Flowers Are Falling Off Pumpkin Plants: (5 Reasons Explained)

Even though a pumpkin plant may have a number of issues, it can be upsetting if you see that its blossoms are falling off. If you don’t read all of these top 5 reasons for flower drooping, you might not get enough pumpkins.

Flowers can wilt and fall from too much heat, moisture, nitrogen, and pest infestations. There’s also a situation of a disproportional male-to-female flower ratio.

Some of the pumpkin flowers also should wilt away naturally. The male flowers, for example, do not bear any fruit, and they wilt away after a while.

In this article, you’ll find out the common reasons why flowers fall off without growing any pumpkins and how to deal with this situation.

How To Tell The Difference Between Male And Female Blossoms

First off, all pumpkin flowers can not develop into a pumpkin. The blossoms are separated into male and female, with no known non-binary distinctions. The male flowers contain the pollen that the female flowers need to pollinate.

You can quickly tell which is a male and which is a female based on the visual distinctions between the two.

A male flower is connected directly to the stem. The inside of the male flower has a protruding stamen covered in yellow spores right in the center.

The female flower looks identical to the male one, except for a distinct swelling at the base. The inside of the flower has a stigma. However, most people recognize them by the circular bulb at the bottom. No male flower has that.

Reasons Why Flowers Fall Off Pumpkin Plant

Flowers usually fall if it doesn’t set fruit. That includes every male flower by default. All of them will fall, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

For most people, the issue is the lack of pumpkins, which we’ll address here.

Below are some of the reasons why your flowers are wilting without setting any fruit,

1. Lack of Pollination

Pumpkin flowers do not pollinate themselves, so they usually rely on bees to do it for them. But it can be an issue for home gardens if your area has no bees.

There can be several reasons why bugs avoid specific gardens. But it is usually due to the location not having any in the first place.

In any case, if your plants are not pollinating themselves, you need to take matters into your own hands. You can manually help pollinate the female flowers without needing bees if you learn to identify them.

It is easy to pollinate a pumpkin flower as the only tool you need is a small paintbrush. Gently rub the brush’s tip against the male flower’s stamen to collect the pollen. The pollen looks like a yellow powder and should stick to the tip of your brush.

Use the brush to rub that pollen on the stigma in the center of the female flower. That’s honestly all there’s to it.

One reason bees might avoid your plant could be the use of pesticides. That stuff is terrible for the soil and bugs, so avoid using that unless necessary.

2. No Flowers

Having no flowers on the vines naturally means no possibility of pumpkins.

While rare, this can indeed happen to pumpkin beds. You may see your pumpkin patch having lush vines and healthy leaves but no flowers or blossoms during some seasons.

That usually happens due to the soil having too much Nitrogen.

In the natural world, too much of anything is wrong, and that’s what happens in this case.

The soil needs a balanced quantity of Phosphorus and Nitrogen to bloom healthy flowers. When the ratio is off, the vines will not produce any flowers but appear exceptionally healthy.

You can usually solve this issue by discontinuing nitrogen-rich fertilizer and putting some bone meals in the soil. The fish bone meal, in particular, works very well. You could also use a blender to crush dried chicken bones to make homemade bone meals.

3. Certain Flowers Not Blooming

In some cases, a pumpkin patch can only bloom the male flowers and no female ones. There’s also a chance of the exact opposite happening.

Usually, in seasons with high humidity, the male flowers can bloom much faster than the female ones.

Male flowers usually bloom roughly 10 to 15 days earlier than average females. This phenomenon is true for every kind of vine-like plant, such as gourd, cucumber, and pumpkin.

However, in rare cases, the male flowers might not open up due to a lack of sunshine. Which will, in turn, make the female ones wilt and dry up later. That kind of thing can also happen due to a lack of phosphorus. But usually, it is due to the sun, as the male ones need more sunshine than the female ones.

During the drought seasons, in particular, the pumpkin patches may produce more male flowers than females. But that can lead to an imbalance during the pollination process. In some cases, you may fail to spot any female flowers at all.

Having too many male flowers will reduce the energy the plant has to spare for growing the fruit. That often leads to a bad harvest.

4. Excessive Heat

Pumpkin plants love sunshine, but too much of it can negatively affect them. Excessive heat can cause the female flowers to drop from the stem directly. Continuous exposure to high heat can cause the female flowers to stop growing or wilt along with the fruit.

Even if the flowers somehow withstand the sweltering heat, they might never finish the pollination process.

In most cases, exposure to high heat can inhibit germination, so the male pollen fails to pollinate the female ones.

That is why most seasoned gardeners put sun covers or shades during the hot seasons. Having mulch that deflects sunlight and keeps the plant hydrated can also help.

5. Lack Of Proper Irrigation

Pumpkin plants need a lot of water to keep the system running, and proper irrigation is a key to achieving that. But in most cases, people forget that too much water can badly affect the plant.

Contaminated soil with too much moisture can suffocate the roots and stress the plant. Pumpkin plants usually stop producing flowers or stop pollinating already existing flowers if it feels stressed in any way.

Water clogging the roots is an excellent way to stop the flowers from ever blooming.

Naturally, the pollinated flowers will wilt and fall off by the end of the season.

So, it is vital to control the amount of water you put on the plant.

In the case of rain, you must form proper drainage to stop water from forming puddles under the pumpkin patch. You could also cover the entire patch with plastic sheets to avoid the water altogether.


Hopefully, after reading that, you won’t ever have to ask- why are the flowers falling off my pumpkin plant? It’s usually just a pollination problem with the pumpkin plants, as most first-timers don’t know the birds-and-the-bees of the male and female flowers.

You would usually see decent harvests once you properly pollinate all the flowers.

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