Bring your pollen parent orchid (in flower) inside on a smooth surface, preferably on the large sheet of paper.

Now you have to simulate a bee.  Take a new toothpick, and insert it inder the anther cap so that it contacts a small amount of the sticky stuff on the stigma. Using the other end or another toothpick lift up the anther cap (it probably will break off). Then touch the sticky end to the two pollinia and lift them (or one) off. Congratulations! Step 1 done. Your toothpick is a cyber-bee!

Now go to to your pod parent plant. This should be different from your pollen parent. Orchids don't like incest. Bring the plant inside and stand it on the sheet of paper. Then take the toothpick and push the pollinia into the stigma. They should stick there. If not try again, or with another flower. If the pollinia fall off, that's what the white paper is for - to find them again.

Now is the time for real patience. But you are an orchid lover, right? Your plants flower only once a year don't they? Well you'll have to wait almost that long for the seed pod...

© Copyright 2006+ Arthur Sale
Last Modified: 23 December 2010
By the way, when you describe your cross it is always written (pod parent x pollent parent or F x M), like this:

. (Warm Waters x Vanguard 'Mas Beauty')

Make sure you keep good records!
But you can get some indication that you are successful.  By 4-8 weeks you should see some signs of a pod developing. Here is a photo of a fertilized pod 5 weeks after pollination. The flower may change color or wither, the pedicule and ovary may thicken and lengthen. Expect some fertilized flowers to drop off too. I tie a small piece of wool around fertilized flowers, and a label on the spike recording the cross number referring to my (computer-based) records.