Pollination question

Hello all
I understand the basics of pollination, but a few things are still unclear:
Citrus: self pollinating ? For example, due to sheltering, my eureka lemon is starting to flower. It’s too early for bees, and I don’t even have any other lemon varieties.
Blueberries: all my SHB are flowering now, but no bees. I have different varieties to cross polinate. Should I use a Q-tip? Does cold destroy the flowers, then no fruit?
Peach,nectarine: have crosspolinators for both, flowering now, but no bees. No problem? Qtip? Peach trees are 50’ apart. No problem? Better results if branches are touching?
For all these cross pollinators, do other things than bees work fine?

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Citrus are self fertile and self pollinating.

Peach and nectarine are self fertile and wind pollinated.

Blueberries are the only concern on your list. They are pollinated by bumblebees and other insects. You’ll go crazy trying to pollinate those yourself. Wait and see that kind of crop you get. Will probably be OK.

I agree with fruitnut,although there are a few Peaches that need another for pollination.Some of them are J.H.Hale and Indian Free.A few obscure ones I read about are Alamar,Mikado,Candoka and Halberta.
Blueberries are probably partially self fertile.They will usually get a small crop on their own,but do better with different varieties. Brady

Blueberry blooms in my area tend to handle below freezing weather well. Are you sure the blueberries are ready for pollination? They take on an extra light color when they are ready. It is a long ways from central Alabama to Japan so I hope you have insects that can navigate the upside down long snout blueberry flower. Good luck, Bill.

Thanks guys. I’ll probably have no problems then.
I only have 3 BBs in bloom, SHB, the rest are RE and bloom later when there’s bees.

Even beyond what fruitnut said about citrus, the majority of citrus cultivars are parthenocarpic - can set fruit without the need for pollination at all. Meyer lemon being one. So, they just flower and then form fruit. Pretty cool.

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THank-you for this “educational” thread. I hope you don’t mind if I take this opportunity to expand on your questions.

I’ve always been curious about the science/biology behind self-pollinating fruits like (some) peaches, plums, and (as I just learned from this thread) citrus. Specifically, what is the mechanism involved? Do self pollinating trees rely on wind and bees to distribute pollen from one flower on the tree to another flower on the tree, and then somehow that pollen is able to fertilize flowers on the same tree it comes from? Or do self=pollinating trees just not rely on pollen dust being distributed it all? Its also a bit perplexing to me that self-pollinating tree labels often say self pollinating, but then say something like “however, fruit yields will be improved with a pollinator such as: XYZ”. Seems like they either are or are not self pollinating, and if they are then what role do pollinators play on so called self-pollinating trees?

Just things I’ve often wondered about, and since @TheNiceGuy and others also seems curious about so I thought I’d ask.

EDIT: I just noticed that Patty sort of addressed one of my questions and seems to be saying that most citrus just don’t use pollen at all- from itself or otherwise, is that what you/she is saying? Guess I need to google “parthenocarpic” …

The pollen has to move from the anthers to the stigma, so wind or insects are still useful. I know some people will touch self pollinating flowers with electric toothbrushes to vibrate them and get pollination to help it along, particular indoors.

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If it’s the wind on Peaches, then I ought to get a full set… I thought I was in Iowa, but am wondering if we got blown to Kansas!!!

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Here is a link about citrus parthenocarpy from probably one of the preeminent books on citrus biology & genetics out there, “Citrus Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology”, edited by Iqrar A. Khan:

One of these days, I’ll fork out the $$$ to buy this book, I actually find it pretty easy to read and understand for a rather technically written book.


You better hope there are peaches a 100 miles in either direction of you! That way those trees pollen will land on yours. :slightly_smiling:The wind is ridiculous here, we get our fair share in the course of the spring, but this year some days are border line insane.

you have to be very careful when planting a citrus, citrus generally do not need pollination, if citrus near us have to ask the neighbor variety or varieties have or we may have problems with our neighbor.
the difference between whether or pollinated pollination is when the fruit not pollinated no seeds and when the fruit is pollinated seeds there

What area is it that you are you in, Matrix?

It’s often a physical mechanism where the pistils grow through the stamen. Wind and vibrations aid the process. Tomatoes are easy to observe examples of this type.

the 9a climatic zone (spain).
Valencia (Spain) there are millions of citrus fruit not pollinate each other and therefore the fruit is seedless, if you plant a mandarin hybrids in that area they will pollinate thousands of trees and going out millions of tangerines with seeds , that is to investigate and USDA my country (seprona) will punish you.

something similar happens with the persimmon, the persimmon there are 3 types of flowering (female, male and hermaflodita) all my persimmon are female flowering and therefore not pollinate each other and I have persimmon without seed, if you plant near my one calfuyu (having male and female flowers), will have my persimmon seeds (something I hate)

Thank you. Yes, I understand now, especially if the pollinator is within range of commercial orchards. It would lower the value of crops, and harm reputations of the growers.

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