Pollinating a frangipani/plumeria flower by hand.
For those wanting to induce seed pods the following is a simple way to do it. I use this method to find the best time for pollination of each variety so I can succesfully do my "Moragne" method and cross pollinate. The following method can also cross pollinate when you carry pollen from one flower to another. I do quite a few flowers at a time(what ever is flowering, 40 plus varieties usually) so I know my chances of crossing while I do it are increased. If you want you can also split another flower and make sure you have pollen on the instrument before inserting it but basically this method is "selfing"..
To start with you need to use something that will go down the throat of the flower without damaging it or its internal parts, I prefer fishing line as it is thin and still has enough strength to push into the throat without bending plus doesn’t cause damage. I use 3 different line strengths(diameters), 15 lb, 20 lb & 25 lb plus I have 2 slightly different lengths in each and I attach them to a tooth pick(glued and wrapped) as per the pics so its easier to spin. Actual length of line should be measured against a flower, it is roughly 2cm or 3/4"(plus or minus a few mm) but will depend on the flower as they do vary but most are one of the two lengths I use. You can also use various other things to spin, I have used a piece of grass plus a finely sanded tooth pick in the past but the harder object tend to damage the flower and in turn cause it to bleed sap ruining any chance of pollination. You also need to be careful you do not damage the stigma by continually hitting it.
I have found that the prime time in Australia(northern NSW coast) was between mid february to mid april(these times are are close to middle of the season), here in Thailand it is anywhere between august & april as we have flower all year round. You still need to do it regularly though to be certain.
The two following pics show what I use to do this(fishing line set ups) plus a pic of the internal parts of a frangipani, the line needs to be between the anthers without touching the stigma where possible when you spin it.
All you need to do is insert the fishing line down the throat of the flower and twist it in your fingers a few times so that it spins and hits the anthers releasing the pollen onto the stigma. If your timing is right you will see a pod developing within a couple of weeks. I repeat this process every 2 weeks during the flowering season to make sure I can identify the best time, recording the dates as well as the results if a pod sets. Once the pod starts to grow it will increase in size fairly quickly then stop once it has reached its full size, usually within a few months time, it then slowly changes colour as the seeds inside ripen then 9 months after the day it was fertilized the pod is ripe enough and splits open to reveal its progeny. I remove the pod from the tree as soon as it splits and let it open fully in a dry warm place then remove all the seeds and throw out any that are not viable(flat, brittle), you can do this by feeling them between your fingers, you should be able to feel the cotelydons inside the husk. I plant the rest or give them away, remember fresh is always the best so the sooner you plant them the better your germination rates.
© the frangipani man