Plants develop fruit from their flowers, and pollination of the flower is required for fruit to develop.

In the outdoors, pollination is achieved most commonly by birds and insects, which are normally attracted to the flower’s sweet nectar. The physical act of pollination is achieved by simply moving the pollen from the male parts of the flower to the female parts of the flower.Birds and insects achieve this incidentally, by their foraging within the flower. The wind is also able to pollinate plants by loosening the pollen and again, it incidentally being transferred to the female part of the plant.

In an indoor hydroponics garden, there are no birds and insects to perform the pollination process, and there is also very little wind. Therefore plants are often not pollinated, which means there can be very little, if any, development of fruit in indoor hydroponics gardens.

The video above describes two methods of pollinating flowers manually. The first is to use an electric toothbrush to vibrate each individual flower. This loosens the pollen into the surrounding air, and some of it will pollinate the flower. The second method is to use a paintbrush to stroke each flower to similarly pollinate it. The use of a fan directed towards the plant during the process can increase the success rate of pollination.

Tomato and pepper plants are used here as examples, although these techniques are applicable to any flowering plant.

Filed under: Hydroponics How To

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