flowering Pumpkns & Gourds, but no friut, this year? #356805 - Ask Extension


flowering Pumpkns & Gourds, but no friut, this year? #356805

Asked August 26, 2016, 1:07 PM EDT

I planted 3 large pots of pumpkins this year, and the plants look great and they have bloomed and bloomed but I only seem to have female blooms, so never got any pumpkins at all? All of the pots were close together and i have hanging pots of flowers in the yard, humming birds buzzing around, so not sure if its lack of of pollination or what. Same story with my gourd plant, except only one pot of those? i have baby watermelon plants that are producing fruit??

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

Sorry to hear about the disappointing results to date. It’s difficult to provide an answer because too many details are missing, among them the pot size, what the pots are filled with (soil or potting mix?), the number of plants in each pot, water and fertilizer practices, hours of sunlight, and how the recent temperatures affected the activity levels of pollinator insects. In addition, images of the plants and their surroundings could provide additional details.

I suspect attempting to grow pumpkins in pots puts them at a disadvantage. “As a guideline for jack-o-lantern sizes (15-25 lbs), semi-vining varieties need 15-30 square feet per plant, full vining types 20-35 square feet per plant.” (https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=1583)

This webpage has some theories why male flowers might be missing, including inadequate nitrogen and phosphorus. It’s very likely both those are in short supply in pots unless fertilizer was added on a regular basis. http://pumpkinnook.com/howto/pumpkinflower.htm

“Growing squash in home gardens” may be useful: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS087E/FS087E.pdf

Jean R. Natter Replied August 26, 2016, 5:29 PM EDT

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