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Are Tomatoes Self Pollinating? (All You Need to Know)

Not only do tomatoes bring flavor to your dishes but they also bring color to them. Tomatoes are loved by many because of the taste and the benefits that come from them. 

Whether it is a salad or pizza topping, tomatoes can charm and adjust their ways to every criterion.

If the tomatoes are grown by you especially, then it becomes a cherry on top. The flavor doubles and the satisfaction gained from consuming those doubles as well. 

However, there are a few things that you must possess knowledge of before you can start cultivating them. Their pollination plays a vital role in this case.

So, here rises a question. Are tomatoes self-pollinating? If you are looking for the answer, then you are at the right place. 

Are tomatoes self-pollinating?

Tomatoes are self-pollinating. This means that a tomato plant can create fruit on its own without the involvement of another tomato plant. They can pollinate their flowers as they consist of both male and female parts. However, some factors keep the tomato from self-pollinating. 

Pollen is produced by the male parts, which fertilizes the female parts. Each tomato bloom has male components, so it can make its pollen. It does not require pollen from a blossom on a different plant or one close by. 

As long as sufficient pollination takes place, tomato flowers can produce fruit since they are both male and female. Self-pollinating plants, like tomatoes, are therefore perfect for indoor cultivation.

However, complications may arrive as there are certain barriers to tomatoes self-pollinating. There might be cases when your tomato plant has a lot of flowers but no fruits. 

This can be due to certain factors. Below given are the details of different types of tomatoes and their ability to self-pollinate keeping in mind the barriers. 

Cherry tomatoes:

Cherry tomatoes are self-pollinating. Like the majority of tomato cultivars, cherry tomatoes need warm temperatures and exposure to bright sunshine whether outside or within a window (70F or higher is best). 

They also need some attention, nutrient-rich soil, and lots of water. However, if the temperature is not suitable then cherry tomatoes will be unable to self-pollinate. 

There are other factors such as humidity which also affect the growth of fruit on tomato plants. 

Roma tomatoes: 

Warm, well-drained soil with a high level of organic matter is required for growing Roma tomatoes. Although they may tolerate somewhat acidic soil, it is between pH levels 6.0 and 6.5 that they will produce the most.

For the Roma tomato to produce at its highest level, it needs full sun. You need to make sure your tomatoes receive at least 6 hours daily of direct sunshine.

However, if there is high humidity in your region you will fail to provide that resulting in no self-pollination of your tomato plants.

Cherokee purple tomatoes:

Like other tomatoes, they also require sunlight and enriched soil for self-pollination. However, if the soil has a different or a lot more acidic ph level than the accepted value, then Cherokee purple tomatoes will be unable to self-pollinate. 

Tiny Tim tomatoes:

Tiny Tim tomatoes can be grown indoors using LED plant light however; they do require plenty of water for self-pollination. 

Dryness or absence of abundant water can cause them to not self-pollinate and the persistence of this issue will result in no fruits being produced. 

Brandywine tomatoes:

They also have the same requirements as the other tomato plants. However, Brandywine tomatoes need to be kept at a safe distance of 18 to 36 inches. Lack of space can be an issue while cultivating Brandywine tomatoes. 

Early girl tomatoes:

The ground needs to be watered because the soil needs to be kept moist always for the early girl tomatoes to self-pollinate. The environment needs to be insect free as the presence of insects will keep them from self-pollinating. 

Beefsteak tomatoes:

For beefsteak tomatoes, the soil temperature plays a vital role. The ground needs to maintain a moderate temperature at all costs for beefsteak tomatoes to self-pollinate. 

Orange Hat Tomatoes: 

As long as you have a wonderful sunny area for them and an interior temperature of at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit, orange hat tomatoes thrive as indoor house plants and pollinate just fine. 

Do you need two tomato plants to pollinate?

No, you do not need two tomato plants to pollinate.  This is because tomato plants are self-pollinating. They consist of both male and female parts. Hence, they can carry the pollen on their own to produce fruits without requiring the involvement of another plant. 

Their self-pollinating abilities give you the ability to cultivate them in your garden or even indoors. However, certain factors affect the self-pollinating ability of tomatoes. The factors mainly include weather conditions, humidity, signs of insects, and the condition of the soil. 

The presence of water also plays a major role in this case. There are certain temperatures at which tomato plants can self-pollinate. It varies from one type of plant to another. 

There are certain conditions in which you may come across the problem of your tomato plant having abundant flowers but lack of fruits or sometimes absolutely no fruit. 

Can tomatoes cross-pollinate?

Generally, tomatoes do not tend to cross-pollinate.  This is because they start to self-pollinate before the flowers start blooming. 

However, a cross or hybrid may happen if a bee arrives carrying pollen from a different variety. When you sow the seeds you collected from the resultant fruit the next year, you’ll discover that the blooms were cross-pollinated.

There are ways to prevent cross-pollination from taking place. You can do that by preventing pollinators from entering the plant. You can do this easily if you are growing them indoors. However, if you are cultivating in your garden then it might be an issue. 

Cross-pollination does not affect the fruit; it only affects the seeds growing inside. The type of fruit will depend on the host plant. 

How do pollinate tomatoes?

Tomatoes are self-pollinating. However, sometimes due to certain conditions, they fail to achieve their goal by themselves. 

Giving them a little hand and nurturing them can give you your desired result. You can hand pollinate your tomatoes if the conditions are not right for them to produce on their own. 

You can follow a few easy steps and get yourself a bowl full of tomatoes, from your garden. 

Shaking them: 

Warm days with minimal humidity are ideal for hand pollination. Winds or insects buzzing help the flowers to shake resulting in pollen being shed and distributed.

The peak time for this is midday. You can slightly massage and shake the flowers for pollination. This will give them a slight breezy effect and continue the process. 

Using an electric toothbrush: 

The next step would be setting an electric toothbrush to give them the proper vibration for pollen to be distributed. It is not possible to continuously do it at the same pace using a hand so most people rely on an electric toothbrush. 

However, you can go for any device which serves the purpose of providing vibration. 

Cotton swabs: 

Lastly, you can use the traditional method of using cotton swabs. You can collect the pollen in a container and use cotton swabs to apply them directly to the other end of the flower stigma. 

This ensures that the pollen is distributed evenly. It is required to hand pollinate every 3-4 days during the mid-day when the sun is at its peak. This way you will have your plant filled with fruits. 

Why is the tomato plant not producing fruit?

Tomatoes are self-pollinating. There are certain factors on which they depend. If those conditions are not met you may have a plant filled with flowers but there will be no fruits. 

 In these certain conditions mentioned below, the tomato plants stop producing fruit. 

Temperature and humidity:

The temperature and humidity play a vital role in the cultivation of tomatoes. They require a sunny and warm temperature for the self-pollination to take place. 

Direct sunlight is required by them and failure to get so will result in pollination not taking place and as a result, there will be no fruit. 

Stimulator:

The flowers need to be stimulated which is usually done by the wind and pollinators. If they do not get enough stimulation the pollen will not be distributed and fruits will not grow. 

Insects: 

The presence of insects that spread disease will stop the pollination from taking place and the tomato plant will not produce fruit because of that. 

Final thoughts 

To sum up, tomatoes are self-pollinating. They have both male and female parts. They require stimulators such as wind or pollinators for the pollen to be distributed. If there isn’t enough stimulation naturally hand pollination is required by the flowers.