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Old 09-14-2010, 11:05 AM
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Default No female pumpkin flowers ?!?!?



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I put in 24 Connecticut Field pumpkin plants this year. All of them are doing great except for one thing. I have no female flowers. Which will mean I will not get pumpkins.

I did plant them a little later than normal as I wanted them to be full grown at the end of October and not the beginning.

Is there any reason as to why I am not getting female flowers? It has been hot this year, but I have kept everything watered.

Any thoughts?
Old 09-14-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
I put in 24 Connecticut Field pumpkin plants this year. All of them are doing great except for one thing. I have no female flowers. Which will mean I will not get pumpkins.

I did plant them a little later than normal as I wanted them to be full grown at the end of October and not the beginning.

Is there any reason as to why I am not getting female flowers? It has been hot this year, but I have kept everything watered.

Any thoughts?
I have had few female flowers, but not so few that it has reduced the total number of fruits. I just didn't have to thin. Also, pollenation has been low, being done mostly by bumblebees and not honeybees, which have yet to find my garden.

I live in Zone 5/6, and have had good crops of pumpkins in the distant past. This is the first year in 15 years or so that I have grown them.

You may have ended up with defective mutant seeds from one forbear. Try again next year with a mixed lot of seeds, because the Connecticut Field Pumpkin is usually a no-brainer. I would suspect the seeds unless your soil is almost impossibly deficient in major nutrients.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:00 PM
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I grew 10 pumpkin plants in my backyard and no females as well. I thought I did something wrong.

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I have had few female flowers, but not so few that it has reduced the total number of fruits. I just didn't have to thin. Also, pollenation has been low, being done mostly by bumblebees and not honeybees, which have yet to find my garden.
I haven't seen honeybees either. My pollenation has been through the wasps. My landlady thinks I'm nuts cause I have a huge wasp nest on the back porch and I won't destroy it. lol
Old 09-14-2010, 01:31 PM
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I have not seen many bees out there. I was going to hand polinate them and thats when I found that there are no females...

I don't think the seeds could be the issue, but you never know. They come from a very reputable local source. I'll have to check with them to see if anyone else has mentioned this to them.
Old 09-14-2010, 06:06 PM
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Mine were from the dollar tree. They were 5 for a dollar, so I got 20 packs.....I didn't realize they were from 2002...it was a bad idea
Old 09-16-2010, 06:13 AM
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I had pumpkins which did that last year. Right at the end of the season they started to produce female flowers, but it was too late for them too mature. I think that our summer was too cool and they needed a longer growing season. You can try pinching out the tips and this sometimes encourages more female flowers. There is also a mineral additive (can't remember what it is, but your gardening store should be able to tell you) that promotes fruit and flowers.
Old 09-18-2010, 11:18 PM
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All your male pumpkin flowers will go blind!
Sorry. I couldn't help it.
I agree with rosebud. My wife pinches the ends too.
Old 09-19-2010, 05:31 AM
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There has been no canned pumpkin in our grocery store for over a year. I wonder if it's the same problem.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:42 PM
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I planted 2 store bought pumpkin plants (white pumpkins) I got quite a few 'babies' on them but so far I only have 1 good pumpkin about the size of a large cantelope. I have 2 other pumpkins that are about the size of a large orange. The other babies got to about the size of a golf ball and then fizzled out. There have been plenty of bees so I have no problem with pollination.

I had 2 pumpkin plants that were started from seed and have no pumpkins on them. No idea what went wrong, just lots of vines, flowers and no pumpkins.
Old 09-26-2010, 03:12 PM
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Mutant seeds usually will have difficulty producing much of any type of flower.
The plant will grow robust but not much will happen in the fruit bearing part.

Over-fertilization/improper nutrient breakdown and late starts are usually the source of low male to female flower ratios.

Bees can be the problem only if both male and female flowers are in normal numbers with no squash forming.

Best attempts at forcing some production would be to pinch all vines near ends, and pinch one third of male flowers present. This reduction in wasted effort will help the plant to focus energies to re-flower and possibly spawn females flowers.

Always try to feed your growspace HEAVY (all organic please) after the fall harvest to give time for proper nutrient breakdown to occur.
Till with well rotted compost one month before planting.
Try to sow your seeds early... early pumpkin harvests are fine kept in cool dark, dry location after curing for ten days in sun.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:00 AM
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What are female flowers? Do they look different than the males?
My vine (planted in June) is very robust but I only got one pumpkin out of it. It is doing very well and should be ready in the next 2 weeks.

Had two others that fizzled early on. It has been covered in beautiful blooms all summer and the bumble bees, wasps and flies have been all over them, but no pumpkins. I did pinch about half of the blooms about 6-8 weeks ago but nothing came of it.

My cantaloupe which is planted next to my pumpkin is going great. I planted it in late July and I have 7 to 8 fruits that are good sized. I know I will be doing more cantaloupe next year with 2 (early and late) plantings.
Old 09-27-2010, 10:08 AM
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I would imagine that pumpkin would be almost the same as Acorn squash and I know that the temperature of the ground has to do with what flowers form. I platend Acorn squash way too early one year and had nothing but male flowers. After some research I found that the male/female flower ration is tied directly to the temperature of the ground.
Old 09-27-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diddy View Post
What are female flowers? Do they look different than the males?
My vine (planted in June) is very robust but I only got one pumpkin out of it. It is doing very well and should be ready in the next 2 weeks.

Had two others that fizzled early on. It has been covered in beautiful blooms all summer and the bumble bees, wasps and flies have been all over them, but no pumpkins. I did pinch about half of the blooms about 6-8 weeks ago but nothing came of it.

My cantaloupe which is planted next to my pumpkin is going great. I planted it in late July and I have 7 to 8 fruits that are good sized. I know I will be doing more cantaloupe next year with 2 (early and late) plantings.


There are a couple of physical charactaristics that help to determine the "sex" of the flower.

1 - The male will have a very thin stem under the flower, and a long stem inside it too. The inside stem (stamen) holds the male pollen. The pollen looks like yellow grains.

2 - The female will have a thicker stem under the flower. This is the genetic "shell" of a potential squash. The inside of the flower will have a short, sort of clustered mass in the center (stigma).

Squash flowers are only capable of fertilization in the am hours of the day, so timing is important.
Female flowers will open once, and then render themselves infertile and will fall off. Male flowers can open twice, then do the same if not used.
Once the sun comes and warms things up, the flowers will close.

The male to female ratio is approx 15:1 and the males tend to "be ready" before the females.

A good way to pump up your harvest numbers (in the am hours only) is to cut off several male flowers, carefully strip off the pedals and brush the stamen inside of the female flowers.
Kinda like Cupid.....
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
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What are female flowers? Do they look different than the males?
I finally had 2 females pop up. Too late in the season for anything to really produce.

Here is a picture of a male (on the left) and a female (on the right).

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pumpkin.jpg  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wsarris424 View Post
I have a huge wasp nest on the back porch and I won't destroy it. lol
They're fine as long as they're just building nests. Once they establish an Episcopalian Church and an Anglo-American Club, they're usually too far entrenched to ever get rid of.
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