When we talk about pollination, we refer to the transfer of pollen grains from the male reproductive organs, the stamens, to the female ones, the pistils, of plants that produce seeds.
Although it may seem trivial at first glance, it is actually a highly significant process upon which not only the lush growth of plants depends but also their overall health. Without pollination, many plants and agricultural crops would be unable to reproduce and, consequently, produce the fruits we consume daily at our tables.
Two types of pollination
Your plants can be pollinated in two different ways:
1. Naturally, through three forms of transport:
- Pollen transport by wind, known as anemophilous pollination.
- Pollen transport by water, referred to as hydrophilous pollination.
- Pollen transport by small insects, such as bees, butterflies, and some beetles like ladybugs; in this case, it's called zoophilous pollination. This last type is quite diverse and varies depending on the type of insect that pollinates the plant.
2. Artificially, with the help of humans. This type of pollination occurs through specific tools and techniques when natural pollination is insufficient or in other specific cases.
Pollination in the city
In urban areas, the environment is often quite different from rural areas, which can affect plant pollination. In urban areas, there may not always be a significant presence of bees, butterflies, or beetles.
For this reason, artificial pollination can be an excellent method to address the lack of bees and small insects in your urban garden. We suggest a simple and quick solution for pollinating your plants in the city: take a clean toothbrush and gently brush the bristles from flower to flower. This way, the toothbrush will act as if it were an insect's belly, transferring pollen from one flower to another.
Another trick we recommend, as an alternative to the toothbrush, is to use a small brush with delicate bristles and repeat the same process on plants and flowers.
Artificial pollination can also be useful when your garden is in enclosed spaces, such as a greenhouse or your home, where the presence of insects is more limited.
Creating an urban garden to promote pollination
Creating an urban garden that promotes pollination is an excellent way to contribute to the conservation of bees and other natural pollinators, as well as to improve air quality and quality of life in the city. If you want to learn more, you can also read "4 good reasons to start a city garden."
It's important to choose plants that bloom at different times of the year to ensure a constant food source for pollinators. Planting various plant species can also be helpful, providing a variety of shapes and colors for winged visitors.
By the way, if you're curious to know which plants are bee-friendly, we've written an article dedicated to a list of beautiful (and beneficial) plants to grow to attract bees.
Finally, avoiding the use of chemical pesticides in your garden is essential for the survival of pollinator insects. There are natural and ecological alternatives for managing pest infestations or plant diseases, such as the use of plant-based extracts.
Pollination and the conservation of bees are truly relevant topics that we cannot ignore for the well-being of ourselves and the planet. Many cities are implementing gardening policies and practices, as well as projects to build urban green spaces such as parks, public gardens, and flower beds because they can serve as habitats for pollinator insects. Green areas promote the presence of plants that attract pollinators, like wildflowers and native plants, offering them a source of food and shelter.
Did we inspire you?