Bromeliads – Pollinating Flowers
*This guide has not been made to go into depth of crosses and hybridisation, but is intended to get you started*
Some Bromeliads are easily hand pollinated.
It is always best to cross or use pollen from different flowers to the one you pollinate.
Remember to take notes of times/date/parent and pollen parents, etc.
Also remember to remove any chances of insects, birds, or ants, from re-pollinating the same flowers. The best way to reduce this is to remove the pollen sticks from the flowers.
Once you get the idea you can delve further into bromeliad pollination.
To hand pollinate the flowers, touch the pollen and if yellow powder is left on your fingers the pollen is ready to be used. Very gently break off the pollen sticks (anther) one by one and gently rub pollen onto the stigma.
Pictures above show the basics. In the first photo you can see the 5 x pollen sticks and one Stigma in middle (looks like a small yellow broccoli).
Neo’s and Vriesea’s are a bit different, but with the same concept, use a piece of wire or a tooth pick and gently insert it down into the centre of the flower. Pull out the wire or tooth pick and look to see pollen powder and if you get pollen, insert this into a different flower.
Aechmeas follow the same principle as Vriesea’s for pollination. When berries develop, keep watch and look for a change of colour. Once a colour change has occurred, you should be able to remove the berries with no effort. When this happens it is a good indicator that the seed is ready. Squeeze one berry between your fingers and look hard to see the seed in jelly. If all looks right, squeeze a few berries onto paper towel or tissue and allow to dry. Once dry, put paper onto a seedling tray full of sphagnum moss and remember to keep moist but not wet.
Similar to Vriesea pollination.
Above is a photo of Tillandsia seed that is ready to be sowed.