The Q&A Archives: Pumpkin Flowers Die

Question: I started growing pumpkins about 2 months ago. The plants have come up ok, (I've never grown them before) but some bright orange flowers begin to appear, never open up, whither and fall off. They seem to be getting enough water and sun and fertilizer, so I don't know what's going on. How do you tell the difference to tell male from female flowers so I'll know when they need to be pollinated?

Answer: Pumpkins, like most vining crops, usually start by producing alot of male flowers before the females. So, they do wither and die. When the females appear, it only takes a day or two at most for pollination to occur, so the blossoms are very short-lived, and will wither and fall off anyway.

You can hand pollinate the blossoms yourself by taking a small artist?s paint brush or Q-tip and rubbing the pollen from the male (without a small fruit behind the flower) flower and into the female (with a small fruit behind the flower) flower. I hope this information helps!

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