How to Hand-Pollinate Eggplants

Sometime when you live in the suburbs it can be hard to keep pollinators in your garden. I personally buy as many bee and butterfly loving flowers as I can in order to keep them coming! But sometimes, you need to take matters into your own hands. I find this especially true with eggplants. Every year my eggplants blossom the most beautiful lavender flowers. There are so many flowers I can barely count them all. While I can appreciate a beautiful flower, it is eggplants that I want!
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If you are seeing a lot of pretty flowers but no eggplants the problem is most likely due to lack of pollination. There are not enough bees, humming birds or butterfly’s that frequent your property enough for pollination. For eggplants, even wind can move pollen to the receiving pistols which causes pollination. If this lack of polination is happening to you there is another way to get your eggplants to start producing yummy eggplants for your family! Self or hand pollination is a tool that a lot of home gardeners use when they run into this issue.

Most plants produce both male and female flowers. In this case the pollen producing male flowers need to somehow get their pollen to the pollen receptors on the female flower. Eggplant flowers are considered to be “perfect”, meaning each flower is both male and female. This makes hand pollinating them so easy!
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You can use a q-tip, small paint brush or even your finger to move the pollen around in each flower. Some home gardeners simplify it even further and just give each flower a soft flick and let the wind do the work.
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Literally within days I started seeing tons of baby eggplants coming in! All of the elements were there, they just needed a little extra push! Now we are harvesting a few eggplants every few days and I could not be more thankful!
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Happy Gardening!

Much Love!

Eva

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