I have an eggplant that has thus far produced several flowers, but no fruit yet. I have read that hand pollination is often necessary for eggplant to produce fruit.
How do I go about hand pollinating the plant? Do I need any special equipment?
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For these flowers, I use a make-up brush. I've read that others use a small paint brush or Q-tip...
The flowers on these plants can stay open for several days, so it's not a bad idea to repeat the process every day or so. You will know the process has worked if the flower closes but doesn't fall off the plant.
The reference I have says that eggplant flowers are usually self-pollinating. ("Seed to Seed", Suzanne Ashworth.)
Another potential cause of your eggplant failing to produce fruit is stress from lack of water. Has it been very hot and dry there? Are you watering adequately? Also, if it is very humid the pollen may stick and avoid falling down onto the pistil to pollinate the flower. (source)
There are a few websites I've seen that tell you to pull off a flower and rub it against another flower on a different plant. While that's great for cross-pollination, keep in mind that every "perfect" flower is female, so it can produce fruit. Every flower you pull off for pollinating is a fruit you can't harvest. (Which may not be a problem if you're getting plenty of flowers. It's also not a problem on squash, which produce separate male and female flowers.) The paintbrush technique works without removing any potential fruit.