How to pollinate indoor plants — gardening experts spill their best tips

Curious when and how to pollinate indoor plants? Our plant pros dish the dirt on the floral mating process

A bright, white, airy indoor office with a wicker chair and seven different lush and thriving houseplants around
(Image credit: Getty Images/Kseniya Ovchinnikova)

Learn how to pollinate indoor plants to keep your greenery growing and thriving for years to come.

We don't intend to take away jobs from the butterflies and bees, but when our flora collection is nestled in the kitchen or living room, it can be difficult for nature to do its thing. Our plant expert dish the details on pollinating indoor plants in this guide.

If you have a large collection of indoor plants, particularly herbs and veggies, here's what to know about the pollination process. 

How to pollinate indoor plants

When gardening in an apartment you'll realize popular selections like the beloved snake plant or the Chinese money plant will not require much from their owners, including pollination.

"Most indoor plants don't require pollination since they're not grown for fruit or seed production," says Seana Monley Rodriguez of Tierra Sol Studio.

Many of our beloved leafy friends are capable of pollinating on their own. However, some indoor plants that produce fruit or orchids can benefit from pollination.

If you're caring for houseplants or indoor goodies such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, learn how to best get the pollination process going.

Seana Monley Rodriguez
Seana Monley Rodriguez

Seana is a plant expert, grower, and co-founder of Tierra Sol Studio, a botanic design company "for plant killers who are plant lovers." The company utilizes years of research and experimentation to take the work out of plant care.

Hand pollination

"The simplest way to pollinate many plants is to shake the foliage gently to distribute the pollen," says Grace Baroun, marketing executive at Soltech. "This works especially well with self-pollinating plants like tomatoes. 

"You can also use a fine paintbrush, Q-tip, or even the tip of your finger to transfer pollen from the stamens to the stigma in the flower."

Haovegfloer's 10-pack of pollination brushes on Amazon could be effective, or simply the Grabie Store's paint brush set on Amazon for a light touch.  

Grace Baroun
Grace Baroun

Grace is the marketing associate at Soltech, which was built on the vision of promoting sustainable indoor farming. The company created the Aspect, the world's first LED grow light that seamlessly blends functionality and design.

When are plants ready to pollinate?

Be on the lookout for signs that your indoor garden is ready to pollinate, and make sure to move your plants in an area that mimics the outside: warm temperatures, humidity, sunlight, and a gentle breeze to help with the process.

"Petals, an open flower, and yellow pollen are good indicators your plant is ready to pollinate other plants," says Jamie Mitri, the founder of Moss Pure.

A black and white picture of Jamie Mitri, a woman with long ombre hair wearing a black peplum top with a v-neck and mesh sleeves
Jamie Mitri

Jamie is an entrepreneur with degrees in chemical engineering and biology and an eye for design. She founded her company, Moss Pure — which features the world's only live moss air filter and stress relief device that acts as an aesthetically pleasing decor piece.

Some people who are still cultivating their green thumb aren't sure where to begin. Luckily, we have expert-backed tips of houseplant mistakes to avoid that will help you steer clear of gardening disasters, when to fertilize houseplants, and how to repot succulents.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.