Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Pumpkin Plant is Male

In May I bought Kaiya a little gardening kit. It came with gloves, a few tools and some pumpkin seeds. We took those seeds and planted them in the garden and prayed they would grow in our crappy clay soil. Well, our little pumpkin plant took it sweet ass time to get settled but it has now overgrown our garden. I have to "redirect" it off our lawn and onto our patio so that it doesn't get eaten alive by the mower every week. 
About 3 weeks ago it began blooming. Yes it is late but I was super excited that we may just get a pumpkin. Unfortunately the blooms would open and then just fall right off. No pumpkin. I tried manually pollinating them thinking that the bees were not doing their job (damn lazy bees) but it was still a no go. I just could not figure out why we were not getting any fruit. So like any normal gardener I hit up Google. What I love about the internet is that you can find an answer to ANY question. Turns out there are 2 types of flowers that bloom on a pumpkin plant, a male and a female. Obviously you need both in order to make a pumpkin and to my disappointment (and further examination of the blooms) I have nothing but male flowers on my plant. I have lost hope for a pumpkin. 

So how can you tell if your buds are male or female?
The female bud will have a little bulb growing under the flower. The male will not.

Male Bud

Female Bud

And that's a little pumpkin 101 for those who didn't know....... like me!
ps: this applies to all squashes and cucumbers apparently 


  1. I'm a zucchini veteran, and you're right, zucchinis work the same way. You can tell as soon as the little flowers shoot up whether you'll get a zucchini or not. But I've never had an exclusively male or female zucchini. I planted a pumpkin once, and while I eventually got a couple the size of a cantaloupe, I think the problem with our area is that the nights are too cool. B.

  2. Neat, I had no idea there were two different flower types... But do not despair, even you never get a pumpkin... there are lots of tastey recipies for the flowers (zucchini flowers too) nana makes a mean flower fritata. Anyways, saying hello, one Calgary Blogger to another!

    1. Really?! I had no idea you could eat the flowers. I think I may google some recipes. I would hate to have them go to waste. Thanks Sara!