Will Squash Watermelons etc. Cross-pollinate?

R. Keith Collins  |  5/3/2012 12:27:37 AM

I have received many questions through the years if cross-pollination will occur with plants in the cucurbit family including cucumber, squash, watermelon, pumpkin and gourds.

Cucurbits have separate male and female flowers on its vines requiring bees for pollination which can increase the possibility of cross-pollination.

Although these garden plants are in the same family (cucurbit) they are not all in the species which is generally required for cross-pollination with the exception of squash that will cross some other species.

Cucumbers and watermelons will not cross with each other or other cucurbit species.

Squash, pumpkins and gourds of the same species will cross-pollinate that can result in unique and oddly shaped fruits without adequate planting distance between these.  

Bees are active early in the day through mid to late morning so any insect control measures should be done in the afternoon to insure good pollination.

Keith Collins is County Agent in Richland Parish and writes this week's news article for The Richland Beacon and Delhi Dispatch.
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