Tomato Plant Pollination

Mar 3, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tomatoes need movement for pollination. Their pollen containing anthers have slits or pores in them which release ripe pollen when stimulated by wind or vibrations. As wind moves the flowers pollen is released and falls on the female stigma. The best insect pollinators are not honey bees but bumble bees and carpenter bees. These insects which have super strong chest muscles frequently visit flowers in the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes. Using a technique called buzz pollination, they hold onto the flower with their jaws and with their wings in a resting position powerfully vibrate their flight muscles, up to one hundred ninety times a second. The pollen rains down on the stigma and the bees. The female flowers get pollinated the bees take collected pollen back to their colony for food, and we get big juicy tomatoes.