I have several (trellised) watermelon plants that are about a foot tall by now. One of them, oddly enough, has flowers already.

This is my first time trying to grow watermelons, but it seems like it's way too early for any of them to be flowering yet. I thought the time it took from seed to fruit 72 days (at least on the packet), and that flowers wouldn't appear until closer to when it was time to grow fruit. It's been something like 3 weeks I think.

Should I pinch off the flowers to encourage the plant to grow some more? Or should I let it be and be happy that I have an exceptionally eager watermelon plant?

  • 4
    "Germination rate?" even assuming you mean "date" the dates given on seed packets are normally "to harvest." if you think you can get a watermelon from flower to harvestable in 12 days, you have an exceedingly interesting view of the capabilities of watermelon plants which may not jive with reality. Sit back, relax, and let the plant show you how it's done.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 15, 2015 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


The flowers you are seeing now are likely male flowers. Watermelons start producing male flowers a week or two in advance of when they start making female blossoms, and it's the female blossoms that actually produce fruit. Early season varieties (like Sugar Baby) can start setting flowers as early as 4 weeks from the day they germinate. And as Ecnerwal says, even an early season variety takes a lot more than 12 days to get from flower to ripened fruit. Under ideal conditions for a fast maturing watermelon a month might be possible, but 40-45 days is probably more reasonable.

Pinching back the blooms would likely have no positive impact, if the plant thinks it's ready to start growing fruits it's going to keep trying to set them until you give up. Let the plant do what nature and breeding has designed it to do.

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