The Q&A Archives: Gourds From Seeds

Question: Can I start gourds from last year's fruit seeds. I have been told they will not grow. If not, why?

Answer: Seed from gourds can be saved and planted the following season. However, perhaps the person was referring to the variation that can occur if gourds cross pollinate. Cross pollination can occur between varieties within a species. (The Latin names appear in the order: Genus species variety. If pollen from one variety of cucurbit goes to a different variety of cucurbit in the same species, it won't matter for this year's crop. However, if you try to save seed for planting next year, it may show up in that generation. The seeds will still germinate and grow, but the fruit itself may be quite different. Most gourd lovers don't find this to be a problem!

Only the same species of cucurbits can cross-pollinate each other, but different varieties within a species can cross pollinate. In other words, a cucumber can't cross-pollinate a pumpkin. However, many gourds belong to the genus and species Cucurbita pepo, which has numerous varieties, so the potential for cross pollination is great. I wouldn't worry about it--just plant your seeds and see what appears!

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