Seedbed failure can befall anyone, even the most experienced gardener. There can be many reasons for this, often beyond the control of the grower. For example, it is common to hear of a lack of fruit on the plant. This can happen in both open seedbeds and greenhouses. It is not uncommon to see hollow flowers and no ovaries scattered on the stems. Let's learn from the Bubgo article why female and male cucumber flowers don't grow and what to do about it.
Gardeners Need To Determine The Reasons Why Female And Male Cucumber Flowers Do Not Grow
In the gardener's opinion, both care and conditions are appropriate. But male and female flowers on the eyelashes, if they occur, are very rare. For most varieties, a characteristic is that the male flowers appear first and then the female flowers. Therefore, empty flowers on the cucumber vine should not be terrible.
But if time has passed and still no female cucumber flowers are found, then you need to get your head around it and take action.
The sex of the flowers on the cucumber plant is divided into the following seven sex types.
(1) Complete flowering plants: all flowers borne on the plant are complete flowers and can fertilize and bear fruits by themselves.
(2) Female plants: The flowers borne on the plant are all female flowers.
(3) Male plants: All the flowers of the plant are male and have no productive value. It can only occur under special circumstances.
(4) Androgynous plants: plants with both female and male flowers, usually with more male flowers than female flowers, which is a standard sex type.
(5) Allogynous plants: plants with female flowers and complete flowers, the plant can be fertilized by itself.
(6) Male allogamous plants: plants with male flowers and complete flowers, and thus also able to fertilize themselves.
(7) Androgynous plants: plants with female flowers, male flowers, and complete flowers, which can fertilize and bear fruits by themselves.
Why Do Female And Male Cucumber Flowers Not Grow In The Greenhouse Or Outdoors?
There are eight main reasons for the problem.
Reason No. 1: Seed quality
It is believed that the most germinative and prolific seeds are those that are 2-3 years old and properly stored. And the seeds of fresh crops produce mainly male flowers - hollow flowers that form the entire inflorescence.
Tip: Barren flowers are characterized by the absence of an ovary, sitting on a slender stalk. This causes them to fall off the plant quickly. A female flower develops immediately on the ovary of a small cucumber. It is not uncommon for flowers with small androgynous flowers, or pistillate flowers, to appear after the plant has had its fill of a large number of male flowers.
This phenomenon is mainly characteristic of male cucumber varieties. Almost all varieties belong to this group: Cucumber Evita F1, Amurchonok, Naslednik. female flowers with ovaries usually begin after the 5th leaf, their maximum number develops on the lateral branches of the first order. This is also the place where the main green crop is formed.
However, due to their high productivity, these varieties never lack yield. But for beginners, these varieties can be a source of mind-bogglingly long results.
Thus, the absence of ovaries in the initial stages of their development is a varietal characteristic of some cultivars. However, after some time, the mixed flowering period begins and everything returns to normal.
Reason No. 2: Failure to follow the principle of crop rotation
Planting in flower beds after other pumpkin crops can lead to a prolonged "childlessness" of cucumber plants. This is due to the accumulation of the same pathogens in the soil.
Reason No. 3: Temperature disturbance
Cucumbers like heat. However, they are stressed if temperatures rise above 86 °F (30 °C) for long periods of time, or colder to 50 °F (10 °C). The situation is even worse if there are large temperature fluctuations. All these factors together and individually have a negative impact on the fruit-setting process.
Reason No. 4: Cucumber ovaries do not grow due to irregular irrigation
Cucumber is a rather delicate and sometimes erratic culture. It is one of the most moisture-loving crops of vegetables, which is why it has certain requirements for care, including watering. Failure to comply with these requirements will not affect the number and rate of development of female and male cucumber flowers.
Reason No. 5: Failure to keep plants at dense intervals in the bed
It is not uncommon for this problem to occur if the plants are not thinned properly. Gardeners, especially beginners, regret pulling out extra plants. They try to feed the "extra mouth" as much as possible, causing overgrowth. In dense conditions, competition for light, water, and nutrients occur, affecting the process of male and female flower formation. Cucumbers are very light-demanding and may not produce ovaries in the absence of light, but simply attract bees with a large number of male flowers.
Reason No. 6: Ground mass
Cucumbers prefer fertile soils with plenty of humus and neutral acidity (pH 6.5-7). In acidic soils, root activity is compromised and nutrient uptake is hindered.
Tip: Too much nitrogen nutrients can lead to deficiencies in phosphorus and potassium, which are particularly needed by cucumbers. If there is too much nitrogen, the plant becomes obese, forming a dense leaf cover that causes damage to the reproductive organs. There is little production of male and female flowers.
Reason No. 7: Lack of pollination
This can be a problem when growing varieties pollinated by bees in a closed greenhouse. Even with a large number of female flowers, no ovaries are formed without pollination.
Reason No. 8: Female and male cucumber flowers do not grow due to pests and diseases
Diseased plants can be severely weakened and unable to produce male and female flowers. This includes root rot, fungal and bacterial diseases. Insect infestations are equally devastating. Small insects (aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, black flies) damage all plant organs by sucking the sap from the plant. Leaves fall off and flowers fade.
Cucumber bushes can be weakened to the point where they do not produce female flowers at all and do not form a crop. You must fight for it! Your plants may be under attack by pests or diseases.
What Should I Do If The Female And Male Cucumber Flowers Do Not Grow?
Once you have determined the cause, you can begin to address the problem.
1. Due to a mistake in seed selection
In the absence of other seed material, you can also use fresh seeds. You only need to prepare them. It will consist of heating before sowing or, on the contrary, hardening at low temperatures. I and other experts have talked about this several times in articles on the site. In this case, it is possible to awaken the growth process and subsequently obtain seeds with good germination and increased flower formation in female and male cucumbers. Biological growth stimulants also have a good effect.
2. Female and male cucumber flowers do not grow due to crop rotation problems
To avoid problems, the crop should only be returned to its original location after 3-4 years and should only be planted after good predecessors: beans, root crops, onions, potatoes, etc.
3. Due to temperature disturbance
Naturally, it is much easier to regulate the temperature in a protected place than outdoors. You can ventilate the greenhouse or install additional artificial heating. Outdoors, you can cover the bed with mulch or you can use a heated bed.
Tip: At low temperatures, the roots do not absorb nutrients well and the lack of nutrients will have a negative impact on the number of male and female flowers. Fluctuations in temperature can cause various diseases that affect the formation of male and female flowers. Adjust the temperature regime to make the plant comfortable.
Improper Watering Of Cucumbers Leads To Deformed Flowers Of Male And Female Cucumbers
The most common mistakes.
1. Watering with cold water. The water should be warm, no cooler than the air temperature - preferably around 77 °F (25°C), preferably aged and free of chlorine, as cucumbers do not tolerate it. The best time to water shoots is early in the morning or late in the evening.
2. The frequency of watering is disturbed. In the initial stages of development, until flowering, water fairly frequently and heavily, and do not over-water areas close to the stems. This will help to avoid the occurrence of root rot, especially if there is too much overgrowth and a large number of leaves. Further watering should be reduced by 3 to 4 days. Dry stress encourages the establishment of female flowers with ovaries, i.e. future cucumbers.
3. Excessive humidity. The soil around the shrub should be moderately moistened to a depth of at least 4 inches (10 cm). However, do not allow the soil to become too wet or stagnant. If there is no oviposition due to excessive moisture, stop watering for 3-4 days and wait for the soil to dry out. This manifests itself as a slight wilting of the plant. Now water well (not too much!). A little stress is good for you and will promote the formation of male and female flowers. Both in protected areas and in open areas. The fruiting stage requires the most regular water.
Tip: Reduce watering only at moderate temperatures, up to 77 °F (25 °C). At higher temperatures, the amount of water should be increased. Properly organized watering is most effective. Don't unnecessarily over-dry the soil so you don't have a dry crop.
The humidity of the air is very important. Plants develop and bear best when the humidity is 70-80%. Of course, it is almost impossible to regulate humidity in the open air.
Under greenhouse conditions, watering conditions are easier to maintain, which cannot be done outdoors. Here, the amount of water and the temperature depend entirely on the weather conditions. On the other hand, it is not difficult to set the ideal humidity level in a greenhouse by regular ventilation. You can increase the humidity by using buckets: the evaporation of water from the surface of the bucket leads to an increase in humidity.
Tip: With this in mind, it is crucial to choose the right greenhouse, assuming initially that it has openable vents and sidewalls.
A. Problems due to over-planting of cucumbers
In order to help the plants, you need to take immediate action.
1. In an open field, a suitable location must be chosen. It should have good and even lighting while being protected from strong winds. If the plants or leaves are too dense, the leaves below will lack light. No more than 2-4 bee-pollinated species should be placed in a square area as denser - no more than 2-3 in the same area.
2. There is a similar problem for cucumbers in the greenhouse. The lower leaves get much less sunlight than their younger counterparts. As a result, the flowering period is worse and hollow flowers are prevalent.
To solve this problem, the vines should be tied to a trellis and shaped by shortening the shoots and cutting off the excess foliage. It is also necessary to remove the stems in the axils of the lower 3-5 leaves.
In addition, the greenhouse should be installed in an open area, away from tall trees that provide heavy shade with their huge canopies. The orientation of the greenhouse is also important: in southern areas, from north to south; in northern areas, from east to west.
B. Problems caused by incorrect soil selection
Feeding a large amount of the missing nutrients (P and K) will help to change the situation.
Simple calcium superphosphate solution (50-60 g x 10L water) with 10-15 g of wood ash. Apply after a week of settling. After flowering has started, no more N should be applied as it will increase the green mass.
Ash chaser is popular and effective: 2 tablespoons. l. Dissolve ashes in a bucket of water.
Up to 4 follow-up applications with a complete fertilizer complex containing phosphorus, potassium, and an essential group of trace elements including boron, magnesium, and manganese are recommended. These elements can affect the number and timely appearance of female and male cucumber flowers on the plant.
C. Absence of male and female flowers due to lack of pollination
To avoid this problem, be careful when selecting varieties for the greenhouse. Forced pollination with harvested male flowers with anthers can also remedy this situation. If insects are scarce, you will have to help pollinate the cucumbers.
D. What should I do if there are no flower buds due to pest or disease infestation?
Treat the diseased plants with biological agents: "fungicide-phytosporin" or folk remedies.
The situation is similar to insect infestations. It is better to use safer products or folk formulas.
1. Onion peel infusion, ammonia solution (3 tablespoons x 10 liters of water).
2. a solution of baking soda added to laundry soap to enhance adhesion (1 tablespoon of each ingredient per 1 liter of water).
General Advice On The Timely And Active Formation Of Female And Male Cucumber Flowers
If you want to enjoy your harvest, there are a few rules you should follow.
1. Observe the necessary agronomic conditions and requirements for cucumber growing.
2. If there are a large number of hollow flowers, it is necessary to prune the top of the main stem and cut off any excess stalks as long as other requirements are met. This encourages the formation of lateral shoots with a large number of female flowers.
3. If using the nursery method, choose the strongest and healthiest shrubs. These will give you a better guarantee of full and abundant oviposition.
4. Carry out the harvesting of the fruits in time. If the fruit stays on the stem for a long time, it will prevent the formation of new male and female flowers by absorbing all the nutrients.
5. Do not cut off the male disease-proof flowers. They will be used for pollination.
6. Fertilize in time according to the developmental stage of the plant.
7. Minimize the use of nitrogen fertilizer in the beginning.
8. Foliar fertilization with bioregulators in cloudy or cold weather to improve immunity and resistance to stress.
9. Foliar application in the evening at the beginning of flowering: 30-40 g of urea and 2 g of each preparation - manganese, boric acid, and copper sulfate - diluted in 2.6 gals (10 l) of water. Besides stimulating oviposition, this is a good prevention of fungal and bacterial diseases (encrustation, bacterial diseases).
10. Treatment with special preparations for better setting: "wilting", "fruiting", "germination".
As you can see, there can be many reasons why female and male cucumber flowers do not grow. They are similar for outdoor and indoor crops, with only a few exceptions. The main difference is that in a greenhouse we can regulate the conditions (humidity, temperature, light). In the outdoors, this is not possible.
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