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Cross-Pollination – Why and Which Plants Need It?

Whether you’re an avid farming or gardening enthusiast or an occasional “potterer”, cross-pollination is relevant. Understanding it is easy and helps you to create a healthy, productive garden that produces more fruit.


What is Cross-Pollination?

This process happens naturally, but can also be engineered. It involves putting the pollen from one plant onto the pistil or stigma of another plant that is the same species (although possibly a different sub-species). This is different to self-pollination, which means that the pollen in a flower is transferred from its anther to its stigma. So, the flower has pollinated itself.


What Does Cross-Pollination Accomplish?

In nature, it’s simply done to pollinate plants and is the job of insects (like bees and butterflies) and the wind. This enables the plant to produce more fruits in greater quantities. So, cross-pollination increases the plant’s yield and the quality of its fruits.


When done by hand, this cross-pollination is usually to combine the best traits of each plant and to produce plants with these desired qualities.


Which of our Plants Need Cross-Pollination?

At Just Berry Plants, we stock a huge variety of fruit and berry plants. Many of these are self-pollinated, which means that you would only need to plant one tree or bush and it would still produce fruit. But, some rely on cross-pollination.


Some of the plants that we have that need to be cross-pollinated are:


Almond trees

Two almond trees are required to pollinate one another with the help of bees.


Apple trees

Most apple trees need two trees (known as pollination partners) to cross-pollinate. The top red and golden delicious varieties cross-pollinate one another particularly well.


Papaya trees

These trees produce fruit when there is a male tree and female tree planted relatively close together (about three metres). Then, the male or a hermaphrodite plant can cross-pollinate the female. Get two or three for better results.


Pecan nut trees

Pecans are wind-pollinated from one tree to another. Most attempts at self-pollination are unsuccessful. In cases where the tree has been self-pollinated, the pecan nuts are of an inferior quality and the yield is about 75% less than trees that have cross-pollinated.


Sea buckthorn

This plant needs the wind to pollinate the female plants from the male plants. Only female plants bear fruit. So, for every one male bush, plant six female bushes for the best pollination ratio.



Pears need pollination partners in order to produce fruit. Our pear trees will produce impressive crops of healthy fruit when planted near to cross-pollinators. Pollen from the same tree is usually incompatible. Even if it does pollinate itself, the pears will be inferior and minimal. Pears are split into six groups and should be planted near to pears of neighbouring groups. For example, our Packham and Bon Chretian pears are both in group two. So, they should ideally be planted with pear species from groups one or three.


Avocado pears

Each avo tree has flowers that are either type A or type B and need to be pollinated from trees of the opposite type. So, if your tree is a type A, it can only be pollinated by a type B tree. Plant your trees six to nine metres apart. Type A varieties are Hass, Pinkerton and Gwen. Type B varieties include Fuerte, Bacon and Zutano.


Kiwi Fruit Vines

Kiwi’s need 1 male vine for every 9 female vines. The female vines produce the fruit. So, ensure that you have at least 1 pair.

We sell the Hayward Kiwi variety

Just Berry Plants stocks a wide variety of self-pollinating and cross-pollinating plants that, with a little care and love, will be abundantly fruitful. These are beautiful additions to your garden

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