The Q&A Archives: Cucumber Fertilization

Question: With the Varroa mite killing the wild honey bees,I may want to try to manually fertilize the cucumber flowers. Are the flowers individually sexed and will brushng the flowers with a Q-tip work? Thanks.

Answer: On most varieties, both male and female flowers will appear. A number of male flowers appear first to ensure a good ratio for pollination. Female flowers can be identified by a slight swelling at the base of the petals, almost like a mini fruit. A cotton swab would probably work, as does a soft paintbrush.

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