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My cucumber plants have significantly more female flowers than male flowers

Cucumber    None Given

I've been gardening for many years now and this is the first time this has happened. Generally, cucumber plants grow male flowers first then, female flowers appear days later. This year, my cucumber plants grew many more female flowers than male flowers. I would say that a ratio of 30:1, female to male flowers. Some vines produced only female flowers. I hand pollinate my cucumbers to ensure healthy yield but had difficulty finding male flowers. What happened and how do pollinate with no male flowers? Thank you for your assistance.


Posted by: Rocco Cundari (1 point) Rocco Cundari
Posted: September 17, 2016




Answers

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I grow a lot of butternut squash..and I have had the same issues in the past. I have discovered that sometimes it just happens that way. I guess its the genetics..something beyond control.


Posted by: deactivated (16 points) deactivated
Posted: September 17, 2016


Rocco Cundari commented,
I thought that might be the answer but I wasn't sure. Thanks for confirming.
over 3 years ago.

Sheena Sidhu commented,
That's really interesting! I am curious to know the percentage of fruit that set. There might be a problem with pollination because cucumber need nearly 100% pollination to set fruit or else the plant aborts the fruit. However, I'm curious to know if (given adequate pollination) the plant could support all those female flowers-turned-fruit at the same time or might the plant be resource-limited and abort pollinated fruit? Anyone have insight?
over 3 years ago.



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Hi Rocco, It could be that previously you were planting monoecious cucumber varieties (which tend to be heritage seeds). These monoecious varieties produce many more males than females, and usually start production with male flowers as you mention. If you have recently tried a new variety, you may have acquired a gynoecious variety without knowing it. Many newer varieties are gynoecious. These are bred to produce many more females than males in an effort to increase productivity. If this is the case, what you purchased should have had both gynoecious (mainly female producing) seeds as well as a few monoecious seeds (higher male producers) that should have some sort of indicator (i.e. coloured seeds or something of that nature) to act as “pollinator” plants.


Posted by: Sarah McDonald (1 point) Sarah McDonald
Posted: July 11, 2019




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