Tips to Avoid Contamination by Cross Pollination

tips to avoid contamination

Cross pollination occurs between plants of closely related genetic pool, and hence the germ cells of those plants are compatible to give rise to viable seeds. However, cross pollination is an unfavorable event for the gardeners since; a plant of superior quality may be accidentally fertilized by another of inferior quality.

This can give rise to progeny of impure traits, and consequently destroys the pure line of superior trait developed in the given plant. Thus, in order to preserve the quality of your parent plant and hence, the superior traits inherited by them, gardeners opt for self pollinating the parent plant, and avoid cross pollination.

tips to avoid contaminationHow to Avoid Cross Pollination

This article, comprising of the points given below, provides you with the methodologies to avoid cross pollination, thus prevent contamination in your pure line:


Generally, dioecious plants, plants which produce separate male and female plants, perpetuate through cross pollination. You should be aware of the common plants that undergo cross pollination, which include, Brassicas, Cucurbits, Beets and Alliums. This information will help you to pay more attention to those varieties of plants.

Grow one variety of plant

You can grow one variety of plant in an acre of land to prevent chances of cross pollination. In this case, avoid breeds which involve wind or insect pollination.


For wind and insect pollinating species of plants, cover the flower heads with newspaper or plastic bags in order to prevent fertilization of flowers of a given plant with pollen from flowers of other plants, via wind or insect pollination methods. This procedure is known as ‘bagging’. Moreover, at night sprinkle some pollen from the male flower of same variety to the given female flower to cause artificial self fertilization. Cover with the newspaper or plastic bag immediately after the above procedure.

Screened cages

You can try growing each variety of plant in separate screened cages made of muslin or wire mesh. Keeping the different varieties covered discretely will disable their interaction in any way and hence prevent cross pollination.

Plant far apart

Plant the different varieties of plant far apart from each other in the plantation field. This is possible only when you have large agricultural field. This will prevent the pollen of the diverse varieties from reaching each other.

Different timings

Plant such varieties of plants together which have different timings of flowering. In this method, when one of the varieties is flowering, the other has already finished with flowering. This, consequently, will avoid the possible exchange of pollens between the given varieties.

Adopt these agricultural methods in order prevent contamination of your pure breeds and to maintain superior quality of plantation over the years.

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