The Q&A Archives: Hand Pollination of Birdhouse Gourds

Question: All the other Q & A's don't clearly describe how to pollinate bird house gourds. So I was wondering if you could give me a fairly detailed explanation on how to hand pollinate birdhouse gourds?

Answer: Gourds are members of the Cucurbita family, as are squash and pumpkins, so their culture is the same. Pollinations is the same, as well. You'll find both male and female flowers on the vines. Male flowers have a straight stem directly behind the petals where it attaches to the vine. Female flowers will have a slight swelling directly behind the petals on the stem that attaches to the vine. To hand pollinate, locate a male flower, remove it from the vine, and gently rub the inside of the flower on the inside of the female flowers. You'll transfer pollen by touching the insides of the flowers together. A male flower should have enough pollen for 3-4 female flowers. Alternately, you could detach a male flower and touch the anthers (little pollen pads) with a soft brush, then transfer the pollen to the stigma (sticky part of the female flower, usually located top, center of the inside of the flower). Hope this is discriptive enough!

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