How to Store Orchid Pollen


Orchids produce large volumes of very tiny pollen, sometimes up to 1 million grains in a single flower. The pollen grains fuse together into small masses called pollinia. The pollinia are what is transported by helpful pollinating insects and harvested for cultivation and storage by humans. While orchid pollen is long lived, while left on the flower, once removed it degrades quickly even under good home storage practices. Orchid pollen can be stored for short periods under household refrigeration but successful long-term storage without degradation requires sub-zero or cryogenic methods.

Step 1

Place orchid pollinia into the coldest area of a household refrigerator for short periods of up to three months. Seal the pollinia in small glassine envelopes or bags or in screw-top glass vials.

Step 2

Preserve orchid pollinia for longer term scientific research, species preservation or seed banking by placing it in a freezer capable of sustaining a temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit and a 5 percent moisture level. Protect the pollinia in sealed gelatin ampules with an air buffer.

Step 3

Save orchid pollinia in small metal or glass vials under liquid nitrogen storage with temperatures hovering at -320.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Use this method for storage of several years or more.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator
  • Glassine bags or evenlopes
  • Glass vials w/ lids
  • Sub-zero freezer
  • Gelatin ampules
  • Liquid nitrogen


  • University of Guam
  • Michigan State University, Harvery's Notebook, Pollen
  • IONOPSIS, Jodell Laboratory, Kew, Seed & Pollen Storage
Keywords: orchid pollen, store pollen, cryogenic storage

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.