The Q&A Archives: Pollination of Beans Indoors

Question: My daughter started her seeds indoors, but it is still too cold to plant them outside and the beans (Burpee blue lake) are already blooming. I know that they need to be pollinated, but are they self-pollinating? Do we need to use a feather or q-tip or just shake them?

Answer: Congratulations to your daughter for her green thumb. We don't appreciate bees and insects until they aren't available! For hand-pollinating, shaking can work, but a q-tip or small paintbrush provides more probability of success. If your daughter has enough plants, you might want to run a little science experiment with both methods and see what works best. Because beans mature fairly quickly, you might want to plants some seeds directly in the ground after all danger of frost is past to supplement these plants. Good luck!

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