Indoor gardening has so many benefits....being able to grow year-round, fewer pests, not having to have outdoor space to grow a bountiful garden, and many more. However, the one main limiting factor of indoor growing is plants not having access to the "work-horse" of outdoor gardens....pollinators.
How does pollination work exactly?
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the Stamen (male flower part) to the Pistil (female flower part), in order for the plant to produce the amazing fruits and vegetables we know and love like strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and many more. Pollen is required for all flowers to produce fruits, + all fruits and vegetables (including spinach) to flower to produce seeds. There are two main types of pollination...Self-Pollination and Cross-Pollination. Self-pollinators are also called "complete" because they contain all the parts necessary for pollination...the Stamen, Pistil, Sepals and Petals (the latter two may also attract pollinators). Some examples of self pollinators are tomatoes and peppers. Plants like apples, strawberries and cucumbers require the transfer of pollen from the Anther of one flower into the Stigma of another flower, or "Cross-Pollination".
Whether a plant is self-pollinating, within the flower, or requires the pollen to be carried from one flower to another, pollinators, such as honeybees, play a crucial role. In fact...honeybees are the "most successful pollinators in the world (2)." So important that..."You have a bee to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat (3)." They are responsible for about 80% of pollination worldwide. However, bee pollination isn't the only way. Pollen can also be transferred or "shaken" for fertilization by animals, birds, insects, wind and more.