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I planted a few cucumber plants back in May, and a few weeks ago, they have started to flower and produce fruit, though they have not grown much, perhaps due to the lack of pollination. After doing some research and asking some friends, I received mixed answers as to whether or not I should pollinate the plants. I don't know if the appearance of fruit signifies that they have already been pollinated, still need to be, or maybe the ants crawling around in the flowers are doing the pollinating. Any insight into this would be helpful. Thanks.

  • Just wait some more weeks and you will have too much cucumbers. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jul 5 '18 at 18:18
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Ants pollinate...all insects attracted to flowers pollinate. Ants are kind of different however. They are looking for real estate to raise a herd of aphids. Aphids are not a big deal...but be on the look out.

Are these cucumbers out of doors in the garden or are they in a greenhouse?

Get a soft water color paint brush. Dip into 'male' flower and then brush lightly over the pistil on the female flowers. This link will help you to recognize male from female 'flowers'. Certainly will not hurt anything and it has been shown that 'helping' pollination produces more fruit.

how to tell a male flower from a female flower on cucumber

Have you fertilized at all? I am seeing rather chemically deficient plants.

  • Thank you for responding. The plants are outdoors in a garden. The only fertilizer I have used is all purpose miracle grow fertilizer, though it has been about 2 weeks since I last applied it. I figured since they were growing rapidly, fertilizer was not needed. How could you tell they were chemically deficient? Also, just for my knowledge, does the female flower have to be pollinated before it produces the fruit, or will the fruit appear regardless? Some of the female flowers fell off, so I don't know how I would pollinate those. – Hdhd Jul 4 '18 at 21:30
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    Great questions! All purpose miracle grow works just fine. I am seeing too light of a green color as well as being able to see the veins in the leaves so clearly. Another application of miracle grow...what 'formula' are you using btw. Make sure you use NPK where the N is the lowest of the 3 numbers. Even numbers are ok, more fruit will be produced if the N is lower (2-5-4 versus 5-5-5) . Make sure the nitrogen is not the higher number (percentage within the bag or box). Such as; 5-4-4. That will cause more vegetative growth (leaves, stems) versus reproductive growth; flowers and fruit. – stormy Jul 4 '18 at 21:36
  • If the flowers that fell off have no baby cucumbers they were probably the male flowers. Squash does the same dang thing. reference.com/science/… – stormy Jul 4 '18 at 22:23
  • Or unpollinated female flowers... – Bamboo Jul 5 '18 at 15:38

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