How to Self-Pollinate Plants

I am not a garden expert, by any stretch of the imagination.  I just enjoy gardening and have experimented a fair amount in my 3 short years of having a garden so far.  I know there are oodles of sites out there with lots of great information based off of research and expert experiences.  I am simply offering my “clueless but successful” experiences with you, in hopes it could shed some light into your gardening struggles.

Last year, I noticed our zucchini plants would flower but then not grow beyond that point.  I spent about 2 minutes looking online at boards that discussed this and formed my conclusion that we must not have enough bees to pollinate the flowers to grow fruit.  So, I started self-pollinating the flowers every few days, in the morning or the evening and had some success!  I also did it with my lime plant, yes a lime PLANT, that I was able to keep alive all winter indoors…and I now have limes growing!

Male Flower – pollen is all over the stamen.

Here’s what you do with a zucchini plant:

Either in the morning or evening, inspect the plant…find a male flower (it will have powdery pollen all over the stamen) – this will be sacrificed.

Find a female flower that is NOT open yet – you will need to open this flower before it’s yellow – carefully peeling it open without ruining the pedals…deposit the pollen and then close the pedals again…some people put a small piece of painters blue tape over it, to keep it closed but not too tightly.

With the male flower, either pick it, peel back the pedals so just the stamen can be put in contact with the female flower (which will have small lines and no pollen on the stamen).  OR use a paint brush to gather pollen and then brush onto the female.

A perfect flower to pollinate – not open yet.
See the female stamen…no pollen yet.


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