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Thread: Struggling with aubergine pollination

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    Default Struggling with aubergine pollination

    I have two aubergine plants in my sun room and they have been flowering well over the past week and a half or so. This is much better than last year when my plants had a single flower between about four of them! However, they are just fading and dropping off. I can only leave the door/windows open when I am at home, so there's not much chance for many pollinators to get in. So I have been swishing a cotton bud around inside every flower that appears, which worked well for my chillies before I moved those outside. I haven;t seen any evidence it is working for my aubergines yet though as the flowers still seem to be just dropping off.

    I have noticed that I don't seem to get any visible pollen on my cotton-bud, no matter how vigorously I abuse the poor flower.

    I've read that humidity helps, but I can't make it too humid in my sun-room without causing damp patches to appear on the walls and I really don't want to cause any mould.

    Apart from not setting fruit, my aubergine plants look really healthy and vigorous.

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    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    I’ve heard that they like a misting with a spray bottle every day when they’re setting fruit. Not that it ever worked for me!
    He-Pep!

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    Snoop Puss's Avatar
    Snoop Puss is offline Early Fruiter
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    What time of day do you try and hand pollinate?

    And what happens if you hold a piece of paper or similar underneath the flower and tap the flower? Does any pollen appear on the paper?
    self-contained likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Puss View Post
    What time of day do you try and hand pollinate?

    And what happens if you hold a piece of paper or similar underneath the flower and tap the flower? Does any pollen appear on the paper?
    In the evening on weekdays and probably lunchtime to early afternoon at the weekend, though I could do earlier on those days if it would make a difference. I'll try tapping over some paper tomorrow, but nothing I've done so far seems to have shifted any pollen.

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    Ani
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    Last year I had two aubergines, a huge amount of flowers and no aubergines. I also tried all I could (cotton swab, brush, tapping etc.), no success and no visible pollen.
    This year I have five aubergines (three varieties) in nonstop open plastic blowaway. They have been flowering for almost two months now and I have two aubergines (one normal, one thai), I guess they have been pollinated by bees. So I lost my patience and bought a sonic toothbrush. It vibrates almost like a bee. And with light touch of the flowers it produces a visible cloud of pollen.
    Still, they are slow to set but there are now some flowers which look like they could become fruit (flower drying but the flower stalk staying green).

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    Strictly speaking, aubergines are self-pollinating. That said, if you can manage it, you will probably have more luck hand pollinating in the morning when the flowers have only recently opened. By late afternoon, especially in this heat, you may find the pollen is finished.

    Lots of people use small paintbrushes for hand pollinating, as they're quite gentle.

    Edited to add this, which is a good explanation: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edi...ts-by-hand.htm
    Last edited by Snoop Puss; 19-07-2018 at 06:38 AM.
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    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    Could you leave them outside for a while ? - should be plenty warm enough.
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    I went and gave them a bash around this morning (well, late morning, post groceries and lolly) and there wasn't much pollen coming away at all. Only one flower released a few specks (immediately swished into the appropriate place, so maybe I will get one fruit!)

    I've moved them outside as per nick's advice and there has already been some insect interest. Hopefully, I can get a few fruit to take and then I can move them back inside.
    Earthgirl Jen likes this.

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