Collecting pollen question

Hi all…

Questions for the experts…

I attempted to collect pollen sacks from several different flowers. What I had read on the internet was that the sacks would burst releasing their pollen. I have gone back to look at what I collected and hardly anything I would call “pollen” is in the containers. Mostly the tissue material from the rose.

Does this mean the rose I collected the pollen from isn’t a good “pollen parent”

Does this mean I am doing it wrong?

Can I “smush” the pollen sacks trying to get the pollen out? Or will that cause damage and not work?

Any input appreciated!


I keep a larger size screwdriver in my pollination box. I use it to smash (crush) pollen sacks that appear reluctant to release their pollen.

Yeah, I use a paintbrush handle for the same thing. Some varieties just dont want to, and sometimes the weather makes them dry funny.

I settled on the chromed metal screwdriver blade for crushing as it is very easy to see the pollen on the metal. In fact, I then normally use the blade to apply the pollen to the mother.

haha yes. I use small back brushes because pollen stands out on the black plastic handles and the plastic fibers. Plastic fibers are nice too since they dont hold moisture for very long whatsoever.

thanks for the replies :slight_smile:

I wont be afraid to smash them up a little.

Thanks for sharing!




I let the anthers burst indoors, where the air is usually dry enough. I crush the pollen sacks when they become crispy, usually after 24 hours. If the air is humid, it doesn’t work that well. An air-conditioned room is perfect because of the lower humidity.

I smash them (if needed) after they have gone through my normal drying procedure.


Thanks guys.

I’ll move the picked flowers upstairs where it is warmer and the relative humidity should be lower.

I probably threw viable pollen away because the sacks hadn’t opened. I picked some new flowers and hopefully I’ll get some pollen now after smashing the sacks.

Thanks for the article on pollen storage Henry. I was unsure as when would be best time to collect the pollen. I am working with single, semi-double and double flowers. I probably collected some too early and a few flowers open up before I picked them, but the pollen sacks still looked fresh. So hopefully they hadn’t released their pollen yet.

Thanks again,


I just collect the anthers into short plastic solo cups, removing the anthers with curved tweezers from blooms that will open today. Cups are placed on our fireplace mantel and ceiling fan is put on “low”. 90% to 95% of varieties release their pollen well this way. Pollen is used the next day. Drier and warmer conditions promote pollen release, but not absolutely necessary. I will use some pollens for two days, but try to use only fresh one day old pollen.

Jim Sproul

Jim, good to know.

I had read that pollen was good for 2 weeks on another site that provided a lot of good information. (or so I thought)

Guess I better throw out what I collected 4 days ago and start over :slight_smile:


You’ll get best results with really fresh pollen, but the stuff that is 2 weeks old will give fair results if the pollen is kept under good conditions. Heat and high humidity damage pollen.