eplegrand
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Propagate pumpkins

I have a rather large pumpkin plant growing in my garden. Every time some flowers start growing, both male and female. But they fall off before the flower is open. So I have difficulty propagating them. So far I only had one time a pumpkin growing on the plant. Any suggestions how to get the flowers get to full size before falling off?

imafan26
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Re: Propagate pumpkins

If these are the first flowers they sometimes do that, especially if there are too many flowers or the plant isn't getting enough nutrients or water or there is heat stress.

I think you meant pollinate not propagate. You can hand pollinate the flowers but they do have to open. Flowers will not be open all day, so it is best to go out early in the morning just after sunrise and pollinate the flowers yourself. Flowers usually close up by midday and are only good for one day. The flowers that fail to be pollinated by bees usually, will drop off. The female flowers with the little pumpkin in the ovary will usually hold on to the blossom a while longer before it drops off. If pollination was successful, the tiny pumpkin will continue to grow larger. If not, then the tiny pumpkin will turn yellow or black and fall off. Pumpkins and squash put out a lot of flowers but the vines cannot support all of them if they all turned into pumpkins, it is nature's survival of the fittest strategy.
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eplegrand
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Re: Propagate pumpkins

Thanks for the message. Indeed I mean pollinate. Most of the time, I check out early morning before going to work. But maybe I am too early. Anyway, the flowers are rather small still. but before getting bigger they fall off. There are a lot of male flowers on it but only 1 or 2 female. Maybe in the weekend will check a little later in the morning.

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applestar
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Re: Propagate pumpkins

What do the flowers that "drop/fall off" look like? Imafan has a good point. Male pumpkin blossoms only open for one day and then shrivel up and fall off, and female blossoms shrivel up after one day and either yellow and drop or grow the fruits. Yes, definitely check at a slightly different time of the day. Sometimes the male blossoms will be open earlier than the female blossoms, and female blossoms will unfold somewhat later so you will need to catch them when they are both open. Typically, they won't open until daylight is bright on them.

Make sure these plants are getting plenty of water and nutrients and sun too, though my pumpkins and squash just crawled out (or up) to where it was sunny.

Finally, check for sucking insects on the flower stems -- sometimes they literally suck the life out of the flowerbuds. If there are any ragged holes in the flowerbuds, it could be slugs.
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eplegrand
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Propagate pumpkins

Thanks for the detailed information again. Will have a look this weekend.

Also I have to check what they looked like when falling off. One day they are still there, the next they are gone. So I will have a look on the ground.

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Propagate pumpkins

You give no site location, April is mighty early (in Ohio) for pumpkins to be blooming. My south-east Ohio garden has frost on it.

I expect in the northern hemisphere this problem will pass by June.
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