Tiny Pumpkins Fall Off The Vine - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, IL
Question by cannova
August 12, 1998
Why do the fruits of many of my pumpkins wither and fall off the vine BEFORE THE FLOWER OPENS? IT IS NOT A POLLINATION PROBLEM. Please help, desperate, no info online or anywhere.

This is my second query but the person that answered before didnt read the whole question and told me to self pollinate which I would do if the flowers open but they don't.
Please! Its getting late in the season!

Answer from NGA
August 12, 1998


I'm sorry -- I think I'm the one who misread your earlier question! The only thing I can think of is that you aren't seeing the flower when it's open - they only receptive to pollen for 4-6 hours, and if they don't get pollinated within that window, they close and never open again. A truly unopened blossom will look fresh and firm, and one that has closed has a brownish, limp or curled end. Sometimes, even if a blossom does get pollinated, it can abort due to overfeeding with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Pumpkin vines grow rapidly at the begining of the season, and then slow toward mid-summer when blossoms appear, and growth is more balanced. But excess nitrogen fertilizer pushes them on, putting young fruit at risk. You might also look for damage from cucumber beetles. They sometimes chew right through the unopened blossoms to feast on the inner parts. I hope this sheds some light, but if none of these possibilities seems to fit your situation, let us know. Best of luck!

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