Self pollination of Chilli plants
As mentioned in my previous post, the first flowers for this years Chilli growing season have arrived . These are on a plant that I overwintered from last year. There is little chance of these flowers being pollinated indoors, so I self pollinated the Chilli plant. It took a couple of weeks, but my first Chilllies of the season duly arrived.
Self pollination of Chilli plants is not difficult. All that is required is to lightly rub a soft watercolour paint brush over the stamen of one flower and then gently dab it into the inside of another. In doing so pollen will be lifted from the stem of the first flower, and then transferred to the Pistal of the other. This results in the flower becoming fertilized
Why self pollinate?
Self pollination of Chilli plants is essential for indoor plants. This is of course because bees are less likely to venture inside. We are able to self pollinate Chilli plants because they have both sexes. By taking the pollen from a plant of another variant to plant of the same species, you can create cross-breeds. It was in this way that some of the very hot hybrids have been created. Doing this , however, is a far more intensive exercise. Progressive selective interbreeding is required to achieve these types of results.
While self-pollination is generally necessary for indoor plants, in my experience, once the Chilli plants are taken outside, the bees do a fine job. There is no need for human interference . Providing the sun is shining that is !
On another note , while I was pleased to see the Chiilies, I don’t know what this Chilli plant is. How this happened can be down to two possibilities. The first is that I lost its marker ( something that has happened before) or it is one of the plants that I raised from a multi- seed pack with mystery contents . The nursery that I bought the seeds from was upfront in stating the packet might contain any number of different Chilli varieties. In other words a Chilli seed lucky dip. It was up to you to figure out what you had . My bet is it was a plant from these seeds. I will need to find what plant this is shortly !
My next post will go into how I will attempt to identify the plant. After that I will provide an update on how tall my Chilli plants are at this point in the season. I will also discuss how Chilli plants need to be hardened off for them to go outside permanently. The season is really starting get momentum now things are warming up in the UK.