[Plant-biology] Re: Pollen Advice Please

Beverly Erlebacher via plantbio%40net.bio.net (by bae from cs.toronto.edu)
Sun Aug 31 11:45:10 EST 2008

In article <Tim.Perry.32eaeca from gardenbanter.co.uk>,
Tim Perry  <Tim.Perry.32eaeca from gardenbanter.co.uk> wrote:
>bae from cs.toronto.no-uce.edu;813239 Wrote: 
>> You could also try refrigerating some cuttings of the fall-blooming
>> plant in hopes of forcing bloom at a time nearer that of the summer-
>> blooming plant, or vice versa.
>> It will be interesting to see when the hybrids bloom, should you
>> manage to obtain any.  If you haven't raised the parental species
>> from seed before, you might try that so you'll have better ideas
>> about germinating the hybrids.  Seeds of woody plants often need
>> some manipulation to get them to germinate.
>> Sounds like an interesting and fun project.  Good luck!
>Thanks, unfortunately I have just the normal deep freeze. I only
>I had access to a laboratory, still, we can all dream.
>I had not thought of freezing cuttings, although the plants are
>supposed to be hardy down to -15 C. 

You'd be risking it in a deep freeze, which is supposed to be kept
at about -18C.  A fridge freezer is usually not quite as cold, so
might be worth experimenting with.  You'd have to use completely
dormant wood, since once dormancy breaks, cold resistance decreases
substantially.  If neither plant forms its flower buds before
dormancy, it's probably not possible to get dormant cuttings to

My thought was to make cuttings of the winter-blooming plant well
before bloom, refrigerate (not freeze) them, then force them like
people force forsythia and fruit blossoms, to obtain pollen at the
time the summer blooming species blooms.  That's a long time to 
keep the cuttings refrigerated, but it may be worth a stab.  You
could try the reverse, too.

>I had wondered if grafting onto a
>different rootstock might cause a shift in the blooming time, or
>perhaps I could try a combination of the 2 options. I am unsure what
>species would provide good root stocks. 

Depending on the size of the plant, you may be able to manipulate
bloom time by controlling day length.  It's actually night length 
that plants are sensitive to.  It's easiest for a small potted plant
that you can move in and out of a dark container.

>I am growing some Loquats from seed, 10 seed produced 3 plants, and so
>far I have discovered that the seed must be planted as soon as possible
>after extraction from the fruit, viability drops off very steeply in
>storage. Also I
>found that the moisture level is fairly crucial, too much either way
>meets with failure. I understand the plants are only partially
>self-fertile, so 1 plant on its own may never fruit, which causes many
>gardeners to give up.

Loss of viability in dried seed is common in woody plants, so it's good
to find out that's the case in loquats.  Does either species need a cool
moist period before it will germinate?

When there's only room for one tree of a non-self-fertile type, you
can graft wood from another variety onto it for pollination.  Your
potential hybrid may or may not be pollinated by its siblings or either
or both parents.  You might even get seedless fruit from some of these.

Have you tried growing medlars (Mespilus germanicus)?  That's another
little grown pome fruit that should be hardy in Britain.

Here in Toronto, where I move my fig and bay trees into the cellar for
the winter, I can only appreciate your loquat experiments vicariously!

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