Regards pumpkins... Pumpkins clearly have distinct and separate
male and female flowers on a single pumpkin plant. Can pollen
from the male flowers be used to pollinate female flowers on
the same plant? If so, is this recommended or counter-recommended?
Is there anything to watch out for if I want viable seeds with
Depends. Usually you can get viable seeds that way.
You'll have a more seed set if you exchange pollen between two different
And there is at least one hybrid variety of 'Japanese' pumpkins which
requires cross pollination to get a good fruit set. (It's a cross between two
species and requires one or the other of the parent species to supply
pollen.) But I'm not sure what quality of fruit you'd get it you saved
the seeds from that particular hybrid (or even if they'd be viable at all).
Pumpkins are (most typically) varieties of squash in the same species
as summer squashes, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and several other
types and (in the presence of bees) will end up crossed with any of these
If you want to raise you own seeds, you'd be best off starting with an
open pollinated (non-hybrid) variety and hand pollinating. Select a
female blossom or two *before they open* and bag them. When the
flower blooms, hand-pollinate and re-bag, to prevent accidental cross
pollination. Once the flower dries up, you can remove the bag and
mark the location of the seed pumpkin in whatever way that suits you.
Let the fruit ripen completely on the vine. Spread the seed out to dry
after you remove them. Then bag them and store in a cool dry place.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
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