Flowers falling off of pumpkin plants - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we have several pumpkins that sprouted in our compost that we've moved to various containers and beds in our garden. They're very happy, growing well, flowering, etc. and then the flower closes up and falls off! all of them! So no pumpkins grow, which makes me sad. My husband thinks that since these are from our halloween pumpkins that we got at a local "you pick" patch that maybe they were some kind of hybrid that's not fertile? Is there anything we can do to help them keep their flowers?

~Julia
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:57 PM
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Look at each individual flower. You should see two types; one male and one female. You will know the difference because the male has the polln. The female flowers have a little nub at the base, where the fruit grows. The females need to be pollinated my the male. The flowers will only bloom open in the morning and by the afternoon they will shrivel and die. Take the male flower and pluck it when you have a female flower open, then rub it all over the female. Do this once, then come back and do it again 1/2 hour later. If the female is not pollinated the fruit attached to it will not grow.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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You might check the stems for evidence of vine borers. I had that problem last year.

Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.

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Old 06-19-2007, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I didn't know about the different sexed flowers. I bet that's what's happening. We also moved recently so I'll check for bugs.

You guys are awesome, maybe we'll get some pumpkins afterall!

Julia
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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If you have bees you may not need to manually pollinate the flowers. If the just fell off in the last couple of days they may still grow the pumpkins.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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The first 12 blossoms on a cucurbit (squash, cucumber, melon, pumpkin) are usually all male. Don't worry if they fall off.
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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One thing to keep in mind is that squashes all cross-pollinate. So if there was any other type of squash (cucumbers, zucchini, delicata, etc) growing nearby when these fruits were formed, they may have crossed and you could be in for a surprise. Just so you're not wondering why your "pumpkins" look weird later on this summer.
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, still no luck. All the flowers are male. We have one that's been flowering since May and three new ones that grew out of our compost. I'm wondering if they're a hybrid that will only produce male flowers. I know there are lots of specially bred plants out there now that will only produce one sex or will not reproduce at all.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed though!

~Julia
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlutgendorf View Post
Well, still no luck. All the flowers are male. We have one that's been flowering since May and three new ones that grew out of our compost. I'm wondering if they're a hybrid that will only produce male flowers. I know there are lots of specially bred plants out there now that will only produce one sex or will not reproduce at all.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed though!

~Julia
If they were a hybrid that only produced male plants, there wouldn't have been any pumpkins. Also, the seeds from F1 hybrids will not be true to whatever the parent was, so if wouldn't matter anyway. Maybe it's too chilly where you are and they'll set fruit when it warms up a bit? It's still early. None of my squashes are even flowering yet.

ETA: Just noticed you're in Georgia - yeah, weather probably isn't the issue! :
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:01 AM
 
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I read somewhere that pumpkins produce primarily male flowers in hot dry weather and I'm finding that to be true in my own pumpkin patch, I usually only get girl flowers after a nice rain.
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