The Q&A Archives: Pumpkin Female Buds Falling Off

Question: My pumpkin plant is producing many buds, male & female, but the female buds are falling off soon after appearing on the vine!! The male buds develop & bloom continuously. I have had only one female bud "survive" & develop to bloom and become pollinated!!! Could you please explain why this is happening?; and what can I do to ensure that female buds develop into blooming flowers? (I have followed the advice I've read in your answers to other people's questions about pumpkins including pollination by hand w/ a Q-tip...thank you!)

Answer: Beyond pollination problems, the vine may be aborting fruit due to weather conditions such as excessive heat or dryness. The vine will only set as many fruits as it is capable of supporting so that it can direct its energy toward assuring its own reproduction by producing good quality viable seed (aka nice big pumpkins). Conversely, the best way to assure a nice big pumpkin is to reduce the number of pumkins on the vine.

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