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Hand Pollination: A Quick Guide

Blair Brown — Jan 06, 2021

Some leaves are sprouting and flowers are beginning to bloom – it’s the power of pollination at work. With fruit trees in particular, their blooms need to be pollinated! However, when they’re inside, they don’t have natural pollinators like the wind, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, bugs and more. Luckily, hand pollination is quite simple. We’ve presented our tips and tricks for this process below.

All About Hand Pollination

In large green houses, the process of hand pollination is occasionally preferred. It’s believed that you’ll get better fruit or vegetables. Hand pollination allows people to control the production of hybrids with cross pollination. One method growers use? Simply use large, electric tools to shake the plants. All of the pollen then gets stirred up and spread around.

Growers will also use cultured honeybees to help with pollination in their green houses, but we don’t recommend that for your home.

How to Pollinate Indoor Trees

If you want to pollinate your citrus trees, such as the Meyer Lemon Tree, you can shake the tree twice daily. But be careful not to over shake or harm it. If your tree is in a large pot and seems too heavy to lift and shake, then you can gently shake the branches. You can also set a fan by your tree and the pollen will spread. However, most plants do not like cold drafts and some are very sensitive to wind.

Lemon Pollination

Another method involves taking a small paintbrush or cotton swab and gently painting pollen over each bloom. This is a relaxing process that spreads pollen to every flower. But don’t wash the paintbrush between uses! Meyer Lemon Trees flower over time, so in three weeks from the first bloom, you may have more blooms on which to spread pollen. Paint your blooms once daily.

This process works extremely well with trees like the Meyer Lemon that has unisex flowers, where the flowers contain both a corolla and a stigma (the reproductive organs of both male and female flowers). When the blooms start to droop or lose their petals, stop painting it. It’s getting ready to turn into a fruit if it was successfully pollinated.

With trees like the Cold Hardy Avocado, you’ll have to watch them closely. Their male and female areas are open at different times. Depending on what type of avocados you’re growing, you’ll either have type A flowers or type B. Type A flowers open their female parts in the morning and their male parts in the afternoon. Type B flowers are vice versa.


Therefore, it would be beneficial for you to paint the blooms in the morning and again in the afternoon. Also, getting more than one avocado tree helps with pollination. Examples of type A avocado trees include the Hass and the Cold Hardy Avocado.

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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