Pollinators

(Question)

If I am on a 6th floor, my balcony is enclosed with a bird mesh, I cannot expect flowers for a second season can I, as there are no pollinators arriving inside the mesh to sit on my plants? My indoor plants orchids and violet are healthy growers but of course no flowers, same with my healthy stephanotis. Kept indoors. I am expecting your answer to be a No. Just want to be sure so asking the experts. I can’t pollinate by hand because there are no flowers, right?

(Answer)

I am not sure what your question is. A gardener only becomes concerned about pollination and the lack thereof, when they are either growing fruits (apples to zucchinis) or when they need seeds from a plant (perhaps they are saving seeds or they are breeding plants). Neither one seems to be your concern at the moment? If you are considering propagating your plants, this can be achieved in the case of the Stephanotis and African Violet with cuttings.

A lot of pollinators are very tiny and some are nocturnal and would very likely go unnoticed unless you were to avidly monitor insect activity around your plants. Some plants can be self-pollinated, some require other plants nearby for successful pollination, and additionally, our pollinators here may or may not be adapted to pollinate tropical plants.

Indoor plants can enjoy a bit of outdoor time in the summer provided they are somewhat sheltered from full sunlight and strong winds, and adequately watered. Plants are adapted to respond to changes in light, day length, temperature and water fluctuations, this is what triggers changes in the plant such as flowering or leaf loss.

Here is a link to a previous discussion about Stephanotis:

Coaxing a stephanotis plant to flower

And a growing guide for orchids:

Growing Orchids: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide