It’s your first time growing cucumber plants. You’re excited to have a fresh crop of cucumbers at the end of the growing season, and you even have all your recipes picked out! But, as you look at your plant, you don’t see any male flowers. You looked at so many pictures, and so you ask yourself: why does my cucumber only have female flowers?
Some varieties of cucumber plants only produce family flowers, so you should not be concerned if your cucumber plant only has female flowers. Male flowers are not needed after pollination, and most expert gardeners will recommend removing male flowers.
Female flower-only cucumber plants are not destined to fail, so that you can take that weight off your shoulders. We’ll cover why your cucumber plant doesn’t have any male flowers and the pollination methods for cucumber plants without male flowers. Stick with me!
How Can You Tell If A Cucumber Flower Is Male Or Female
Male cucumbers will not have the beginning of a cucumber, whereas female flowers will.
If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t know the difference between male and female cucumber plants. That is not something that is considered common knowledge.
There is one significant difference between the two: the female flowers will have tiny cucumbers beginning to grow beneath them.
Nothing else sets the two flowers apart, so you cannot differentiate between them by color, size, or texture.
You may have to gently move the petals around on your cucumber plants to see what gender each flower is, but be delicate! You do not want to pull any flowers off before they are ready.
Why Does My Cucumber Plant Not Have Male Flowers
One of the main reasons you do not have male flowers on your cucumber plant is that you have a female-only type of cucumber.
The female-only variety of cucumber is called the gynoecious variety. You will not see any male flowers on this type of cucumber.
In this case, you will know that you have chosen this type of cucumber plant because it is a special hybrid type of plant. Gynoecious cucumbers do not appear naturally in the wild because they are modified.
This means, in other words, that the gynoecious cucumbers were bred for a specific reason.
Usually, this cucumber variety produces faster and earlier than standard cucumber plants.
Gynoecious cucumbers are usually bred in greenhouses and are used to stock produce in stores, where a bigger crop is needed at faster rates.
What Are All Female Cucumbers Called
We already know that all female cucumbers are called gynoecious, but let’s dive into the names of some varieties, so you know what to look for.
Here are five different kinds of female-only cucumbers mostly chosen to grow in massive quantities.
Despite its name, Flamingo cucumbers aren’t going to produce pink cucumbers.
This variety of cucumbers is longer than most cucumbers from standard plants. Most cucumbers produced on this plant will be about a foot long.
Since these cucumbers are best for greenhouses, this variety is most commonly found in grocery stores.
Regal cucumbers are slightly smaller than Flamingo cucumbers at about 8 inches long.
The interesting thing about Regal cucumbers is that they were bred to be disease resistant.
Again, the ability to resist disease is great for farms growing crops for supermarkets. Farmers do not need to worry that disease will ravage their crops.
Saladin cucumbers are also a great choice for farmers who produce large amounts of cucumbers for mass consumption.
Saladin cucumbers are going to be one of the smaller types of cucumbers, though. Most will be curvy with a length of about five inches.
Iznik cucumbers are interesting because pollination can adversely affect this cucumber variety.
The Iznik variety of cucumbers is going to be very small at only three inches long, but they still have their place for cooking!
Raider cucumbers are great for mass consumption because they are usually produced in uniform sizes, so none are too different for sale.
Raider cucumbers also perform well in colder climates, which means that farmers in different parts of the United States can also grow cucumbers for supermarkets.
How Do All Female Cucumbers Pollinate
Gynoecious cucumbers still need pollination to bloom and produce fruit, but you are not out of luck if you have this variety.
Female-only cucumbers are not some magic hybrid plant that does not need pollination to produce cucumbers.
Knowing the truth behind how these plants pollinate ruins some of the magic of how they grow.
When you buy female-only cucumber seeds, there are normal cucumber seeds mixed in there too.
This means that you will grow both types of cucumbers – one that is female-only and one that is both male and female.
The male flowers on the standard cucumber plant will be able to pollinate the female-only variety of cucumber.
This is a trick of the trade and ensures that your cucumber plants will still indeed be pollinated.
Why Is My Cucumber Not Producing Male Flowers
Your cucumber is not producing male flowers because it does not have the energy it needs to bloom.
Let’s say that you have a standard cucumber plant. It is not a female-only variety, so you assume that you will have male and female flowers on it.
Your cucumber plant isn’t producing male flowers because it does not have enough energy.
Your plant may lack energy for a few reasons, including:
- A lack of sunlight
- Inadequate temperatures
- Not enough water
- Nutrient-deficient soil
Cucumbers need to have good conditions to produce male flowers that can pollinate your female flowers.
Check on the color of your cucumber plant; wilted and brown leaves mean that something is not right with your plant and must be corrected before you can anticipate cucumbers forming.
Does My Cucumber Plant Need Male Flowers
Your cucumber plant does not need male flowers after pollination.
We’ve already learned that there will need to be male flowers somewhere in the mix for pollination, so let’s think about what happens after pollination.
Your male flowers aren’t going to produce cucumbers too. Male flowers only pollinate; they do not give you cucumbers too.
What is the point of them after pollination, then?
The answer: nothing.
After pollination occurs and cucumbers begin to grow, it is recommended that you pick the male flowers off your cucumber plant.
Leaving male flowers on your plant can lead to more bitter-tasting cucumbers, which certainly isn’t a benefit!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!