Rose pollen viability?

For about two weeks now I’ve had some pollen of Hazeldean sitting out at room temperature, is it still much good? I know it should have either been kept frozen or at least stored in the fridge. Thanks!


I do not think that two weeks will hurt it.

It should have some viability. You can’t lose much by using it–and you’ll probably lose more by not using it.

I have some pollen of Rugelda a while back. It was at room temperature for 2 or 3 months. I used it, and I got hips on Queen Elizabeth (but not on Sutter’s Gold).

But I really had to lather on a lot of pollen too-- my thinking was that the more I could put on anther’s, the better chance vial pollen will pollinate the roses.

Terry, I hate to “cast” the negative vote, but in my experience, pollen loses viability very rapidly after two days at room temperature. I always try to use pollen that is no older than two days.

Do you have fresh pollen from another variety that would make a cool cross?

Jim Sproul

Geologist have found pollen in mesozoic sediments that is still viable! While this pollen is from a different species. it is clear that pollen, when properly stored, can retain it’s viability for a very long time.

As long as it retains it’s original color, and remains powdery, It is probably still good.

i have found that it is most important that the stygma be just right for pollination.

After about 2 weeks, I mix my pollens and use the mixture on roses where I would like to get an idea of what potential they have. On my web page, anytime you see the pollen parent as “mixed pollen”; this is an example of old pollen working. I should note that it is always possible that a mixed - old pollen case could be a self pollination since it is possible that one or more deeply buried pollen pods were missed when preparing the mother. I cover the fertilized mother with a 2 by 2 clear plastic zip lock bag so “bee spread” pollen should not be a complication.

Keep in mind that there is a great degree of viability in a cultivar’s pollen. ‘Hazeldean’, for example, apparently has pollen that is not as viable as ‘Harison’s Yellow’. ‘Persian Yellow’ is also not as viable as ‘Harison’s Yellow’. I’m with Jim. I never like to use pollen that is drying out for more than one day at room termperature.

I think we can all agree that new pollen is a lot better than old pollen. As I understood the question, Terry did not have ready access to new pollen from Hazeldean, so he was asking whether his 2-week-old Hazeldean pollen had any chance of working. If Terry has ready access to fresh pollen from Hazeldean, he should use that. If he does not and still wants to use the older pollen, it probably has enough viability to be worth using even now, 4 days later. Perhaps Terry can tell us later about his results if he uses the old pollen.