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Lifespan of frozen pollen

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:22 pm
by mntlover
Has anyone tested how long their frozen pollen is viable for? I have been freezing pollen for use the next season, so I will be able to make the crosses I wish to make. This has worked really well.
Right now I have pollen from last season, awaiting a new pollination season. I still, however, have found some pollen from the previous year that didn't get all used up. Some of this is from plants that were left behind in the move and I was wondering if it would still be usable. It would be nice to have a wider selection to use this season. But I don't want to attempt (and waste) a cross on a good bud with pollen that is not viable. I am too limited on good seed parents at this time to waste blooms.
Any thoughts?

Re: Lifespan of frozen pollen

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:56 pm
by david zlesak
Hi Duane!

I have used 2 year old pollen successfully that has been frozen. I don't know how much viability goes down for sure, but I was able to get successful seed set this past year from pollen collected 2018.

Re: Lifespan of frozen pollen

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:59 am
by Don
If someone wants to do the experiment I can pony up pollen that's been frozen for five years, or maybe more.

I suspect properly dried, frozen pollen would last decades. In a lot of ways germination of pollen resembles seed germination. I once successfully germinated rose seeds that had been in a USDA freezer for 25 years.

Re: Lifespan of frozen pollen

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:21 pm
by mntlover
Thanks for the replies! I will try to use some this season, at least perhaps some that will provide options that seem useful. I'll try to keep track what the results are, although I will perhaps use a little extra of this pollens I have plenty left. Perhaps those I need to use more sparingly would give a more accurate result. I will try to look at some under the microscope also.