How to hand pollinate cucumbers plants? Don’t be a slave to pollinators…

Cucumber fruits are great addition to your salad plate especially in the summer. Having those wonderful plants in your backyard will be beneficial in many ways. Sometimes, the fruit production of cucumber plants differ from season to another. Which will make you suspect that the issue is related to pollination and bees, you seek for alternative which will be the hand pollination. So, how do you hand pollinate your cucumber plants?


You can hand pollinate your cucumber plants easily, just grab male flower, pull the pollen from it using the tool, and then pollinate your female flower by a soft rub. By doing this, you just finished pollination in no time.


Still curious? Great, we will talk more about this in more detailed steps, along with other couple things that may get in your way while pollinating your cucumbers in terms of how often you should do this, and what is the best time for hand pollination.


Let’s delve into it.

You will find in this article:


1 How to hand pollinate cucumbers plants step-by-step beginners guide.

Hand pollination is an important step to produce fruits especially for heirloom varieties that contain both female and male flowers. If it is not done by nature, It will guide to a single route which is hand pollination.


Here’s the full steps to pollinate your cucumber plants successfully:

  1. First thing first, grab a small cotton swab or small paint brush to use it in this process.
  2. Locate the male flowers. Male flowers are usually grouped and there is nothing behind its backs (that’s your sign of male flowers).


  1. Wipe the center of male flower with the cotton swap until you see the small points and dots on the top of the cotton swap (this is called pollen).
  2. Now, it’s time to locate female flowers (the ones that have some kind of small tale. called ovary, and this is your future fruit).


  1. Wipe gently the tip of the cotton swab in the center of the female flower the same way you did with male flower (you are transferring the pollen from male to female flowers.)
  2. Mark the female flowers you worked on with a sticky paper or some unique sting to separate the ones you have already pollinated.


  1. Repeat the process on all of your cucumber female flowers.



As you can see, hand pollination is extremely easy and can be done in a couple of hours, even less if you include the kids in the process.




2 Why do you hand pollinate cucumbers plants

Most Cucumber plants belong to monoecious types. That means it contains both female and male flowers that participate together in order to produce good and healthy growing cucumber fruits. This leads us to ensure that this pollination process happens even if there are no bees around.


By doing this, you are doing the same job as the bees and birds. Pollination is supposed to be a natural process that can be done without any interference from us. Yet, there are a lot of factors such as tough weather that may not help for pollinators to come and do their job.


Moreover, hand pollination of your cucumber plants will be more productive and ensure that all your female flowers are pollinated if done by hand. Plus, it is extremely joyful when you know that you have contributed in the process of fruit development and production.


Quick recap on why you hand pollinate cucumber plants:

  1. Because it is an important step in order to produce fruits.
  2. If there are no pollinators and birds around in your area to do this process.


  1. To ensure that all your female flowers are pollinated.
  2. To triple the production of cucumber fruits in one season.

also read: Best fertilizer for cucumbers in containers


3 When is the best time to hand pollinate cucumbers plants

The best time to hand pollinate your cucumber plants is when both female and male flowers are there. This usually takes a couple of weeks after the first wave of flower production that exudes numerous male flowers without the female ones.


Equally important, when you know that your cucumber plants have produced both female and male flowers, it is best to work in morning time because this is the time when the flowers are usually open and ready to do their job.





4 How often do you pollinate cucumber plants?

You may wonder how many times you should hand pollinate your cucumber plants in the one growing season. You should be aware that just one application of hand pollination on your cucumber plants should be enough.


In addition, there is no point in repeating the same process on female flowers every now and then. One time of your effort will be sufficient to transfer the male pollen to female flowers. Leading by that to fruit production.


Moreover, you will notice just after a few days from your hand pollination that the female flowers are starting to fall off, and the tiny cucumber fruit is starting to grow and develop. That’s when you know you were successful in handling hand pollination for your plant.


 you might also like: No male flowers on cucumber plant

5 Are cucumbers self-pollinating?

You may also wonder if cucumbers are self-pollinating. This is extremely true, but not the way you imagine. Self-pollinating refers to the existence of both female and male cucumber flowers that do need to be cross pollinated in order to make and develop fruits.


Both female and male flowers are produced on the same plant which lead and present like we stated earlier to monoecious type. If you were planting your cucumber plant outside in the garden and there are a lot of birds and pollinators around, the pollination will happen without a hand from us humans.


After all, all kinds of plants that are still around are due to their survival genetics, they can manage their situations like cucumbers and others. We just look for the best results of fruit production by pollinating these plants by hand.

 also read: Yellow leaves on cucumber plants in containers



To sum it up, to hand pollinate your cucumbers plants do this: grab a cotton swab from male flowers, collect the pollen, transfer the pollen into female flowers, and repeat the process until you finish all female flowers.



Additionally, the reasons why you should hand pollinate your cucumber plants are: necessary for fruits to be produced, no pollinators and birds around, pollinate all the female flowers, not just some, for better yielding and harvesting.


Equally important to note, the ideal time to hand pollinate your cucumber plants is when both female and male flowers are produced. You can do this process in the morning as it is the best time to ensure the flowers are open and ready to do their job.


Furthermore, one implementation of hand pollination for cucumber plants on female flowers should be more than enough. You will observe the female flowers start to fall off and the ovary becomes bigger and bigger, that’s your cue to a successful hand-pollination for cucumbers.


Finally, there are a lot of topics about cucumbers, take your time and explore freely, happy gardening.

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