How To Tell If Cucumber Is Pollinated

There’s not much worse than seeing all your efforts in your vegetable garden go to waste. While you do all you can for watering and offering sunshine, you can face pollination problems on certain crops, and you only find out when it’s too late.

Cucumbers are one of the primary plants, and you may wonder how do cucumbers pollinate? Wild bees are one help for pollinating cucumbers, and while you can attract them to your garden, you can’t just rely on them to help your plants produce fruit.

Pollinated cucumbers feature bright yellow blossoms that are difficult to overlook once they bloom. When cucumber is pollinated, the bright yellow blooms fade away, and large fruit emerges in their place. This is one of the easiest ways to detect if your cucumber has been pollinated successfully!

cucumber pollinated

In our guide, you can learn more about are cucumbers self-pollinating and what you can do to ensure pollination.

By the end, even if you don’t leave your self-pollinating cucumbers to go it alone, you’ll be sure to have a bumper crop of juicy cucumbers. (Read Overwatered Cucumber Plants – What To Do)

How Long Does It Take A Cucumber To Grow After Pollination?

Once female cucumber flowers are pollinated, you’ll see the flowers swell to form fruit once these drops. Cucumber fruits typically grow between 50 days from seed to harvest, depending on growing conditions and the different cucumber varieties.

However, there is more to it than time alone.

How To Tell If A Cucumber Is Pollinated?

Pay attention to the physical size of the cucumber to see if it has been pollinated. If the cucumber is developing or getting bigger, then it means the pollination was successful!

You may see the following happen in order while pollinating your cucumbers:

1. Male Cucumber Flowers Fall From Cucumber Plant

Male cucumber flowers exist solely to pollinate the female blossom. Therefore, male cucumber blooms will wilt and break off after spending all of their pollen.

When a male cucumber flower fades, it means that all the pollen from that flower has been consumed, and the pollination process is finished!

2. Female Cucumber Flowers Fall

Wilting and dying flowers are the first signs a cucumber is pollinated. When the cucumber has been pollinated, its bright yellow flower wilts.

When a female cucumber flower falls, it shows your cucumber has been pollinated.

3. Female Cucumber Pistil Dies

Following pollination, the female pistil shrivels and dies. The pistil is one part of the female parts of her reproductive organ and one way to collect pollen.

Some cucumber flowers can change the color of their pistils after pollination before dying.

fruit emerges

4. Cucumber Fruit Emerges

Fruit growth is confirmation your cucumber is pollinated. An increase in the size of your cucumber may happen within a few days of flowers falling off.

How To Pollinate Cucumber?

Pollination is carried out naturally by pollinating insects such as bees. In addition, pollinators cross-pollinate your fruits and flowers by moving from one blossom to the next and from one plant to another. (Read Should Cucumbers Be Refrigerated)

Here are ways to make sure your cucumber plants get pollinated.

1. Pollinating Bugs to Pollinate Cucumbers

Insects complete the pollination process in natural pollination. Because they feed on pollen, bees are a common cucumber pollinator.

Pollen sticks to their hairy bodies when they do so, and pollen is transferred from male to female blooms.

2. Hand-Pollinate Cucumbers

Pollinators are still in need, even for self-pollinating plants like cucumbers. Using your hands to pollinate your cucumbers is the only option unless you wish to add mutualist pollinators to help.

Hand-pollinating is where gardeners pollinate cucumbers rather than rely on natural means.

Gardeners remove pollen from the male flower stamen and transfer it to the stigma of the female bloom using the method of their choice. This starts the pollination process, and if it goes well, you’ll get delicious cucumber fruit!

Because of the consistency it generates among your cucumbers, hand-pollinating can also benefit outdoor growers. This is a time-consuming operation, but it improves your chances of a successful crop.

Here are two types of hand pollination:

  • Hand pollinating with a tool
  • Hand pollinating with the stamen

Hand pollinating can speed up and increase your cucumber yield, maintain consistent growth, and more.

Here are the simple steps for hand-pollinating cucumbers:

1. Identify Male and Female Cucumber Flowers

The gender of your blooms will help you identify the pollinator. Your male and female flowers are both yellow, except for the base.

Only the female flower blossoms with spiky green fruit attached, and the males have a leafy stem and develop in clusters.

2. Get Pollen From Male Cucumber

Male cucumbers have pollen in the stamens of their vivid yellow flowers. Their reproductive organ will continue to produce pollen until your cucumber is pollinated.

There are two ways to collect pollen from a male cucumber flower. You can:

  • Harvest the Stamen
  • Harvest the pollen using something

Pollination is more direct when the stamen is harvested. Harvest the yellow flower, tearing the petals apart until only the stamen remain.

Pollination with a pollen instrument is less direct yet cleaner. Instead, using a paintbrush, cotton swab, or a cosmetics brush, gently collect pollen from the stamen. (Read Why Are My Cucumbers Bitter)

3. Pollinate Female Cucumber Flower

Insert male pollen into female flowers and gently rub or shake pollen onto the female stigma.

The female flower’s stigma is the reproductive organ that immediately goes to her ovaries. So the goal is to get pollen into female ovaries! It’s right where the male stamen is, so it should work wherever you put the pollen.

If you are successful, you’ll start to see results when flowers wilt and fall off within a few days. Wilting flowers are worrying, yet it’s a great sign and shows your cucumber is progressing.

only cucumber flower

Why Do My Cucumber Plants Have Flowers But No Cucumbers?

A cucumber plant will flower but will not bear fruit with no males. Produce loss can also be caused by poor pollination.

Temperature and humidity, for example, can impact flower pollination and flower production.

However, it isn’t as straightforward, and other things can impact the results.

Different species of cucumber plants:

Monoecious Cucumbers

Monoecious cucumber plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant, and usually, male flowers outnumber female flowers in these cucumber species.

This means certain flowers may not be pollinated since the male flowers await the female flowers. However, 3–4 female flowers from one male flower can be pollinated. Pollination occurs only when the female flowers open.

Environmental conditions can sometimes influence flower development. For example, climate changes affect cucumber flower output. In addition, plants struggle to get enough water, nutrients, and sunlight in high-density areas.

Garden temperature also affects both male and female blooms on the plants. Male flower production increases with temperature, but female flower production decreases.

Cucumber plants, for example, generate more male flowers than female flowers at temperatures over 85°F.

Similarly, between 55°F and 65°F, cucumber produces more female flowers than male flowers.

Gynoecious Cucumbers

Gynoecious cucumbers have more female flowers than male flowers.

The gynoecious cucumber has short flowering periods, and the female flower generates lots of fruit.

Unlike gynoecious cucumber, monoecious cucumber flowers all year without fruit, and Monoecious cucumbers grow fruit longer than gynoecious cucumbers.

Planting monoecious cucumbers beside gynoecious cucumbers increases yields.

Pollination is not delayed when both kinds are present as male and female flowers.

The monoecious cucumber will pollinate the gynoecious cucumber. This strategy will boost the cucumber fruit production of the plant in your garden.

Cross-pollination of Monoecious and Gynoecious causes the cucumber of cucumbers on the market.

Parthenocarpic Cucumbers

Unlike Monoecious and Gynoecious cucumbers. A parthenocarpic cucumber plant has both female and male flowers.

Unlike monoecious and gynoecious cucumbers, parthenocarpic cucumbers do not require pollination in your garden from natural pollinators or by hand as they are self pollinators.

Parthenocarpic cucumbers yield seedless fruit, although, after pollination, this cucumber will bear seeds like others.

What is Pollination in Fruit-Bearing Plant

Pollination in all fruit-bearing plants, like cucumber. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from male to female flowers.

Bumblebees or honey bees, and other insects pollinate most plants as they hop from one flower to another and from one plant to many other plants.

Bees transport pollen from male to female cucumber flower ovaries. Cucumber flowers attract bees, which crawl around the plant flower to get nectar.

The sticky pollen from male flowers clings to their legs, and they transfer pollen deposits on the female flowers’ stamens.

You can hand pollinate if there is a lack of bees. You collect pollen from male flowers and place it in female ovaries. (Learn Why Are My Cucumbers White)

Cucumber Fertilization Process

Before fertilization, pollination takes place first. For example, the fertilization process in cucumber is when pollen from the male flowers gets to the female flower, fertilization happens.

After then, the pollen is fertilized and formed into seeds, which eventually turn into fruit.

The seed’s center is then surrounded with fruit. The seed hides inside the fruits while the process progresses.

The cucumber fruit will appear as a little green finger-like structure surrounding the fertilized female flower and will grow to be rather large.

Fertilization is the process of pollen developing into seeds inside the flower. Cucumbers take at least 50 days to mature from the time they are pollinated to the time they are ready to eat.

What About Hand Pollination in Cucumber?

When there are no bees or insects to transfer pollen, people hand pollinate cucumber. Hand pollination in cucumbers is just moving pollen from male to female flowers.

Pollination occurs when the male and female flowers are identified, and even if hand pollination takes effort, the results are worth it. Hand pollination produces the most fruitful cucumber harvests.

It gets more perplexing when the same cucumber plant has male and female flowers, yet they are easy to identify. The female flower opens in the morning to receive pollen from the male flower.

Get a male flower and open it. Find yellow pollen inside the opened male flower. Remove pollen with a clean artist’s brush or similar. (You can break the flower to find the pollen)

Put the pollen from the male anther in the female flower’s center. Cucumber pollination is difficult because pollen is sticky.

How to Identify Male And Female Flowers

Both male and female flowers of cucumber are different in many ways. You can see their differences below.

Male Flower

Male flowers differ from female flowers in the following.

  • The male flowers have shorter stems.
  • They always cluster 3–6 together in one place. They have little leaves.
  • Unlike female flowers, male flowers always open down.
  • The male flower has no ovary yet has pollen inside.

Female Flower

  • Flowers have longer stems.
  • Unlike a male flower, one female flower in one place, they never cluster.
  • Before pollination, the female flower has small fruit at the stem’s base.
  • The female flower has an ovary but no pollen.

How To Tell If Cucumber Is Pollinated (1)

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