Fall pollen collection

I am in Zone 8, Central Texas. I was wondering if anyone has had any success collecting pollen in the Fall and freezing it to use in the Spring?

Joan Richardson

Here in Zone 9b, Central Coast California where we seldom have “heat” and it remains “cool”, I have collected pollen nearly year round and stored it on flat sheets of computer printer paper in the formal living room in the house. The temp remains in the mid to high sixties in that room. There are no breezes to blow it off nor any tails or other physical disturbances to knock it off the flat surfaces. For type such a Minutifolia and Stellata mirifica, I will collect it when it appears, store it on the paper and use it when the desired seed parents flower. I get crosses between the two from that pollen, so it obviously remains viable in these conditions.

I freeze pollen all of the time for later use–from fall to spring is no problem whatsoever, and it will keep well for at least a few years if well-sealed. I know that some go to the trouble of using vials and desiccants, but I have perfectly good luck just drying anthers on aluminum foil (preferably heavy duty foil or a double layer of ordinary foil, shiny side up), which I fold after drying into an envelope and label before sealing in a small individual plastic zip-seal bag and then placing with others in a larger plastic zip-seal bag (freezer style preferred, if available), pressing out most of the air before freezing. Just make sure to warm the individual plastic bag of pollen to roughly air temperature before opening it, in order to avoid having any atmospheric moisture condensing on cold pollen, which will affect its viability and usability. I usually just press the bag gently against my chest for a second or two or wave it around in the air until the foil inside no longer feels cold. If you’re careful, you can use and re-freeze that same packet of pollen multiple times with little loss of viability.


Hi Everyone,
I have been freezing rose pollen for years now. I am one of those people who go to the trouble to
make sure I follow the highest protocol to make sure that stored pollen stays viable.
Here in Canada the availability breeding stock is becoming a minor crisis and with very short growing season, I take no chances.
I keep my pollen in small vials in 2 litre containers with satchels floral drying crystals.
When I retrieve the containers from the freezer, I always wait about half hour before opening the containers
this allows the containers to acclimatize thus avoiding damage to the pollen grains.

PS: Has any lab work been done on best practices?

I haven’t tried late summer pollen collection, but you guys are giving me crazy ideas. I wish I could make rose breeding my only job!

My regular procedure for spring pollination is fairly stringent. I bought little glass vials with tight lids. I dry the anthers first and then use a fine tea strainer and a funnel to filter pollen down into the vial. I have these neat little blue dessicant beads that turn clear/pink when they absorb moisture, and I put 8-10 of those little blue pebbles down into each vial. If I’m not going to use the pollen immediately I put the vials in the freezer, even if it is just one day.

Joe, do you have any “head shops” there? You can easily obtain fine mesh filters they use to filter out the cannabis oil that will nearly filter fine enough to only allow pollen through. I found some when I was trying to figure out how to filter the pollen to make it legal to ship to Australia. They were something like $14 for three and made of stainless steel.

Hi Kim! I’ve found that extra-fine tea strainers work pretty well…basically only allowing the pollen and a little extra through. I really enjoy the satisfaction of bottling up pollen with dessicant beads…giving it the best possible chance of doing its job.

I used gasoline filters:


Thanks for the response! I did collect pollen right up until the first freeze. I lost several grafted roses during the Deep Freeze of 2021 that I wanted to use for pollen. By the time I got the roses replaced it was too late to make any crosses. Hopefully 2022 will be better.

I used to freeze pollen. Species bloom earlier than moderns in the spring, so it was a must. I always used heavy pollen shedders, and stored them in those tiny glass vials with rubber stoppers. I think they were technically meant for old style blood draws for vets, but I dont really remember. I just know out of everything I tried, they were the absolute best.