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Are Strawberries Self Pollinating? (Read This First!)

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From a botanical perspective, the strawberry is not a berry. Technically, it is an aggregated accessory fruit, which indicates that the fleshy part is not produced from the plant’s ovaries but instead from the receptacle that contains the ovaries. 

Flowers of strawberries contain both male and female parts in a single bloom. The male part contains pollen which needs to come in contact with the female part to complete the pollination. Poor pollination causes the mishappen of strawberries.

Follow our guidelines to get a comprehensive understanding of pollination in strawberry plants.

Are strawberries self pollinating?

Strawberries are self pollinating. Thus, pollination occurs with the help of wind and bees within the same flower or between two genetically identical flowers within the same plant. However, cross-pollination also can occur and bees are most commonly associated with this.

But, are all variants the same? Let’s find out.

Everbearing strawberries:

Everbearing strawberries are relatively small plants compare to other varieties of strawberry plants. Everbearing strawberry plants are special because they can be harvested 3 times per year.

They start producing fruit relatively early compared to other varieties, typically produce fruit in the first year of their lives

Everbearing strawberries are easy to manage and self pollinating. Thus, they usually do not need more strawberry plants around them.

Alpine strawberries:

Aline strawberries are also known as woodland strawberries. They are quite small plants and they can grow in full sun and partial shade.

The alpine strawberry plants naturally grow at the edge of woods in Europe, South and North America, northern Asia, and Africa.

Incomplete pollination is the main culprit for the poor production of strawberries in alpine strawberry plants.

Alpine strawberry plants are typically cross-pollinated with the help of bees and other insects. Thus, they need plenty of alpine strawberry plants for cross-pollination.

Self-pollination also can occur in Alpine strawberry plants. However, only self pollination in the alpine strawberry causes poor production of fruits.

Quinault strawberries:

Quinault strawberries are a variety of strawberry plant which has the ability to harvest two times per year, usually in the late spring or early summer and again in the fall.

Quinault strawberries are a self pollinating variety of strawberry plants. Thus, they do not need nearby neighboring plants to pollinate. However, sometimes cross-pollination also occurs between Quinault strawberry plants.

This strawberry plant can grow best in full sun and partial shade. It also can thrive in moist conditions and can tolerate standing water.

Wild strawberries:

Wild strawberries are the strawberries considered the uncultivated species without any cross-breeding. These strawberries can grow in the wild without any human effort. They have a strong and sweeter taste compared to other varieties.

The wild strawberry plants are also self pollinating and they do not need any neighboring plants for the pollination. They usually get self pollinated with the help of rain, wind, and sometimes insects.

However, cross-pollination can naturally occur in wild strawberry plants with the help of different insects like bees, flies, etc.

Seascape strawberries:

Seascape strawberries are a type of everbearing strawberries. They typically start producing fruit relatively early, usually in the first three months of their lives.

They usually produce fruit in between spring to fall. However, they can also produce some fruits in the summer months as well.

Like many other strawberry plants, they are also self pollinating. Thus, they do not need other neighboring plants around them.

However, cross-pollination with the help of insects like bees can improve the yields and fruit quality.

Do you need two strawberry plants to pollinate?

You do not need two strawberry plants to pollinate. Strawberries are hermaphrodites, meaning they contain both male and female parts in the same flower. The male part is called the stamen and the female part is called the pistil.

A strawberry flower generally consists of five white petals, a ring of 20–25 yellow anthers, and 50–200 stigma and ovules.

To become pollinated the pollen must move from the male stamen and fall on the female pistil of the same strawberry flower or within the genetically identical flowers of the same plant.

Pollination in strawberry plants usually occurs with the help of rain and wind within the same flower. Pollination in strawberry plants also can occur with the help of insects like bees within the flowers of the same plants.

Most of the time the pollination in strawberry plants occur within the same plant. Therefore, you do not need two strawberry plants to pollinate.

Can strawberry plants cross-pollinate?

Although strawberries are self pollinating and the flowers of strawberry contain both male and female parts, they also can cross-pollinate in between the flowers of different plants of the same species.

Cross-pollination usually occurs with the help of insects like bees. It is known that cross-pollination by insects like bees not only improves fruit production and yield but also improves the quality and shelf life of strawberries

Strawberry flowers can produce nectar at the base of the male parts called stamens. The bees, flies, and other insects become attracted to the nectar, and they visit flowers to flowers to drink it.

During drinking nectar from strawberry flowers, pollinators get pollen on their bodies. Then the bees move to another flower of the same plants or different plants.

This causes the transfer of pollens from flowers to flowers of neighboring plants of the same species which in turn causes cross-pollination.

How to pollinate strawberry plants?

There are a few steps to follow in order to manually pollinate or enhance the natural pollination of strawberry plants. The steps are explained below,

Let the bees do pollinate for you:

Pollination of strawberry plants with the help of bees is the most effective way of pollinating your strawberry plants.

Although strawberry plants produce a very small amount of nectar to attract bees and other insects, bees and other insects still can effectively pollinate strawberry plants.

You can simply plant other flowering plants around your strawberry garden to attract bees and other insects to your garden. This will enhance the natural pollination of strawberry plants by bees and other insects.

Let the wind do pollination:

Every very small wind is efficient to transfer pollens to the female parts of the strawberry flowers. If you are growing strawberries in an outdoor garden, you do not need to worry about pollination by wind.

But, if you growing strawberry plants inside a greenhouse, you need to provide artificial wind or a breeze to manually pollinate your strawberry plants.

Pollinate with your hand or brush:

You can also pollinate strawberry plants with your own hands. To do this, you need to gently touch the pollens with your finger and transfer the pollens to the female parts of the strawberry flowers with the finger.

You can also hand pollinate the strawberry plants using a paintbrush, makeup brush, or even with a Q-tip.

You need to hand pollinate your strawberry plants every 2 to 3 days after the flowers have bloomed. This hand pollution will make sure the maximum pollination of fruits that can improve the yield and fruit quality in strawberry plants.

Why is the strawberry plant not producing fruit?

There are several reasons for poor or no fruit production in strawberry plants. The most common reasons are explained below,

Poor growth condition:

The strawberry plants need organic soil, a good drainage system, and both combination of hot and cold weather to efficiently produce fruit.

If you are growing strawberries in so hot or so cold temperatures, they will most likely produce little or no fruits.

Watering issues:

The fruit production in strawberries is hindered by improper watering. For instance, too much watering can cause root-rot disease and too little watering can dry out plants.

Thus, they need optimum watering throughout the growing season to produce fruits.

Pest infestation and diseases:

Strawberry plants can be infected by many pests and diseases like Lygus bugs infestation and root-rot disease respectively. Pest infestation and diseases in the strawberry plant hinder fruit production.

Improper fertilization:

Just like water, too much or too less fertilizer can interfere with the growth of the strawberry plants. Without optimum nutrients, your strawberry plants will not grow well.

Age of the plant:

Your strawberry plants are not producing fruits because probably they are too young. Most strawberries grow no or less fruit during the first year of their lives.

Final thoughts

Strawberries are self-pollinating. Pollination occurs as a result of wind and bees within the same flower or between two genetically similar flowers within the same plant. Cross-pollination, on the other hand, can occur, and bees are most commonly associated with this.

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