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Losing Immature Pumpkins

A lot of pumpkins on my vine are turning yellow and falling off before the flower ever opens.  Some pumpkins stayed on and grew and did fine: some fall off after the flower has closed: and some fall off before the flower ever opens.  Everybody just reads online and says it's a pollination problem, and they don't know what they're talking about because these ones never made it far enough to have a chance to get pollinated.  I have the same problem on zucchini plants too.  And this year I had my first zucchini grow to a good size before any flower ever opened.  Its flower was the first in the whole garden to open, but even if it wasn't, it had not been pollinated yet because the flower had not opened yet so that it could be pollinated.

I'm starting to think nobody knows what they're talking about and everyone just reads whatever they find on the internet, and act like they know all about it and repeat what they read.


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Dear Mike, most people give you answers from their own knowledge and experience.  If you chose to tell them they don't know what they're talking about, people will just ignore your posts.  Have a bit of humility and perhaps thank people instead of calling them idiots.

  • Mike168Mike168 Posts: 18

    I've got some humility.  I could stand to have some more.  I didn't call anyone an idiot though.  Just because it seems like most people's answers are from what they read rather than what they know, doesn't mean I think I know it all.  But I do know what I've seen, which according what everyone so far has to say about it, is impossible.  I guess I didn't put it very nicely though.  But I've searched and searched online, because i don't know of anyone to talk to in person about it, and one page after another, one forum after another, everybody says the same thing, and usually it's word for word what was on the first search result I found.  Sometimes there are four or five different sites quoting the exact same text as if it were their own knowledge.  I get tired of that, and was hoping someone might actually have some knowledge about the thing I'm talking about.  Sorry to anyone I've offended.  And thank you for trying to help me figure it out.  And thank you too, Welshonion, for teaching me to have better manners. :)

  • I don't have an answer to your question / problem but I can say that I get many flowers but only a small number of them seem to pollinate, and an even smaller number of those seem to survive long enough to become decent fruits at the end of the season. You've described perfectly what I have experienced but I always end up with enough fruits to satisfy the kids at the end of the year.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    Here's a possible answer for you:  When I removed some unopened flowers to cover with tempura before deep frying them, I left them on the worksurface for a while and noticed lots of pollen beetles had come out of them.  These beetles are tiny and obviously crawled their way inside the closed flowers.  Pollen beetles don't just eat pollen, they can act as pollinators.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,260

    immature flowers may fall off if they recieve too much or too little water, or if the plant feels it has too many. Ones that fail after the flower opens probably were not polinated, or I find that sometimes a slug takes a bite and then the whole thing rots.

  • Mike168Mike168 Posts: 18

    Thanks guys.  I never knew about the beetles, or about slug damage either.  And I don't expect every one to grow, at least not to full size, but I'm just curious why some don't make it.  Also about a fruit needing to be pollinated in order to grow, or pollination affecting the way it grows.  I just like to know how things work, and see for myself that that's really the way it works.  And I'll have 5, maybe 6 pie Pumpkins, and that's enough.  But if I could get more, that would be even better.  Does anybody know if 5 or 6 is normal for sugar pie pumpkins?

  • Hello Mike168 to answer to your question, My Mama has always told me that most of the crawling fruits bearing plants are very sensitive to their environment and touch, they should never be introduced to a surface they are not accustom to and when the little female pumpkin flower appear you should never touch anything from the branch it may cause it to fell off long before the flower blossom 

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