Male or Female Pumpkin?

The picture above is a picture of a pumpkin plant I have growing in my back yard (you can also see my daughter’s hand in the right border of the picture — she was helping me). It’s pretty cool why this is growing there. Basically, when last year’s pumpkin was past its prime, I scooped it up and threw it in the back yard. A little less than a year later and I hope to have some pumpkins. I’m pretty excited about it. My parents have been doing this for years, but this is the first time it has worked for me. If you look really closely at the bottom left corner of the picture, you can see the stem from last year’s pumpkin.

I haven’t actually seen any pumpkins on this plant yet, only the flowers. The flowers are actually a pretty orange when they’re fully open. I took this at night, when they were sleeping.

Still, I’m a little concerned that I haven’t seen any little pumpkins yet. So, off I went to the internet. That’s where I learned about male and female pumpkin flowers (my dad never taught me about those 🙂 ) and how you need to attract bees to pollinate the female flowers in order to make pumpkins. Some even mentioned doing the pollination via a Q-Tip. I’m going for the lazy method of closing my eyes, crossing my fingers, and saying a little prayer. Here’s a post I found on the web, talking about the process. There are pictures there as well, which would be borderline pornographic if you are a pumpkin 🙂

Anyhow, I’ll let you all know if we get any pumpkins.

Just for the kick of it, here’s a picture of a tree growing in our back yard also. I have no idea what type of tree it is.

9 thoughts on “Male or Female Pumpkin?

  1. Well, you surely taught this old girl something new about the bees, the flowers and how little pumpkins get here!

    Great post.
    Annie O.

  2. That tree belongs to family Malvaceae. They are pretty common over here in Europe.
    Male and female blossoms of pumpkins are easy to tell apart. The famela ones tend to grow on short stems and there is a definite bulge on the stem right under the flower. Male ones are elongated and narrow. Absolutely no bulge.
    Flowers are edible, use them in any wok dish. For obvious reasons, it is not suggested to eat female flowers at all, but one should leave a few males for pollination.
    You might get more female flowers if you force the pumpkin to grow upward. Place a net of rods nearby so the plant can climb onto it.

  3. Pingback: A Pumpkin Update « The Struggling Writer

  4. two years later….
    howdya do? I myself only just learned (at 47!) that one must be proactive in order to get those pumpkins… sigh. All those promising blossoms turned out to be horny males… I can’t find a female yet, but I’m hoping. At mid August I’m not holding high hopes for a halloween harvest.

    I’m sure you know by now the flowering tree you have is commonly called ‘rose of sharon’.

    hope these 2 years have been fruitful… ! 🙂

    • It went poorly, but I didn’t put a lot of effort into it. Maybe when my kids are a little older I will. The crazy thing is that my parents have grown pumpkins in their yard from simply discarding their old pumpkin in the yard and it just grows new ones!

      Good luck!

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