As a productive fall vegetable, Eggplants are readily self-pollinating as their flowers have compatible male and female parts just to do the job.
Eggplants, also called brinjals, belong to the Nightshade family. Most people grow them for their fruits, but the flowers bear unique characteristics.
So, go through this article to know whether the Eggplant flowers self-pollinate or only rely on other and ways to pollinate them manually.
Table of Contents Show
Eggplant Flower: Overview
Eggplant bears lavender or purple, trumpet-shaped flowers with five petals during spring and summer after the plant matures.
These blossoms are typically 1-2 inches in diameter, having stamens with pollens around a pistil, a female reproductive part.
Moreover, the flower’s fragrance is light, pleasant, and fruity, resembling the scent of jasmine flowers.
These incredible flowers are self-fertile but can also be pollinated by wind, water, bees, birds, and other insects.
After pollination, the ovary develops into an egg-like fruit that swells and elongates after maturity forming an eggplant.
Are Eggplants Self-Pollinating?
Eggplant bears the perfect flowers that can fertilize themselves, meaning they are self-pollinating.
These pretty blossoms bear both male and female reproductive organs on the same flower and don’t rely on any external pollinators.
Besides, cross-pollination also occurs in Eggplant, where pollen from one flower transfers to another by external pollinators.
However, cross-pollination is not as common in Eggplants as in other plants, as the flower pollinates itself.
How To Hand Pollinate Eggplants?
In Eggplants, some factors like weather conditions, pollinators and pollen viability affect self-pollination.
So, if pollination isn’t occurring, you must manually pollinate your Eggplant’s flowers. This pollination process is also called hand pollination.
- Take a healthy flower that isn’t open yet to get maximum viable pollens.
- Swipe some pollens from the anther using a hand or cotton swab.
- Prepare another healthy flower with a visible stigma.
- Transfer the pollen to the sticky stigma of another flower, ensuring the pollen sticks to stigma.
- Repeat the process if you want to pollinate multiple eggplant flowers.
- Cover the flowers with paper bags to protect them from external disturbances.
- Inspect the flower regularly until they produce fruits.
From Editorial Team
Pollens of Eggplant flowers are viable for a short time, so it’s necessary to pollinate the flowers as soon as you collect the pollens.
Also, hand pollination in the morning has the maximum chance of success as the blossoms are most receptive during that time.