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Cucumber problem — The Grow Network Community
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Cucumber problem

judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,965 admin
edited October 2020 in Vegetables

I've never had trouble growing cucumbers before. This year, my cukes have lots of flowers, but I've only had one, half grown cucumber. At least it tasted good. I thought maybe, for some reason, the flowers weren't being pollinated. But, I watched for a while and bees were all over and in the flowers. Also, my squash blossoms, but the flowers never open fully and just wither and fall off. The cukes have nice, fully formed flowers.


  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 753 ✭✭✭✭

    My cucumbers did that last year. I even hand pollinated with a very small paint brush (cleaned) but nothing. I did not even try them this year. I will follow this because I love both fresh cukes and a variety of pickles & ferments.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I have the same issue with my zucchini and loofahs. Last year my loofah were all hearty and plentiful until the wind came and thrashed it, so this year we did some reinforcement and planted it again. So I've had bees and flowers but for some reason the fruit grows and then shrivels up, many of the fruit aren't making it past a little spout and drying up. I have about 6 right now that I'm hopeful about. 2 years ago my zucchini were thriving, and last years similar as your cucumber situation, so this year we relocated them and they're 50% better than last year and I've harvested about 15 zucchini so far. The first year I could not keep up with them and I was giving them away at work, making everything zucchini even pickles and feeding them to my daughters chickens! IDK what these plants do, but we started watering more due to the very hot dry climate were in and relocating the plantings hoping for better outcomes.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 400 ✭✭✭

    At some time I have read about this problem so I did a quick search. From my findings, male flowers appear on young plants for up to 10 days before a female blossom appears. If you have male and female blossoms, you know pollination is happening, then has it been too hot, too cold, or too rainy? What I saw says too much nitrogen can reduce flowering but that doesn't sound like your problem.

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 436 ✭✭✭✭

    I was going to say the same thing @dottile46 said about male and female flowers. Look for the flowers on the long stems. Those are the female flowers that will become cucumbers.

    Earlier this summer I looked this up b/c I was getting tons of flowers but no cucumbers. Mine are not getting tons of cucumbers but they have gotten quite a few. I was hoping for me too.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,965 admin

    Thanks @dottile46 and @kbmbillups1 Maybe I was a little impatient. I just spotted one more tiny cuke, so maybe the female flowers are just developing. It has been REALLY hot here, too... nearly 100 every day and super humid.

  • marcy_northlightsfarmmarcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    Have you scouted for squash bugs or squash vine borers? https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-bugs

  • marcy_northlightsfarmmarcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    It doesn't sound like squash vine borer, but here's a link. https://www.almanac.com/pest/squash-vine-borer

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,965 admin

    It isn't squash vine borer - no sign of insect damage of any kind. Maybe it is heat stress on the squash.

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 206 ✭✭✭

    I agree, it seems as if the male flowers are blooming forever before the females make their entry. I've been thinking about this with the squash as well - that it is a good mechanism to ensure the plants are mature enough to support fruit and to make sure lots of pollen is available before wasting the female flower.

    In another scenario, though, one of my loofahs decided to wilt so badly that I thought it was dying - almost did - and before any other plant had put out a flower, it produced a female. I think it's an act of nature to pull out all the stops if it thinks something is about to die.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes cucumbers do not like heat and water stress. They need consistent moisture to thrive and will produce less blossoms if they do not get it.

    Everything here that has been mentioned is true also about the blossoms. All squash varieties always produce the male blossom first and a couple of weeks later you will see the female starting. So even if you have pollinators, the first few weeks are a wash because there is not both kinds of blooms available yet. So after a few weeks when you see both types of blossoms is when pollination is starting on your plants themselves.

    But because of heat stress, the blossoms which do come out are not staying very long so my cuke harvest level is way down also. So it does not sound like any of us are doing anything wrong. I think we can all chalk it up to this indifferent climate this year.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 400 ✭✭✭

    Yep, @greyfurball the climate is surely indifferent this year. We had two weeks of intense heat and humidity that knocked blossoms off of cucumbers followed by 5 days of on and off rain and cool temps. @judsoncarroll4 my cukes are just now taking off.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,965 admin

    Well, with a hurricane scheduled to make landfall tomorrow, and heading directly at us... I just hope anything survives.

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