As the bees and the wind rarely do their job pollinating desert roses, growers hand pollinate their own species. This creative art has led to many new, beautiful hybrids of adenium. You can do it too! Together let's see how.
Cross-Pollinating Is Not GMO
When we're pollinating between different adenium species, it is not gene modifying. It is simply a mom from Asia & a dad from America getting together.
Gene modification is when they extract a piece of gene from one specie & insert it into another. This is to make the new GMO stronger or more productive, with of course unforeseeable risks.
This is to say, it is totally safe doing pollination on your own at home or in your garden. The best thing of all is you get to name your new specie however you like.
A Step-By-Step Pollinating Guide
This guide is put together by Dorset Horn Adenium. We think it's just so amazing that we need to share it with you.
They put a lot of work into this & should get all the credit. There are 7 steps from picking the flower to getting the pollen in. We will see another method a little later. Let us now begin with step 1.
Step 1: Pick a newly bloomed flower
The fresher the flower, the higher the chance of fertilization. Some folks even share that a 1- or 2-day old flower is best for pollinating.
Step 2: Tear the flower
They have done a very neat job here, but you can tear the flower however you like. After tearing it up, you will see some hairy pink stripes & a white cone inside.
Step 3: Remove the anther cone
Now, we remove one piece of the cone by tearing down the pink, hairy stripes. You will then see the pollen & stigma inside the flower.
Here you can see:
The pollen is that little white stuff. It's quite soft–like some tiny pieces of potato. Below that you can see the stigma. And right below the stigma is the receptive surface. This is the place where we will be transferring our little pollen to.
Step 4: Collect the pollen
Use a wet-tip toothpick to lift the pollen up & collect it. This is the trickiest part because it's very tiny to see. Here is the pollen:
When you've collected a good amount of pollen, it's time for the step we've been waiting for.
Step 5: Pollinate
You can also swirl your toothpick around to make sure the pollen gets spread around the receptive surface. This helps higher the chance of successful pollination.
After this, all you need to do is to close the flower up with some tape or rubber band. Make sure no rain, snow or sun can inside. And we can now begin the waiting game.
You've just seen pollination within the same specie. If you like to do a cross-pollination, instead of dropping the pollen inside the same flower, you can just take that pollen to a flower of another specie.
The process is the same. After pollinating, you just need to close the flower & protect it from rain, sun, or snow. Now, let's see another way we can do pollination.
The Picasso Pollinating Method
The above method works well for folks with very good eyesight. But for folks with bad eyes & shaky hands, there is another easier pollinating method. You can, sometimes, do this with your eyes closed.
- A paint brush
- Some water
- Desert roses
What you do here is dip the paint brush in some water. After that, slide the brush inside the tube of a newly bloomed desert rose. Then, you swirl around & around like that Starry Night painting by Van Gogh (oh we are so irrelevant).
After swirling, you take the brush out & repeat the same process on another flower. Using this method, you also need to close the flower. It can be done on the same or different species.
Here, you don't need to see where the pollen is to collect it. You don't need to tear the petals either. This is a randomness & probability in action. Some of the pollen will get on the brush & help pollinate the flower.
Here is a clear & easy-to-understand video on pollinating adenium if you would like a look:
After you've done swirling, close the flower up with some tape. We can then exercise some patience to see which ones will eventually bear fruits.