Anthurium Pollen Collection: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding Anthurium Pollination

Before delving into the specific steps of collecting anthurium pollen, it is important to understand how anthuriums are pollinated. Anthuriums are flowering plants that can produce highly colorful spathes and spadices, the latter of which are the flower-bearing structures where pollination occurs. These tropical flowers are bisexual, containing both male and female reproductive parts. Pollen is produced by the male parts, or stamens, and needs to be transferred to the female parts, or stigma, to achieve fertilization.

Preparing for Pollen Collection

To collect anthurium pollen, you’ll need to gather a few tools. These include a fine paintbrush or a small soft-bristled brush, a pair of tweezers, a small lidded container for storing the pollen, and labels to keep track of the pollen’s origin. Ensure all tools are sterile to prevent cross-contamination.

Selecting the Right Flowers

The best candidates for pollen collection are anthurium flowers that are at the right stage of blooming. Ideally, choose a flower whose spadix is showing a powdery substance, indicating that the pollen is ready for collection. Flowers that are too old or too young may not provide viable pollen.

Collecting Pollen from the Anthurium

Once you have your tools and have identified a suitable flower, you are ready to collect the anthurium pollen. The process should be conducted with care to avoid damaging the plant.

Step 1: Identifying the Male Phase

Anthuriums have a unique flowering phase where the male and female parts mature at different times. Begin by identifying a spadix that has entered the male phase, which is typically recognizable by visible pollen on the surface. The presence of this powdery substance indicates that the pollen is ripe and ready for collection.

Step 2: Gentle Collection of Pollen

Using your paintbrush or soft-bristled brush, gently swipe over the surface of the spadix to collect the powdery pollen. Be delicate in your approach to avoid damaging the flower. The idea is to collect as much pollen on the brush without applying too much pressure.

Step 3: Transferring Pollen to a Container

After collecting the pollen on the brush, carefully transfer it to your small storage container. You can gently tap the brush against the side of the container to make sure all pollen is dislodged. If you’re using tweezers to pluck individual anthers, place these directly into your container. Seal the container to prevent moisture, dust, and contaminants from entering.

Step 4: Labeling

Properly label your container with the date of collection and the plant variety. This information is vital for tracking the pollen viability and for future pollination or breeding efforts.

Storing Anthurium Pollen

Pollen should be stored in a cool, dry place. Some growers might choose to store it in a refrigerator to extend its viability. Regardless of where you store the pollen, ensure the temperature is stable and the environment is free from humidity. Pollen can usually be stored for several months under optimal conditions.

Using Collected Pollen

Once you have collected anthurium pollen, you can use it immediately for pollinating other flowers or store it for future use. To pollinate an anthurium, use a fine paintbrush to apply the collected pollen onto the stigma of the designated receptive female flower. This process should also be done delicately, mirroring the natural process that would be carried out by wind or insects in the wild.


Collecting pollen from anthuriums allows for controlled breeding and the propagation of desirable plant traits. By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully harvest and store anthurium pollen for your horticultural projects. Whether for hobbyist plant breeders or commercial growers, mastering the art of pollen collection is a valuable skill in the fascinating world of plant breeding and propagation.

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