How is plum/pluot pollen collected?

Continuing the discussion from Nadia Sweet cherry x plum hybrid:
I tried using a small, soft paint brush to either collect pollen on the brush or to brush it into a container held beneath the blossoms. I never saw any visible collection on the brush, and only very few of what looked like granules in the container. My vision is a long past being sharp. So, just because I don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. :wink:

Is there a better way, or perhaps an optimal time of day or stage of bloom for plum or pluot pollen collecting?

Here are three videos showing the process of collecting pollen from apples. Same process used in plums I’m assuming.

I don’t think the videos show any bagging done after pollinating. I think the rows are outfitted with net screens that are probably lowered when finished. This of course ensures the cross is that which is intended.


I collect pollen with my thumbs, then I quickly pollinize the desired blossoms.


When properly collecting in the balloon stage the pollen is too wet to be accurately dispersed. Drying is needed. That’s not to say that your method wouldn’t work, but it’s not the best way to do it, especially if you had a lot to do.

Plus, if the flower is already open (and therefore adequately dry), you risk foreign pollen being there.


That won’t matter if your goal is just fruit and not breeding. Like with Flavor Supreme. Although I too collect on closed flowers.
If you’re dealing with a self pollinating variety you need to remove male parts in the balloon stage. I use a razor blade to cut pedals and stamens off. It’s not that hard.
You get the hang of depth you need to cut after you do a few. I do this with brambles which are self fertile.

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Good point Drew about the self pollinators, that’s something different about plums than virtually all apples.

Hmmm… lot to learn here. … what , if anything, should i be doing with my Spice Zee? Is still to cold here for bees.

You can use a brush and swirl around the flowers, or use an electric tooth brush to vibrate them. That should work. Wind should pollinate them too, so really you don’t have to do anything.

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A member here at Growing Fruit @SkillCult has an excellent video series on apple pollination. I stumbled across it the other day. Should be very similar for Pluots.


This is great! I’ve tried using paintbrushes, going from one flower to another but never seem to be able to actually pick up pollen. I’m definitely going to try this for my pluots and Satsuma plum.

When they pollen sacs are dry, are they then ground up into dust manually? Long term storage, fridge or room temp?

If you didn’t see anything at ALL when trying to pollinate, it COULD be that your eyes are horrible, but you should see a noticeable yellowish tinge. If you don’t see anything at all, it could be that your pollenators or wind has already done the job, but it could also be time of day and weather. I’m thinking you want it to be relatively dry and warm, like late afternoon. I’m not doing deliberate crosses, but I haven’t seen a lot of bees in my yard so I went out and just moved some pollen around a few times the last couple days. Peaches seem to be a lot like my zinnias, pollen is bursty around warm dry weather. Too damp and it clumps and stays in the flower.

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That was a good video. I myself prefer to remove pedals and male parts with a razor blade. As mentioned the female parts are in the middle, it’s hard to damage them. Also he broke one doing it. That never happens with a blade although I suppose a deep cut could kill it too.
Looks easy with apples try the small flowers of raspberries, not as easy!

That’s one reason. Even with :eyeglasses: they aren’t good at seeing fine detail. That’s the #1 reason I couldn’t tell whether I wasn’t seeing what was actually there, or if there really has been nothing there to see. :smile:

It would have been nicer if bloom times for different plants proceeded in the same sequence as usual. This year they’ve been leap frogging and overlapping into a condensed time frame. So, the hundreds of yards of holly hedges are blooming at the same time, instead of after. The allure of all that holly is so much stronger than that of the fruit blossoms that almost all the pollinators are making the holly bushes sing while ignoring the blossoms I’d prefer them to frequent. :frowning: Here’s hoping the wind is a friend this year.

thanks for this link/vid,It got too cold and windy to be outside on my day off anyway.:slight_smile: got lost in these vids truly cool

Thanks Jeff,
These videos are the best I have seen on a process
Kent, wa