How to Crossbreed Two Fruit Plants


Traditionally, crossbreeding two fruit plants has been done to create a hearty hybrid that shares the beneficial traits of both parents. Examples of this can be seen in the boysenberry, which is a cross between blackberries, raspberries and blackberry/raspberry hybrid plants. Thanks to diminishing bee populations, farmers may crossbreed plants to help fertilize them or increase the yield of fruit. Crossbreeding plants is a matter of transporting pollen from the anther of one plant to the stigma of another.

Step 1

Examine the blossoms of the fruiting plant under a magnifying glass to identify the anther and stigma. In most fruit blossoms, the anthers resemble pin-heads with pollen on the ends. The stigma typically emerges from the center of the blossom and resembles a cotton swab on a rod.

Step 2

Brush the anther with a paintbrush to remove pollen from its surface, or pluck the anther at its base using a set of forceps. Work early in the morning as many fruit trees bloom early in the morning and the blossoms fade throughout the day. Additionally, higher humidity in the morning helps activate pollen.

Step 3

Brush the pollen-filled paintbrush over the stigma of another plant to transfer pollen to this plant, or press the pollen-covered tip of the anther over the stigma to transfer the pollen.

Things You'll Need

  • Magnifying glass
  • Forceps
  • Paintbrush


  • University of Missouri Extension: Plants and Their Environment
  • Wessels Living History Farm York, Nebraska: The Science of Hybrids
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Hand Pollination of Squash and Corn in Small Gardens

Who Can Help

  • ABC News: Make Way for Apriums and Pluots
  • Pumpkin Nook: Pollination
Keywords: pollinating fruit, growing fruit plants, making fruit produce

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."