Do Tomato Plants Have Gender?

Many different kinds of plants use their male and female flowers to pollinate each other and make babies. If you’re interested in knowing more about tomato plant gender, this page will provide you with comprehensive information.

You might be surprised to know that tomato plants do not have a gender. Tomato plants have both male and female reproductive parts and can self-pollinate. They are monoecious. Every tomato flower on a tomato plant can produce pollen and get fertilized and produce new fruit and seeds.

It is very common in the plant world and can help plants keep reproducing well without the need for an external carrier like a bee or a bird. Let’s dive a little deeper into how tomato plants pollinate and how they can be both male and female at the same time.

Are there genders in tomato plants?

No, tomato plants do not have a gender. They are both male and female and are known as monoecious. This essentially means that tomato plants have flowers that have both male and female reproductive organs and can reproduce by themselves.

Each tomato flower has a Stamen, which is the male reproductive organ of the flower. Stamens are made up of filaments and an anther, which is the top part of the filament. These anthers are what produce the pollen which contains the genetic information of the tomato flower. These are usually yellow.

The female reproductive part of the flower is called the Pistil. This is found at the bottom center of the flower and is made up of the stigma, style, and ovary. Since tomato plants reproduce sexually, once the ovules inside the ovary get fertilized, they can develop into a tomato.

In fact, there are no plants that have gender. Plants can be either male or female or even both, and this is usually referred to as their sex.

Gender on the other hand is a social construct that refers to certain characteristics in humans that may or may not be related to their biological sex. So tomato plants do not have a gender and technically they do not have singular sex either.

How Do Tomato Plants Pollinate?

Since tomato plants have both male and female reproductive organs, how does reproduction work? The anthers of the tomato flower release pollen which flows and lands on the stigma of the same flower or a different flower of the same plant or even another plant. This pollen then fertilizes the eggs in the ovary and then develops into a seed.

This seed then eventually becomes the seeds you find at the center of the tomatoes that you eat. These seeds can then be used to produce more tomato plants and the cycle repeats.

Because tomato plants are monecious, it’s very easy for them to pollinate. Very light winds can blow the pollen from the anthers to the stigma of the same flower. Slightly stronger winds or gentle shakes of the plant allow the pollen to travel to other flowers of the same plant.

Similar to how a lot of other plants pollinate, bees and insects can also help carry the pollen and fertilize other tomato plants. However, since tomato plants are monoecious, they are not dependent on this extra help.

If you see a lot of bees or insects flying around your tomato plants, chances are they have been pollinated.

When the tomato begins to form, you should be able to notice that the stem behind the flower will start to get a little more round and large.

This usually takes a few days after pollination, but it’s a good way to tell whether pollination was successful. Wilting is another sign of pollination. If your flowers are wilting, chances are they have pollinated just a day before.

However, if you see the stem behind your tomato flower going a bit yellow, then it is a sign of concern. This means your flower hasn’t been pollinated and in fact, it’s a sign that it might be dying. So try to take better care of it and see if any other flowers are dying as well.

Tomato plants will usually die after it has given fruit, however, so usually, you can only use the plant for one season. However, with proper care and the right environment, you can expand their lifespan as well.

How to Hand Pollinate to Get More Tomatoes

If you like to grow tomatoes, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s very easy to pollinate them. As discussed above, they can pollinate pretty easily with just light winds alone.

However, if you want even more fruits and more fertilization, you can give them a hand. Since there’s no need to find out which flower is female and which flower is male the process is pretty easy.

Here are 4 ways you can increase your tomato yield through pollination:

1. Tap the Flower

The easiest way to help your tomato plant pollinate is to simply tap the flower. This will help the pollen fall off and land on the stigma of the flower. It’ll also help spread the pollen to other flowers of the same plant.

But be careful about how you tap the flower though. Try to be as gentle as you can and only lightly tap on the stem.

2. Use a Brush to Spread Pollen

Alternatively, you can use a small paintbrush or makeup brush to spread the pollen more precisely. You don’t necessarily have to pick up the pollen.

Simply brush all over the flower so the pollen can spread everywhere. Touch the antlers, the stem, the petals, and all of the inside. That also makes it much more likely for pollen from one flower to get to other flowers. But be careful about sticking to the same variety, otherwise, you might cross-pollinate.

3. Vibrate the Plant

You can buy plant vibrators meant to help plants pollinate better. These are very gentle vibrators that will gently vibrate the flowers so that the pollen falls off and spreads. This is one way you can be certain that your flowers have been pollinated.

If you don’t want to buy another device, you can pretty much use any device around the house that vibrates lightly. Electric toothbrushes work well for this method. You can even try using your phone. But be careful about the intensity of the vibration, so as not to damage the plant in any way.

4. Use Cotton Swabs to Transfer Pollen

For the most precise method, you can use a cotton swab to pick up the pollen and then place it exactly where you want.

You can try picking up the pollen from the antlers, but an easier way would be to simply shake the flowers over a cup or bowl. The pollen will collect. This also ensures that pollen can spread around inside the flower as well.

You can then take the pollen and brush them on the flowers you want to. Remember to touch the stigma, the stigma is the green part at the center of the tomato flower.


So, do tomato plants have gender? The answer is no, they are monoecious and have both male and female reproductive parts. Thus they pollinate pretty easily and you shouldn’t have trouble getting fruit.

However, with just simple tricks, you can increase pollination even more. Hope this helped clear your queries!