When is the best time to pollinate a bloom to get a seed pod? Right after the bud opens up or a few days afterwards?
Several days after it opens. The "fingers" at the end of the stigma will open fully and it will be receptive. You might want to remove the pollen from any bloom you wish to pollinate with something else to avoid and accidental "self".
Be very careful when you remove the pollen sacs as once they're open the pollen can fly through the air (it has wings ;-)) What I do if the pollen sacs have partially opened is to cut a s straw about the length of the stigma and cover it before you even touch the pollen. You can stuff something on the open end to be extra careful.
Believe me if you goof and it gets selfed (unless that's what you want) it's a long 3 years finding room and babying these seedlings. Once they start to grow they become your responsibility so you want to make sure you've got a good cross! My seedlings take up as much space as my larger bulbs.
When I first started about 5 years ago I made some stupid crosses and of course those are the ones that will take.. and, grow forever it seems before they bloom. I'm at the point now where I only soak a small portion of the seeds (unless it's a really special cross) so I don't end up with 40 seedlings of any particular cross.
I'm just trying to save you from making the typical newbie mistakes that I made...
Have fun and let us know what crosses you do make. Remember that red is dominant so unless you want red be mindful.
Thanks yall! Donna and kristi is always so helpful when I have questions! Yall are angels!
In order to prevent self pollination, the anthers bearing the pollen must be removed,or sleeved,before the pollen dries enough to detach from the anthers.Shaking the flower enough to apply a shield would be enough to shake pollen loose, if it's dried.