The celebrated Narcissus has always been a fascination among horticulturists for its effortless beauty and cultural importance. Crossbreeding has led to many different variants marked by different color combinations and shapes. Daffodils are hermaphroditic organism and this makes it easy to pollinate.
Before giving you the instructions, let’s define the vital parts for the novice gardener’s sake. The pistil of the female part is found at the very center of a flower and has a flat sticky top. The sticky part is called the stigma which catches the pollen during reproduction. The stamen is the male part, which is found just around the pistil, also attached to the same center filament. The filament is connected to the ovary which is near the stem.
What you need:
- Two kinds of daffodil plants, preferably two varieties of different colors or shapes.
- A plastic stick slightly pointed and semi-rounded at the end. You can also use a pen with a plastic cap. You can also use cotton buds.
- A pair of tweezers.
- A seed tray
- An enclosed space for your flowers to be safe from bees or birds.
- A paper bag
- Masking tape
Step 1: Take your pen and create static electricity by brushing it against your sleeve for at least a minute.
Step 2: Holding the first flower parent, make contact between your pen and the pollen found neatly tucked around the stamen’s anthers. The static will instantly attract the pollen so there’s no scraping of some sort involved.
Step 3: Moving to the second daffodil variant, transfer the pollen onto the tip of the pistil, sticking them onto the stigma. Then remove the male parts with a pair of tweezers to prevent this flower from pollinating itself.
Step 4: In case of an open garden, keep your pollinated parent plant safe from other pollinating factors by placing a paper bag over it and loosely securing it with masking tape. You can label the paper bag as a reminder that it’s in a stage of impregnation.
Step 5: The parent flower eventually wilts which is a sign that you should look for the seed pod just behind it. Take the seeds out and dry them for a month. Then, using some vermiculite at the bottom of a shallow seed tray spread the seeds on top of it. Give them enough sunlight and use a water spray bottle to nurture the germinating seeds.
It’s quite a long wait for the fruits of your labor to materialize when cross-breeding any flowering plant. It may be three to four years of devotion before the plants show buds but it is certainly worth the long wait.