Manual Pollination

lynndion566April 15, 2009

Hi, I have two squash plants, one hydro in screened porch, and one in soil outside. I have two flowers but as far as I can see they are female flowers (1 on each plant) with the baby fruit attached. How do I pollinate if there are no male flowers flowering at the same time the female is flowering? Thanks for the help. Lynn

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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

This is just a guess, but if there's "baby fruit attached" pollination is apparently not a problem! My guess is the flower has both male and female parts, but like I said, it's just a guess; I grow only strawberries and tomatoes!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:20PM
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norm34(z9 Fl)

Squash often begin with only female blossoms, but will soon begin producing both male and female.
I usually plant one plant 2 weeks before the main crop to have male blossoms when the main crop begins to bloom.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:31AM
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Keep an eye on the females. If memory serves it varies a little depending on what kind of squash plant it is. Some need pollinated, some don't. I know that some of them are better tasting if they aren't pollinated. Those are called "parthenocropic" for those of you who like to learn big words.

Basically they'll grow a seedless fruit if not pollinated.

If the flower dies and the fruit soon follows, that member of the gourd family won't do that - you'll have to pollinate. In that case you'll just have to wait for male flowers. Many gardeners plant lots of the same plants to guarantee that they'll have male and female flowers together.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 6:44PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

"parthenocropic" Hmmmm . . . That's interesting; I learn something new every day. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:10AM
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Thanks for the input...update: baby squash in soil looks as if it is drying up and probably gonna die although the plant looks very healthy. The baby squash in the hydro unit is growing and looking good and plant is thriving also.. maybe is the "immaculate pollination" ???

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:02PM
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Squash plants have male and female flowers. The female flowers are the ones with fruit, while the male flowers have no fruit.

To pollinate the flowers, I take a large water color paint brush and early in the morning swipe the paint brush inside the male flower. Your paint brush will look like you just dipped it into a bag of Cheese Puffs. Take the paint brush, and gently wipe the orange / yellow pollen onto the female center end part of the flower. The part is in the center of the flower, and closest to the outside. It looks like a tube, with a hole in the end of it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 2:19AM
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You can pollinate squash without tools too - all you need to do is pick a blooming male flower, peel off the petals, and use the pointy bit in the middle (anthers) to pollinate the female flower.

Some varieties of squash (ones that can grow seedless fruit) actually have been bred to not have male flowers at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squash Flowers

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:57PM
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