If you want to grow raspberries in your garden you have to learn about its A to Z so that you don’t get disappointed later seeing a failed attempt. Raspberries are summer fruits and can be grown in a moderate warm weathered area.
However, to have more fruits it’s important to know about the pollination process of this berry plant.
Different plants have different pollination systems. Depending on the care, fertilizing, weather demand, fruit production almost everything varies from one plant to another. So to own a healthy and fertile plant it’s a must to know about the pollination process of a plant.
Here we will know whether raspberries are a self-pollinating plant or it goes through a different pollination process.
Are raspberries self-pollinating?
Raspberries are self-pollinating. They can transfer pollen from one flower to another flower of the same plant or pollinate within the same flower’s stigma by transferring pollen. Most of the time it’s other insects that make pollination happen in raspberries by carrying pollen.
Raspberries are delicious to have in any form, whether it’s raspberry jam, tart, or smoothie you cannot deny tasting this sweet tiny fruit once at least! Not only is it popular for the sweet juicy flavor but also has many health benefits.
This berry is enriched in vitamin C, vitamin E, and many anti-oxidants.
Loving all its quality, people these days are more interested in growing raspberries in their own garden to enjoy them to the fullest. Besides, because of its demand and heavy production, a lot of people grow this plant as an extra income source.
No matter what reasons you have to grow raspberries you should know about its pollination process.
Pollination is a way of fertilizing that happens through pollen transferring from one plant to the same plant’s flower or to the same plant’s different flower or to a different plant’s different flower.
And self-pollination means when the pollen of a flower transfers to the same flower’s stigma or to a different flower of the same plant. In self-pollination, there is no need for a different plant for the fertilization process.
Self-pollination can happen among one flower’s two petals or the same plant’s flower or with another flower that’s genetically the same as the pollen-carrying flower.
Though it’s named self-pollination to carry and establish the male part of a plant to a female part external help is needed. These are called pollinators. Usually, wind, rain, birds, bees, other insects, etc. play the role of pollinators in a self-pollination process.
Raspberry is a self-pollinating plant. Raspberry goes through self-pollination mostly as it can fertilize without a different plant as well. Raspberry flowers are different and have many pistils that are a combination of style, stigma, and ovary.
So to create a healthy seed and then fruit every pistil must be pollinated.
Another reason for raspberries’ self-pollinating nature is that it’s not so blooming. They don’t attract a lot of external carriers so without wasting pollen they fertilize it following self-pollination.
This pollination mostly happens in between the plant’s one flower to another flower or among the same flower where both male and female part is found.
In the raspberry pollination process insects, mostly bees play a very important role. Raspberry flowers attract insects and they carry the pollen from one flower and transfer it to the stigma of another flower.
Self-pollination has many advantages. It helps to preserve the original quality of that specific species, pollination can happen at any time of the year. Also, you don’t need to worry much if there is a lack of pollinators.
However, raspberries can be cross-pollinated too to create different and unique fruits.
Do you need two raspberry plants to pollinate?
Raspberries are self-pollinating bushes. You don’t need two raspberry plants to pollinate.
Self-pollination means that the plant doesn’t need another plant to produce fruits. It can happen as the transfer of one flower’s pollen to another flower of the same plant or in the same flower of one plant.
Self-pollination can happen with or without the help of an external pollinator.
To pollinate raspberries and make fruits you will not necessarily need two different raspberry plants. One single plant is enough to produce fruits. Pollination can be done with the same flower of the plant. Or within the same flower.
All the petals of a raspberry flower have their stigma. Being self-pollinating plants, raspberries can transfer a flower’s pollen to another stigma of the same flower and pollinate. Again, it can transfer pollen with the help of wind or insects to another flower of the same plant.
Can raspberry plants cross-pollinate?
Though raspberries are self-pollinating, they can cross-pollinate too.
Cross-pollination means the transfer of a flower’s pollen to another similar plant’s flower. In short, in cross-pollination, you need two different plants that are of the same species. It happens between two different plants to create a new variety.
On the other hand, self-pollinating happens between two flowers of the same plant or among two petals (Pollen and stigma) of the same flower. Raspberry is a self-pollinating flower but it can be matched and combined with other plants too.
Raspberry plants can cross-pollinate. It means if you want to create a new variety or increase fruit production you can pollinate raspberries with any other berry plant, such as red raspberries with black raspberries or raspberries with blueberries.
Cross-pollination has many benefits and is considered a way to increase fruit production.
How to pollinate raspberry plants?
Raspberry is a self-pollinating plant. About 90 to 95% of pollination occurs by bees. Pollination of raspberries is not easy as the flowers are not single blooms. Each flower consists of 100 to 120 pistils and all of them should get pollinated to produce seeds.
Seeds will form drupes and 75 to 85 drupelets together will form fruit. So, you will need lots of bees around your raspberry bushes to grow tasty and well-shaped raspberries.
The interesting fact is that raspberry flowers are very much attractive to bees. So, it is easy for raspberries to get pollinated by them. You can keep your homegrown plant outside to attract bees.
However, you can pollinate your homegrown raspberries by hand as well. For that, you need to follow the below process-
Wait for the raspberry flowers to open:
Pollination can not be done until the flowers open. So you need to inspect your raspberry plants regularly to check the opening of flowers.
Use a magnifying glass:
For inspection, use a magnifying glass. You will need to identify the location of stamen and female stigma. A magnifying glass will make this task easy.
Use a paintbrush to collect pollen:
When the flowers will be open, you need to move the pollen from the flowers. For this task, use a small and soft-tipped paint brush to collect pollen stamen.
Place the pollens on the stigma:
The collected pollen should be placed on the female stigma very carefully. You will find the stigma at the center of the flower.
Repeat the task:
As flowers are comprised of 100 to 125 blooms, repeat the pollen collection and replacement process for each of them. Make sure that all the blooms are pollinated well to create a mature seed followed by a drupe.
Why is the raspberry plant not producing fruit?
If your raspberry plant is not producing fruits even after two years then we’d say you have waited long enough. Now it’s time to dig in and identify the problem that’s causing the plant not to bear any fruits. Here we’ve listed some of the common reasons:
Inadequate pollination and pollinators:
One of the common reasons behind a raspberry tree not producing fruits is there have been poor pollination or no pollination at all. Though raspberries are self-pollinating, the pollination may not always be successful.
The lack of pollinators is another reason for no fruiting in raspberries. If the presence of bees or other insects isn’t frequent in that area pollination might not happen.
The soil pH for raspberries should remain between 5.5 to 6.5. Raspberries need acidic soil to grow healthy and provide fruits so inappropriate pH can cause no fruiting. Besides less fertile soil, nutrient deficiency can slow down fruiting raspberries.
Raspberries thrive in warm weather that’s around 75 degrees. They cannot pollinate if the weather is too humid or too hot as the pollen gets sticky or dry. So this should be kept in mind too while planting a raspberry.
Raspberries are self-pollinating plants. Their fertilization happens among the same flower’s male and female parts or between the same plant’s different flowers. It can transfer its own pollen but other insects too, especially bees, help a lot in the raspberry’s pollination process.