Storing Pollen


Is it possible to safely store, and keep viable, cymbidium pollen? How long will it remain in good condition and how should it be stored? I would like to do some standard cymbidium breeding, but one cultivar, which is in spike, has not yet bloomed and I want to use it as the capsule parent plant. — Tom Capranica


For the short time you have in mind, remove the pollen, wrap in clean paper and store in a cool, dry place. Small Post-its® can be folded up to store pollen. The pollen will keep this way for at least a year. For longer storage, the use of a dessicant is recommended. We have stored pollen in a stoppered test tube, with desiccant in the bottom held in by cotton. Pollen will keep for some years this way. Be sure to label and date the packets. — Ned Nash