Cantaloupes - no Female Flowers?

gardenmommy_2010July 13, 2011

So, my cantalope plants have been blossoming for about a month now w/ nary a female flower in sight. Am I missing them? I expect them to look like watermelon & cucumber female flowers but don't see how I could have 5 plants blossoming for so long w/out female flowers. I must be overlooking them. I don't have a lot of bees that frequent my garden so I do my own pollenation for the cucumbers & watermelon. The bumblebees take good care of the squash & tomatoes but seem to overlook the others. Are the female flowers for cantaloupes real obvious or do I need to look closer? There has only been one flower so far that I thought could be it. I would really like some cantaloupes this summer & just want to pollenate correctly. Thanks!

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yeah there just like the others in that you'll see a little fruit below. other than to tell you to have patience, I'll just say do they get plenty of sunshine? I have noticed that the growing tips of my cucumbers that don't get a lot of light don't get female flowers and the one's that are tuned right on the sun do (they've done really well and over grown there home and growing around the squash which shades them) also my watermelon that I didn't count on surviving because I dropped it as a baby hasn't and its really has no room to catch the rays. take all this with a gain of salt though because I have no idea if there's any truth to it or not, maybe someone can tell us if there is. if they get plenty of rays it's there probably just not ready yet.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:29AM
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I've had this problem with all my cucumbers this year. I sure wish I knew the answer!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 12:53PM
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It helps to keep in mind that from the vine's point of view, the only purpose for its existence is to produce seeds, which requires that it produce fruits. It WANTS to cooperate!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:36PM
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I'll go ahead and trellis them now. They've grown to the other side of the raised bed where the growing tips are now in the shade. I've planned on trellissing them up & will go ahead & do it now. Maybe they'll get better being in place & in the sun. Plus, maybe the bees will start paying more attention to them as well. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:09PM
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same here . I am growing honeydew and the plants had growing tons of male flowers,I too was getting impatient since I planted the watermelon and honey dews at the same time and the watermelon had medium size fruit already and I was not gettin female flowers on the honeydew until couple of days ago I saw the first one then follow by a lots more,so I will say give it couple of weeks,at least with the honeydews the male flowers are different than others cucurbitas they don't have that "stick" in the middle so you have to be xtra gentle if you hand pollinate.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 3:18PM
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So, a month & a half after they start blossoming & I finally have one female blossom - amongst 5 plants! Obviously I'll be watching for it to bloom & be pollenating it myself so make sure things go along. Who knows how much longer it'll take to get another one!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 6:13PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Melons only produce flowers, especially female, when growing vigorously. Plus the males come on first and female later. My cantaloupes had no female early on seemed like more than a month of all male. Now they are covered with both and lots of small fruit.

This is by far the hardest year I've had setting watermelon. Too hot and dry. No rain in 10 months. About half the fruit that set are only partially pollinated and need to be pulled off. Plus the birds peck on them since there is nothing else green to eat.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:30PM
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I've heard high heat will favor male blossoms over female, maybe some occasional shadecloth if it's in direct sun and always over 100?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:20PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

This is kind of curious, since reading your posts - I've been having a slow pollination of cukes and melons too. Not that this is especially melon country (too foggy, cool), but interestingly, I see lots of bees and insects on surrounding plants - lots of earlier types going to flower - but the insects don't seem to care for cukes or melons, as much as other flowers. Normally, I have lots of bees, but recently noted bumble bees that seem to go for the cukes/melons.

Perhaps that has something to do with the pollinating of these particular species.

Just my 2c's.


P.S. I'm now getting a few - so perhaps they just need to attract the right insects. Weather could be better too.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:21AM
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I'm in AZ an trellised my one (1) cantaloupe 4 weeks ago and it now has overtaken 6'x6' and over half of the blossoms are female. Problem has been no bees, but manual pollination just got me two takers. I don't know what its like in Sac, CA, but I just put down my second application of a 10-10-10 fertilizer and water heavily.
I agree that the plant want to cooperate, but may need some help. Don't know how, or if, you fertilize, but you may to consider it if you don't.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:15AM
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