How To Tell If a Tomato Flower Is Pollinated: The Ultimate Guide

If you are growing a vegetable garden, tomatoes are an obvious addition to your yard: these fruits are delicious and versatile (and relatively easy to grow if you know how to care for them). These plants are fast growers and will produce small yellow flowers before giving your harvests.

But even with the best care, if you don’t know if beneficial pollinators visited your tomato flowers, you might never get the fruits of your hard work. If you learn how to tell if tomato flower is pollinated, you might ensure harvests by intervening manually.

So, what should you look at to understand if your tomato plants will give you fruits during the harvesting season? You are in the right place to find an answer to this question. And spotting a pollinated tomato isn’t as hard as you might expect. All you have to do is to check the stems properly.

Usually, as long as you provide your plants with all they need to thrive (adequate sunlight, proper moisture, and optimal nutrition), pollination will happen naturally. But, it is never a bad idea to check your plants and know what to expect from them.

How to Tell If Tomato Flower is Pollinated: Our Tips

How To Tell If a Tomato Flower Is Pollinated

Tomatoes are self-pollinating plants with perfect flowers, meaning that they produce female and male parts and can reproduce by themselves. However, they need pollination to occur to produce fruits. The flower will wilt within 24 hours of its appearance and fall off the plant in 2 to 3 days. The wind can assist in ensuring pollination occurs, but the presence of bees and butterflies around your plant will increase the chances of success.

The best way to tell if a beneficial pollinator visited your tomato plants is by checking the stems right behind the blooms. If they look yellow, it is a symptom that your plant won’t produce fruits. On the other hand, if they remain green and start to enlarge, your plant will give you fruits.

You can also look at the flowers: if the hairy center gets darker and starts to shrink, it is a sign someone pollinated it. With proper care, usually, all pollinated flowers will turn into tomatoes.

You will see the first symptoms of pollination only a couple of days after it occurs, so be patient. However, if you see pollinators around your plants, you can rest assured your tomatoes will give you delicious fruits.

After successful pollination, expect to get yellow tomatoes in about seven to ten days. The tiny fruits will take about five weeks to reach maturity, change color, and ripen. Depending on the variety you plant, you might have to wait anywhere between 45 and 100 days to give you delicious harvests.

What to Do if your Tomato Plants Produce Flowers but No Fruit

How To Tell If a Tomato Flower Is Pollinated

Not getting fruits from your plants is a symptom of ineffective (or inexistent) pollination. But that’s not the end of the story. Indeed, tomatoes need the right conditions to thrive and develop. So, you’ll need to pay attention to the soil conditions, nutrient content, moisture, and sunlight. A lack of one of these elements might result in a decrease in fruit production. Also, if your plants are getting attacks from pests, they will struggle in producing tomatoes.

If you live in a hot region, pay attention to the soil: keep it moist for the best conditions. If the temperatures are extreme, consider planting your tomatoes later in the season. Alternatively, you can get a shade cloth to protect your plants from the sun.

How To Tell If a Tomato Flower Is Pollinated

Don’t forget to add mulch around your plants to maintain a stable temperature in the soil. But remember that too much shade can be counterproductive: your tomatoes need at least six hours of direct sunlight to thrive. Also, if the temperatures are too cold, your tomatoes might struggle to produce fruits: the optimal conditions are around 60F.

So if your tomato plants produce flowers but no fruits, you might have to pay close attention to how you care for them. Also, consider getting blossom set spray (or blossom set hormone). It will help your plants produce tomatoes from flowers even when the conditions are not ideal. This product will boost fruit production even without pollination (but won’t aid you to propagate your plants: the seeds will be infertile).

How To Tell If a Tomato Flower Is Pollinated: Conclusion

If you suspect your tomato plants aren’t producing fruits because of a lack of pollination, consider doing it using your hands. You can gently shake the plant when it’s in bloom or use a cotton swab to transfer pollen from one flower to the next: you will get surprising results with either method.