I have straight eights planted in a raised with tomatoes planted late April. So far only one female flower it went unfertilized although I have lots pollinators of different kinds all over the perennials planted near by. The vine looks great and I tossed in some slow release balanced fertilizer. Any ideas or is this just a bad cucumber year in Northern Virginia?

  • Having similar issues in Zone 9b but I think it is because of soil issues. Looking forward to the answers
    – JStorage
    Jul 19, 2017 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Female flowers are the fewest on the main stem and their number is greatest on 3rd level of ramifications.

Also, when the plant is young it will produce a female flower for every 10 male flowers, and the number of female flowers grows with the plant's age.

Drought results in more male flowers. Low temperatures results in more female flowers.

Update: As suggested in the comments, I'm adding the source of the above info. It's a book called "Cultivation of vegetables", 3rd edition (2012), coordinated by D. Indrea. The chapter regarding cucumbers is written by D. Mănuțiu and he provides a table for causes of the variation of flower gender. This table has a citation that states the info came from an old book "Legumicultura" by M. Bălașa, published in 1973.

Unfortunately, I don't have an English version of the book.

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  • Temperature has quite an effect as Alina mentioned.
    – Jude
    Jul 19, 2017 at 21:48
  • No doubt it's hot here. Our July days are often in the 90's approaching 100, and while it has been dry, i water on a fairly regular basis as the tomatoes are growing in the same raised bed. Thanks for your ideas.
    – LarryH
    Jul 20, 2017 at 0:01
  • Alina, what's the '3rd level of ramifications'? Do you mean third branches away from the main stem? Where did you get your information? Technically, we're supposed to say our sources, even if it is personal experience/observation, something we read online and don't remember where or what-have-you. A lot of people (including myself) forget to do it sometimes, though (so feel free to remind me if I need it, also). Jul 20, 2017 at 3:54
  • 1
    @Shule The branch that is attached on the main stem is a first level (or first order, first degree) of ramification. A branch that is attached to a first level ramification branch is called a second level ramification, and so on. The idea is that all branches that come from the main stem are first level ramifications, and all branches that come from these first levels are called second levels. All branches that are attached to second levels are called third levels. I have also updated my answer to provide a source for the info. Thank you for pointing that.
    – Alina
    Jul 20, 2017 at 8:01

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