‘I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins…’

Full question:
I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins. I see earlier Q&A and will stop watering them. A friend mentioned male and female flowers. How do I get more flowers that will develop into pumpkins?

Our response:
Yes, if you don’t have an abundance of bees in your area, it’s possible the flowers aren’t being pollinated. And yes, you can do what the bees would do for you with the aid of a small paintbrush. It’s not necessary, but you can identify the male flowers being the ones that form from long, thin stems. The female flowers are closer to the vine and have a small ball shape behind them, which is the beginning of the pumpkin. Carefully dab your paintbrush in the male flower and transfer the pollen to the female flower. But if you just dab the pollen carefully round all the flowers, you’ll do a pretty good job, even if you can’t see the difference between male and female flowers.
Just a reminder that one pumpkin plant doesn’t produce an endless supply of pumpkins – a crown pumpkin will only produce 2; a butternut or buttercup pumpkin will produce 3-4 at best per plant. There are often more flowers on a plant than it can ever physically turn into pumpkins.
All the best! 🙂

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