How to Hand Pollinate Adenium

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Adenium obesum is a flower of vibrant color from Arabia and Africa. The plant presents as both shrubs and trees. Cross-pollination of Adeniums is a common practice, since the flower has such showy colors that are a joy to mix through hybridization. Horticulturalists use multiple methods to cross-pollinate Adeniums. It’s best to start off with a simple approach if you are a beginner.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothpick
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Magnifying lens
  • Cut open a flower that you want to pollinate from.

  • Locate the pollen in the tiny chamber immediately below the hairy filaments at the top of the central flower structure.

  • Wet the tip of a toothpick with water and scoop off some pollen. You may need a magnifying glass to verify that you actually got some onto your toothpick.

  • Cut the corolla of the receiving flower vertically from the circular edge at the top downward about three-quarters of an inch.

  • Fold the corolla back and over on itself to expose the inner structure of the flower.

  • Locate the “gel cap,” which is a silvery pearl-like bead right under the pollen chamber.

  • Tap the toothpick to knock pollen onto the surface just under the gel cap. This is called the “receptive surface” because it receives the pollen.

  • Fold up the corolla again, join the severed sides where you cut it, and tape it shut with adhesive tape to reduce its trauma. In a week or two, you’ll see seedpods growing in pairs out from the base of the flower like little horns.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to Lap Huynh at FlowerPictures.net, experts believe that you need two Adeniums to produce seedpods. So even if you aren’t interested in cross-pollinating, but just pollinating, this technique may be necessary without the help of pollinating insects.

References

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