Why are my pumpkins yellow?

camontourAugust 17, 2008


I live in Denver, so pumpkin growing can be tricky without much rain. However, this summer I was diligent in watering and am rewarded with two very large, healthy vines called Prize Winner. I currently have one basketball size pumpkin on each vine -- but they are both yellow! My experience is that pumpkins always start out green and slowly turn orange.

Is it possible my zucchini and butternut squash are too close and caused cross pollination? I have experienced that phenomenon before, but got strange looking mutant shapes and have since learned to keep them apart in my 14 x 35 vegie garden

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Prizewinner is a Cucurbita maxima. The standard pumpkin you are used to growing is a C. pepo. The yellow color is completely normal and not the result of cross pollination. A lot of C. maximas (but by no means all) start off a color other than green. Prizewinner pumpkins typically get very large (100 - 200 pounds). If you leave only one pumpkin per plant they will be bigger than if you let several grow on each plant. I don't know if you know what they will look like but their appearance is different than that of your standard orange pumpkin. Out of the big C. maxima pumpkins prizewinner, in my opinion, has the nicest shape and color.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Wow! Thank you SO much. I am so glad to know my pumpkins are normal and will continue to grow. Looks like I have to make sure they have room! You are so kind to provide such a thorough answer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 6:21PM
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thanks to the both of you for your post. I have never tried growing pumpkins before, but have always wanted to. Every year I buy a very large pumpkin for our front yard. last year I was unable to dispose of our pumpkin because I left it sit through some pretty cold weather, so we rolled it down to our back yard and left it winter there, not realizing that it would volunteer a pumpkin plant. We were very excited and have let it grow, but I couldn't not understand why it was yellow. Thank you for your post.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 2:42PM
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