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How to Pollinate Vanilla

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Published on Jun 4, 2010

All you need is a toothpick and a steady hand to pollinate your vanilla orchid flowers. (Note that the labellum, or modified petal, has been pulled down to expose the column.) Lift up the thin flaplike rostellum that protects the stigmatic surface and then press the anther (and pollen mass) down and give it a good squish. How do you know if you were successful? Check back in a few days and see if the withered flower is still attached and the pedicel has started to elongate and enlarge...into a young green vanilla bean!

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