No female pumpkin flowers

"Hi- I have 6 pumpkin plants in my garden, two different varieties. I read that the female flowers would start blooming a week or so after the male flowers. It's been about 2 1/2 weeks since the male flowers have been blooming, but I still can't find any female flowers on either variety. Am I doing something wrong, or should I just keep waiting? So far, the vines have been doing great, there's nothing else wrong with them that I can tell. Thanks! -emily"
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

If you are not seeing female flowers developing fruits, it may be because of poor pollination. Or depending on conditions, the female flowers may bloom long after the male flowers. The plants should continue to produce flowers all season, so patience is in order here. You can hand pollinate the female flowers when they do show up to help the process along.

Also, don't use too many insecticides around your garden. Bees are the top pollinators of cucurbits (the family for pumpkins) and insecticides are not too particular about whether they kill bees or not. If you must spray insecticides (even organic ones), make sure you use them in the late afternoon when bees aren't flying.

Be patient. Pumpkins can take a long time to set and develop, especially in shifting weather conditions, i.e. too hot, too much rain, etc.


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