas with a bit of aluminum foil, made into 
a little tube by wrapping it around the end of a thin wood dowel (1/8th 
inch diameter, from a hobby shop).

Rigorously preventing self-pollination is harder, but not very important 
for your purposes.

To cover for non-overlapping flowering of different bulbs of the same 
species, store the pollen of the first that flowers.  See my web page at:

To encourage offsetting, or increase in size of bulbs, you might try 
cutting off the flowers before they bloom.  You can also try coring for 
true bulbs that are not offsetting for you.  You can also slice the bulb up 
using the "twin-scaling" method.  These approaches always seem too drastic 
to me, and I usually just let nature take its course.  Feed the bulbs well, 
of course!

Feel free to ask any questions you still have.

Jim Shields
in cold and snowy Westfield, Indiana

At 07:16 PM 2/16/2010 -0600, you wrote:

>Hello everyone,
>Spring is coming and I want to be prepared just in case my bulbs finally 
>bloom. I have several dozen pots of different glads, moraea, romulea and 
>the like.
>Though I am unsure just how many are mature enough to bloom but I have at 
>least some hope that I might get some bloomages.
>I am curious though as to how cross pollination is prevented in the 
>closely related species. I would like to start getting seed but I 
>certainly want to prevent hybridization. To ask for information on how to 
>make flower condoms has a big giggle factor, but alas. That is pretty much 
>what I need.  I know plastic bags would be effective but in Texas heat 
>that would most likely cook anything outdoors and I am just not able to 
>cycle my pots indoors to keep them from being roasted alive.
>I am also thinking that any cloth/material that would allow air to flow 
>through it would also allow pollen to escape.
>Anyone have any suggestions or do I just have to settle for letting the 
>bulbs divide on their own to increase their numbers. And clipping the 
>blooms so seed are not formed and all nutrients go to bulb growth?
>Woodville, TX 8b/9a
>Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
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Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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