Growing cucumber is helpful as it can provide food. Growing this plant starts from a cucumber seed, the seed sprouts, it becomes a plant and cucumber flowers appear on the plant. What are cucumber flowers and when will they appear on the plant?
Types Of Cucumber Flowers
What are the characteristics and differences between the two types of cucumber flowers?
1. Male Cucumber Flowers
The male cucumber flowers are soft, small, and yellow in color. This type of flower has the pollen which is needed to fertilize the female flower.
The male flower of the cucumber has no swollen part. It is just a flower; it doesn’t have a small fruit underneath the petals. There are more male flowers than female ones in the cucumber plant.
2. Female Cucumber Flowers
The female cucumber flowers are soft, small, yellow, and have swollen parts. The swollen part of the female flower is the cucumber fruit. When it is pollinated a cucumber will grow on the plant and it will take a week or two for cucumbers to mature.
How To Make Cucumber Plant To Grow Flower?
The cucumber plant needs to become mature for it to grow flowers. It will take 30 to 35 days to grow flowers for some cucumber varieties. While it can take longer for other varieties.
You just need to wait and let the plant mature. Keep the plant well hydrated to make them grow fast, improve the soil nutrients by adding fertilizer, and make sure they will get a good amount of sunlight every day.
Once the cucumber plant matures it will grow flowers. Male flowers appear first before female ones. Once the male and female cucumber flower, you can do hand pollination to pollinate the flowers to increase the chances of getting many fruits. Usually, there will be more male flowers than females growing on the plant.
How Long Before Cucumber Plants Flower?
Depending on the varieties, some cucumber plants can produce flowers 30 to 35 days after sowing the seeds. Commonly the male cucumber flowers grow first and after a week or two, the female flowers grow the next.
Some factors can affect the length of time for cucumber plants to flower. It is needed to give the plants enough water, and enough fertilizer, and must receive a good amount of sunlight. When the cucumber plants are healthy they can grow more flowers.
How Many Days From Flower To Cucumber? When a female cucumber flower is pollinated it will take one to two weeks to become cucumber and mature. Usually, when a female flower grows on the plant there is already a small cucumber underneath the petals. But it will still not grow bigger and mature unless it becomes pollinated.
The cucumbers grow fast and you can harvest them much quicker. When you let the cucumbers grow too big they will be a little bit hard and change in taste. Cucumbers are more tasteful when they are a little bit young.
Do Male Cucumber Flowers Produce Fruit?
No, male cucumber flowers do not produce fruit and only female flowers do. But the male flowers will help the female flowers to produce cucumbers because they carry pollen.
Without the pollen from male flowers, there will be no cucumbers going to grow on the plant. The male and female flowers of cucumber work together in order for the fruits to be produced.
Not all flowers on the cucumber plant will turn into cucumbers. Only the pollinated female flowers will become cucumbers.
How To Increase Female Flowers In Cucumbers?
It is common for cucumber plants to grow more male flowers than female flowers. But there are some ways to help the plant grow more female flowers.
Watering the plant with adequate water will improve the overall growth of the plant and can help the cucumber plant grow more female flowers. Give the cucumber plant enough water but avoid getting soggy.
The plant needs energy and long hours of direct sunlight will help the plant make its food. The cucumber plant will get more energy coming from the sun and that energy will be used by the plant to grow more leaves, vines, longer roots, and flowers.
Improving the soil quality by adding fertilizer to the soil will also improve the cucumber plant growth which can increase the female flowers on the plant. Make sure cucumber plants will get phosphorus and potassium to help your plant grow flowers.
The nitrogen fertilizer will help the leaves but you must focus more on phosphorus and potassium to grow more flowers and fruits. You can also add organic fertilizer like compost to improve soil quality.
Remove grasses growing around cucumber plants. Grasses will compete with your plants for water and nutrients in the soil. The water and nutrients will be divided between the cucumber plants and grasses and it will make your plant grow slower and prevent it from thriving.
Controlling insect pests is also helpful in preventing cucumber plants from getting damaged. Insect pests can damage the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits on the plants and you must control them. When there are no pests attacking cucumber plants they will grow healthy and the flowering will not be affected.
Cucumber Flowers Falling Off
It is normal for most male cucumber flowers to fall off the plant. The male flowers don’t become cucumbers and once they appear on the plant they will drop after a few days.
While most of the pollinated female cucumber flowers turn into cucumbers. As long as the pollinated flowers are healthy and no pests cause damage to them they can become cucumbers and mature.
If you are seeing many female flowers on cucumber plants dropping, one of the main reasons is that they are not pollinated. The female flower must be pollinated so that they will stay on the plant and become fruits.
That is why there are times that cucumber flowers but no fruit and pollination are one of the problems. There are ways to pollinate the flowers on cucumbers and increase the fruits on the plant.
Do Cucumber Flowers Need To Be Pollinated?
Yes, cucumber flowers need to be pollinated in order for cucumber fruits to be produced. Even if a cucumber plant has male and female flowers it still needs pollination.
Usually, cucumbers are relying on pollinators like bees. You can also do hand pollination so that cucumbers will grow on the plant. When flowers are not pollinated they will not turn into cucumbers and they will just drop.
How To Pollinate Cucumber Flowers?
If cucumber flowers are not turning into cucumbers, pollination is needed for it to happen. Commonly cucumbers are relying on the pollinators like bees to pollinate the flowers. But what are the ways to pollinate cucumber flowers?
1. Wind pollination
When there are many male flowers on the cucumber plant and the female flowers are open, wind can help pollinate the flowers. The wind can move that pollen to the flowers’ stigma and make pollination successful. It is possible but there will be a low rate of pollinated flowers because there are times the wind is weak and the pollen will not move.
2. Pollination with the help of pollinators like bees is one of the most effective ways to pollinate cucumber flowers. Bees are roaming around the flowers and they get nectars. The pollen touches their feet and other parts and when they move across many flowers, pollination can happen. You can attract bees by not using chemical pesticides on your plant or by planting plants that bees are attracted to like sunflower, zinnia, lavender, basil, etc.
3. Hand pollination
If there are no bees on the plant and you don’t want to depend on the pollination of the cucumber flowers on the pollinators then you can do hand pollinating. All you need to do is to get a male flower and remove its petals. Then find female flowers and try to move the pollen into them.
Another way is to use a small, dry brush. Rub the brush on a male flower and then brush it on the female flowers. There are also times that cucumber flowers are not opening and you just need to wait for them to open. During the early days of their growth, they are closed and after a few days they start to open and you can do the pollination during that time.
How To Attract Bees To Pollinate Cucumbers?
To attract bees to cucumbers, the use of pesticides, especially chemical pesticides must be avoided. Bees are not attracted to chemicals and instead of using chemical pesticides, it is better to use organic ones.
Another way is to grow plants that attract bees. There are plants bees are attracted to like sunflowers, asters, basil, lavender, marigold, zinnias, etc. By growing some of these plants, you can attract bees to your cucumber plants.
Bees are helpful to pollinate the flowers and when more flowers are pollinated more cucumbers will grow on the plant.