The Q&A Archives: cherimoya

Question: How to pollinate cherimoya?

Answer: Although a single flower will have both male and female structures, they will mature at different times. In female-stage flowers, receptivity to pollination begins just before petal separation. The flower opens in the morning with the petals separating at their tips to partially expose the glistening stigmas of the many receptive pistils. Pollinate when the petals have clearly separated. The female phase lasts all that day and the next day, and fruit set is quite high until the afternoon of the second day when the stigmas become dry.

Use a small, soft brush to brush the insides of the flower and transfer pollen. Do this 2-3 times during the day to make sure you've transferred the pollen when the stigma is receptive. The result should be a fruit.

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