Some "Learn and Serve Program" students from the Judy Jester Learning Center in Moulton recently pruned and planted peach trees at Larry LouAllen’s farm. The program incorporates hands-on learning with community service in horticulture. It is operated in conjunction with the Alabama State Department of Education and the Urban Affairs & New Nontraditional Programs division of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Fruit plants (except strawberries) are best planted in December through February…and strawberries in March and April. But if you’re still wondering about planting fruit and which ones need a pollinator (a cross-pollinator variety), this article’s for you!
I don’t know how many times a year I get asked about which plants (fruits) require a pollinator, but I’ll guarantee it’s a lot of times. That’s why I think the pollination chart below is so handy. You might want to save it for future reference. (Note: Plants marked with an * are not recommended for North Alabama due to winter hardiness problems.)
Pollination and Fruiting Characteristics of Fruit Types
Fruit Type Characteristic Description
Apple Cross-pollinating Plant two or more varieties of each type for
cross-pollination. Golden Delicious varieties tend to be
at least partially self-fruitful when planted alone.
Pear Cross-pollinating Use a second variety every two to four rows. Plant only
two to three rows of the same variety.
Asian pear Cross-pollinating Some varieties appear partially self-fruitful, but a
minimum of two varieties should be used.
Plum Cross-pollinating Plant two or more varieties of each type for cross-
pollination. Exceptions to this general rule are Methley,
Homeside & AU Producer plums, which are generally
* Cherry, sweet Cross-pollinating Sweet cherries are not recommended in Alabama
because of freeze problems. Pollination requirements
are also very exacting.
Cherry, sour Self-fruiting
* Oriental persimmon, Self-fruiting
* Oriental persimmon, Self-fruiting or
* Pomegranate Self-fruiting
Fig, common Self-fruiting
Bunch grape Self-fruiting (American or American/European types)
Muscadine grape, Self-fruiting
Muscadine grape, Cross-pollinating Female muscadine grape varieties must be female
planted with perfect types for cropping.
Blueberry, rabbiteye, Cross-pollinating Two or more varieties of the same type, like rabbiteye,
highbush, & southern must be planted for highbush cross-pollination.
Rabbiteye blueberries generally fruit best when a
varietal sequence of two to one is used across the
plantings, like two rows of Tifblue and one row of
Premier. Highbush blueberry varieties are more
self-fruitful but usually benefit from interplanting two or
Strawberry Self-fruiting A few of the varieties available, like Apollo require cross-
SUBTROPICAL & EXOTIC FRUIT
* Satsuma Self-fruiting
* Kumquat Self-fruiting
* Meyer lemon Self-fruiting
Kiwifruit Cross-pollinating Kiwifruit have male and female varieties that must be
interplanted to ensure cropping. One male is used for
every five to ten female plants.
* Feijoa Cross-pollinating
Jerry A. Chenault is an Urban Regional Extension Agent with The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, New & Nontraditional Programs division.