seed saving
This section looks at the different ways vegetable plants pollinate their seeds and how that affects the risk of cross pollination.

Vegetables us a number of different pollination methods which may or may not involve cross pollination with other plants. The less cross pollination a plant requires to produce fertile seeds the easier it is for the gardener to collect those seeds.

Below is a general pollination grouping chart.  The links on the left give you charts with the pollination characteristics of individual plants.  All three charts are to help you work out which seeds are the easiest to collect.



Self pollinated

These plants are the easiest to collect seeds from as the seeds will always grow exactly like the parent plant.

Plants in this group include : Bean, Runner Bean, Endive, Lettuce, Okra Pea, Tomato.




These plants only propagate vegetatively, meaning that to grow new plants you plant cuttings , roots or bulbs (depending on the type of plant).

Plants in this group include : Garlic, Lemongrass, Potato, Tarragon, Tree Onion, Water Chestnut .


Vegetatively & self pollinated

Propagates by a cutting and root and will also produce self pollinated seeds.

Plants in this category are : Water Spinach, Watercress.


Vegetatively & cross pollinated by Insect

Propagates by a cutting, root or bulb (depending on the plant) and will also produce cross pollinated seeds.  The best way to propagate these plants is vegetatively.

Plants in this group include :  Asparagus, Chives, Garlic Chives, Jerusalem, Artichoke, Leek, Marjoram, Mint, New Zealand, Spinach, Rhubarb, & Spring Onion


Cross pollinated by wind

Cross pollinated by wind only, so only cross pollinates with plants of the same variety that are in the immediate area.

Plants in this group include : Corn & Spinach,


Cross pollinated by wind and by insect

Cross pollinated by wind and by insect.

Plants in this group include : Beetroot,


Self pollinated and cross pollinated by insect

Self pollinated and cross pollinated by insect.

Plants in this group include : Broad Bean, Capsicum, Chilli & Eggplant,


Cross pollinated by insect

These are the hardest types of seeds to collect as they can easily cross pollinate other types of plants of the same species.

Plants in this group include : Basil, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mizuna, Mustard, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Radish, Rocket, Rockmelon, Silverbeet, Sunflower, Turnip, Watermelon & Zucchini

To view this General seed pollination guide as a printable PDF click HERE