I'm finally getting flowers on my bell peppers and jalapeno plants! Being that my plants are growing inside, however, means that there are no insects to pollinate the flowers into fruit-bearing plants. This is a problem that greenhouses run into because of the lack of insects, as well as some small city gardens where the insect population isn't in full swing.
There are two kinds of pollinating plants; " those that produce male and female blossoms, and those that only produce one type of flower. The former include plants such as zucchini and squash, cucumber, and watermelon. In the latter category are eggplant and bean. These are called "perfect", "bisexual" or "complete" flowers because everything is contained within each bloom. Hand-pollinating is not difficult for either type of plant, but the approach is different" http://vegetablematter.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-to-hand-pollinate-your-vegetables.html
The good news is pollination is fairly simple to simulate. One of the easiest ways is to introduce ventilation fans which allow the pollen to circulate from flower to flower. In the same way, shaking the plants which flower buds gently will allow pollen to fall. If this doesn't work, however, you can pollinate by hand using a small paintbrush or q-tip.
With plants that produce male and female blossoms, the females can be identified by a tiny vegetable bud growing at the base of the flower. To pollinate this type of plant, snip a few of the male blossoms off of the stem, remove the petals, and shake pollen into the female flowers. For plants whose buds have both male and female parts, I used a Q tip to transfer pollen from the male 'stigmas' onto the single female 'anther' in the center.
My understanding is that the blossoms will close up when pollinated and begin to grow the fruit. If the flowers are not closed up after a day or so, try pollinating them again.
Good luck little peppers!
|bell pepper flower|
|green bean flower|