Did you know that cucumber plants produce flowers? This is crucial for your cucumber plants, and all plants for the matter, as this is how you get your harvest. That’s why it’s crucial for the flowers to bloom timely, which takes proper care and maintenance of your garden.
But do you notice your cucumber plant flowering too early? If so, you need to know the causes and what to do about it! Read on to learn about the flowering process of cucumbers and why it may be flowering earlier than usual.
The Flowering Habits in Cucumbers
Before we get into cucumbers, let’s first learn about the flowering habits of the cucumber plant.
Just like most cucurbit plants, cucumbers would produce separate male and female flowers in one plant. Such plants are known as monoecious, where male flowers have stamens producing pollen, while female flowers have pistols, containing ovule.
Both male and female flowers have to be there so pollen from male flowers fertilizes ovules from female flowers, which will then produce viable seeds. That’s why pollination requires insects to move pollen from male to female flowers, so pollen grains will germinate and grow in pollen-tubes to reach the flowers’ ovules, and that is when fertilization happens.
When fertilized ovules develop, flowers release hormones to stimulate both division and expansion of fruit cells. The cucumber fruit’s development depends on how many fertilized seeds are in the developing fruit. Without enough fertilized seeds, the fruit stops growing or looks misshapen.
Read more: Do Male Cucumber Flowers Produce Fruit?
Cucumber Plant Flowering Too Early
Cucumber plants’ flowers are extremely important for it to bear good fruit. That’s why you need to make sure they bloom properly, and at correct times.
The time it takes for cucumber plants to flower depends on the plants’ weather conditions, nutrients, and other factors. Usually, it would take about 42-62 days for flowers to develop after the first day of germination.
So why does it flower earlier than usual? There are reasons why your cucumber plant would flower early:
- Cucumber plants placed outdoors while there was still a dark period, which would be enough to force the plant to flower earlier
- There may have been a dramatic change in the plants’ lighting environments
- Plants are receiving the critical amount of darkness periods, which is enough to force your plants to flower
If you place your cucumber plants outdoors early in the season, between March to April, there’s a long dark period, which is enough to force flowering. Plants would receive almost 12 hours of darkness, forcing them to begin flowering, while others go into a vegetative cycle and flower, as usual, come fall. Unfortunately, there are plants that would continue flowering and never re-vegetating.
So it all boils down to making sure that your cucumber plants are transplanted or moved outdoors at the right time, and to have adequate sunlight and darkness.
Early Flowers Not Setting Fruit
One of the consequences of early flowering is that your plants won’t set fruit. This happens for a few reasons:
- Your cucumber plants’ first flowers are male, with female flowers appearing afterward. Female flowers are the ones that produce fruit, so you’ll need to wait until all female flowers appear and start being pollinated for fertilization. Plant all-female cucumber hybrids and a few male plants afterward for balance.
- There aren’t enough pollinators to carry pollen from the plants’ male to female flowers. To remedy this, pick off the male flowers yourself, dusting pollen to female flowers.
Do you want to learn more about your cucumber plants flowering process? Check out this interesting video:
Wrapping It Up
You’ll be surprised by how cucumber plants grow, requiring flowers in order to produce fruit! While it may seem confusing at first, once you know the process and causes of why your plants’ flower too early, you can take precautions and make sure that your plants’ flowers still produce fruit for a successful harvest.
I hope that this article on cucumber plant flowering too early helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and begin following the right steps to growing your plants properly now.