The Basics of Indoor Pollination

by on October 2, 2012


Pollination is an easy concept to understand. Just think of it as sex for plants.  On the other hand, don’t.

When I wrote last week about indoor gardening, I mentioned the need for pollination. One of the problems that comes along with growing plants indoors is that even the self-pollinators struggle to do their thing because of the conditions. Let’s take a look at two basic types of pollinators that we will discuss here:

Same flower pollinators include the ever-popular tomato, pepper and eggplant. In order for these plants to pollinate, the pollen need only move from one part of the flower to another.  These plants are commonly pollinated by the wind.

To pollinate same flower pollinators indoors, lightly touch a vibrating toothbrush to the back of a flower. You will see a small burst of pollen release, letting you know that your job is done.

Multi-flower pollinators don’t like to go it alone. In plants like melons, squash and cucumbers, there are male and female flowers. As the names might suggest, pollen from the male flowers must make its way to the female flowers to be successful. These plants are most often pollinated by insects going from one flower to another.

To pollinate multi-flower pollinators indoors, lightly brush the inside of the male flower with a natural hair artist brush or cotton swab. Then brush a female flower to transfer the pollen. The female flowers are almost always the larger of the two types, and sometimes have a tiny unfertilized fruit at the base.

I have used these two simple tips to grow tomatoes, peppers and even cucumbers indoors over the winter months, and with a little practice, they will work for you too.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MeAgain30 June 26, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I just became the proud owner of a 5=gal bucket and will try tomatoes this winter. Wish me good luck please. 😉


Carol June 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Good luck! And tell us how it goes.


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