Pollinating Pumpkin Flowers

Some time back, I put up a post on this blog to show how one can pollinate cucumber flowers. Pumpkin flowers can also be pollinated using the same method as shown below. The big bright yellow flowers of the pumpkin are often produced in abundance, especially the male flowers, when compared to the number of female flowers.

Rather than wasting them by leaving them on the vine, the male flowers can actually be picked, coated in batter and then fried to make tempura (click on this link to know more). The flowers of the zucchini are better known to be eaten this way.

To pick up the male flowers either to eat or for as a source of pollen, one has to first learn how to recognise them. As mentioned earlier, male cucurbit flowers have no baby fruits behind their petals. One simply sees a flower attached right away onto a green flower stalk. One pumpkin vine can have several male flowers opened at once. A few can be picked to pollinate the female flowers flowers and the rest can go into the cooking pot.

The female flower of the pumpkin is not picked and made into tempura. The reason is simple – once the female flower is pollinated, it becomes the pumpkin fruit. You won’t want to eat the flowers, right? Anyway, the female pumpkin flower can be identified via the small baby fruit that is located just behind the petals.

See the picture below for the bud of a female pumpkin flower

To pollinate pumpkin flowers, one can go pick a freshly opened male flower. The next step to take is to strip of all its petals to reveal the pollen laden anthers.

With the stripped male flower on hand, now it is time to go hunt for an opened female flower. Once a female flower is found, brush the pollen laden anthers against the stigma of the female flower. In the process, one will notice some of the pollen being coated onto the stigma.

After a day, the female pumpkin flower will fade away but at that stage, its hard to tell whether it will turn into a fruit. 

If pollination is successful, the baby fruit behind will slowly swell up, embarking a journey to become a pumpkin fruit in a month of so, depending on the variety.

 

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17 responses to “Pollinating Pumpkin Flowers

  1. Very cool.all the best..I love gardening..but i live in middle east ..so the tempearture here is a big hurdle..I planted tomaotes,pumkins.cucmbers,okras,Eggplants ,roses,peppers,potatoes..I take care as much as i can but no results..flowers just drop and similar problems..now i am finding happiness in others farms:)

    nice photos

  2. If the fruit turns yellow is it dying?

  3. thank the pumpkin gods for this site

  4. Hi Nimmy,

    So sorry you are having problems with your veg & fruit. Have you tried shading some of your farm rearing produce? Using a fan to cool the temperature down, or other means of cooling, as sometimes just hot air can be blown out & would only serve to make the problem worse. I should imagine that your tomatoes would be excellent with all that heat & sun in your area ( Tomatoes grown in the UK are like ‘ bags of water ‘ we just don’t have the climate here) What about olives? Peach trees and orange trees? Or even grapes?
    Grapes especially can be used for wine and oil.

  5. Pumpkin has all male flowers. Why is this and is there a remedy?

    • Paul, I am new to growing pumpkins, but I too had all male flowers until this week. On the vine’s new growth is one female flower bud.

  6. Awesome step by step instructions. The pictures are extremely helpful too since I am a new gardener. I am so happy I found your blog!

  7. I see femail flower buds, but they will not open. They do not even start to show the yellow as I see in the males that end up opening. I have a shady backyard (not enough sun?) but the females are under leaves anyway… Any ideas?

  8. I have grown a lot of cucumbers and beans in my kitchen garden of my villa. If you water properly anything can be grown in this desert. I had spread 10 sacks of manure (goat dung) and the soil become very fertile. As too many honey bees are visiting our garden there is no need pollination..everything going on naturally.
    But, the snake guard has a lot of flowers but not ‘fruitful’..May I try the technique of pollination..

    Best regards

  9. I have grown a lot of cucumbers and beans in my kitchen garden of my villa. If you water properly anything can be grown in this desert. I had spread 10 sacks of manure (goat dung) and the soil become very fertile. As too many honey bees are visiting our garden there is no need pollination..everything going on naturally.
    But, the snake guard has a lot of flowers but not ‘fruitful’..May I try the technique of pollination.
    Best regards

  10. even though i dont have much land i love to grow veg. now i have two pumpkin vines. one of them have buds. with the help of ur blog i found them to be male flower buds. i hope female buds too will appearin time. thank you for the information in blog

  11. thank you for information on pumpkins

  12. elineema mtaita

    Iam happy to get description concern pumkin indeed it is helpfull to me

  13. elineema mtaita

    you are deep description about pumkin helped me in characteristics more description may help me very much

  14. I was so happy to find this easy description on the male and female flowers on a pumpkin plant. I ran right out to my garden to see what I have and to my dismay I only have male flowers. I am hoping to find a few female flowers soon, so I can pollinate them with the males.à
    Thanks so much for this information.
    Sandy

  15. i have both male and female on my pumpkin vine.the male have just opend nicely 2day but female dont seam 2 be doing much any ideas

  16. Thanks a lot guys that was really informative, as a novice grower i didn’t know what to do until i found your site – much appreciated keep up the good work…

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