The Q&A Archives: Pollinating Pumpkin Blossoms

Question: All my pumpkin plants flower. Most of the flowers die without being pollinated after just one day. The few that are pollinated produce a very small fruit that doesn't grow, and then the vine shrivels up and dies.What's wrong? Julia Kyle Hewitt, NJ

Answer: It sounds like a pollination problem on your pumpkins. Last summer was generally cloudy and when it's cloudy, bees don't like to fly. No bees, means poor pollination of pumpkin flowers and if they are only partically pollinated, the fruits will shrivel and die before maturing. This year pray for sunny weather and if you like take a Q-tip cotton swab and in the morning swab some pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers (ones with little pumpkins behind the flower). This should help with the pollination process.

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