Pumpkins are produced for their foliage, fruits, and seeds and may be grown in most climates. The versatile seasonal gourd is known to have many uses, as both food and decorations can be made out of them. But how long does it take for your pumpkin plant to grow?
Every pumpkin starts out as a seed. The seedling grows into a tiny pumpkin plant immediately after the seed germination process. The pumpkin starts to flower after eight weeks or two months.
If pollination becomes successful, a fruit develops from the bloom. The pumpkin begins to color change in the middle of the summer and turns orange as fall approaches. And at that point, you can harvest it.
You’ve come to the right place if you want to start producing pumpkins in your yard but are unsure of what to expect. In this article, the stages of pumpkin growth and what to anticipate at each stage will be covered.
Therefore, let’s examine each pumpkin growing stage in greater detail.
Pumpkin Plant Growth Stages
There are seven phases of pumpkin growth, including curing and storage. In general, it takes a pumpkin vine plant between 90 to 140 days to reach full maturity.
Here are the different stages of pumpkin growth and their approximate time:
First Stage: Pumpkin Planting
You need to plant pumpkin seeds first. The ideal time to plant pumpkins is in the late spring. In this manner, your pumpkins will be prepared for fall harvest.
One hole should be dug around an inch for two or three seeds. The likelihood of seed germinating is increased through a practice known as overseeding. Start the process inside with the seeds put in a container filled with dirt to give yourself a head start. Water it heavily.
In a container kept in a warm, dark location, seeds will begin to sprout in 5–10 full days. Bear in mind that pumpkins need plenty of space to grow before planting seeds in the ground. Choose an area where there is enough room for your plants to spread out.
Second Stage: Pumpkin Germination
Growing pumpkins from seed is simple and enjoyable, but there is something you need to be aware of first.
Pumpkin varieties will develop at varying rates. When purchasing seeds, check the packet to discover how long it will take for them to be ready for harvest. If not, you can search for the particular variety you have.
The majority of pumpkin varieties require between 90 and 110 days to fully mature and produce fruit, but if you’re unsure of what kind you have, that’s a good place to start.
Pumpkin seeds sprout quickly after being planted. They are actually quite swift! Normally, pumpkin seeds germinate in 10 days or less.
Typically, there are no problems with this stage. It happens so quickly that if any problems were discovered, it would be too late to address them.
The good news is that if your plants aren’t growing, you’ll be able to tell rather soon. After 10 days, if your seeds have not sprouted, it is time to sow new seeds.
From the soil, seeds will grow, eventually producing two leaves that are oval-shaped. Pumpkin seedlings resemble squash or cucumber seedlings extremely closely.
The first set of genuine leaves appear after about a week. Compared to cotyledons, these leaves are bigger and more circular. The fresh leaves have a significantly brighter color.
Third Stage: Pumpkin Vine Growth
The plant’s stem will begin to sprout vines after around two weeks. At this point, the pumpkins grow swiftly and grow out many vines.
Although size varies depending on the type of pumpkin plant, several pumpkin cultivars can produce vines that can grow up to 10-20 feet long.
For elevated garden beds, such lengthy vines might be a significant issue. They will spread out and engulf the entire walkway as they grow exceeding the brink.
To prevent plants from taking over the garden, the main pumpkin plant vine can be pruned when it grows already 10 to 15 feet long.
When secondary runners reach a length of 8 to 10 feet, their tips can be trimmed. You can immediately remove any vines that emerge from the pumpkin’s secondary vines.
Fourth Stage: Pumpkin Flowering
Flowers should start to appear between runner vines and plant stems around 8 to 10 weeks. Large yellow petals are typical of flowers. Basically, a cucumber bloom in a larger scale.
Male and female pumpkin blossoms differ in that the latter has a tiny ovary behind them, which becomes the fruit when it matures.
Pumpkin plants will need fertilizer at this point of growth. The plant will remain healthier and produce larger fruits if you use organic fertilizers or composted manure.
Fifth Stage: Pumpkin Flower Pollination
The male pumpkin flowers will develop and open up first as your plants grow, followed by the female blooms. The pollination process for pumpkins starts when the female pumpkin flowers develop.
Pumpkin flowers are already in bloom and luring insects. Pollen is transferred from male to female pumpkin flowers by insects like bees or bumble bees. The female pumpkin flower will then close and begin to create the fruit once pollen transmission is finished.
You can imitate pollinator activity if there aren’t any around. This is accomplished by using a tiny paintbrush to transfer pollen from male pumpkin bloom to female blossom.
This procedure, however, is cumbersome and ineffective. Bringing in pollinators will always benefit your garden.
The pumpkin plants may lose a lot of blossoms during the process of pollination. It is fine if these are the male flowers that fall down. Pumpkin plants will throw male flowers on the ground once they have completed their task.
Sixth Stage: Pumpkin Fruit Development
The petals of the female flowers will initiate to close after pollination is finished, and the fruit shall begin to slowly form. The pumpkin fruits will get bigger and rounder during this period. After pollination, pumpkins typically take 45 – 55 days to reach full maturity.
The fruit’s skin hardens and thickens as it grows. The pumpkin plant vines will begin to deteriorate and turn brown after a few months. They’ll progressively turn the color of their original skin.
Seventh Stage: Pumpkin Harvesting
Your plant should begin flowering about eight to nine weeks after being planted, depending on the type of pumpkin you are growing.
Your first pumpkins will begin to grow in another week. The type of pumpkin you have has a significant impact on how quickly it matures. Larger pumpkins take longer to grow than smaller ones do.
However, it’s simple to determine when pumpkins are ripe, regardless of how big or tiny they are. They ought to be well-colored throughout, and the outside ought to be firm. The pumpkin shouldn’t be harmed by your palm striking it or by pressing your fingernails against it.
Some fruits and vegetables can be harvested unripe, then allowed to ripen on the vine. But pumpkins are not one of them. Because their peel hasn’t had as much time to fully harden, pumpkins that are chosen before they’re ripe don’t keep as well as ripe pumpkins do.
In the same way, avoid leaving them on the vine after they have ripened in an effort to make them bigger. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and pain if you choose a type that naturally grows to the size you desire.
How To Know If The Pumpkin Fruit Is Already Ripe?
There are numerous techniques to determine when a pumpkin fruit is officially ready to get picked. Here are the following signs to look out when you harvest pumpkins:
- The pumpkin’s skin is the appropriate shade of orange or depending on pumpkin variety
- Pumpkin skin hardens and plant vines begin to die back.
- When you tap the fruit’s exterior, you hear a distinctive hollow sound, and the stem of the pumpkin gets tough.
When you have observed all of these signs, then definitely your pumpkin fruit is prepared for harvesting.
What Problems to Expect When Your Pumpkin Starts Maturing?
Most of the time, pumpkin plants develop lengthy vines. You might have a few feet to 20 feet of vines, depending on the type of pumpkin you have! This is where you’re most likely to encounter issues because this is the stage that pumpkins spend the most time in.
For instance, pests may be a problem. Squash vine borers tend to burrow into the vines, whereas certain bugs prefer the leaves.
By protecting your plants when they’re young, beetles can be avoided. An excellent option for garden fabric is one that lets in light while keeping insects out. When the plants are more established and able to endure bugs, they can be left exposed.
On the other hand, it’s recommended to remove the border by hand. Being caterpillars, they won’t always be kept out by a covering. Instead, keep an eye out for indications that they’ve entered your plant and remove them with a knife or box cutter.
How Can You Speed Up Pumpkin Growth?
Pumpkin growth can be slightly accelerated, albeit it’s not a precise science. Make sure your plants are receiving all the nutrients they require for a quick harvest.
In particular, water and sunlight are true of this! Pumpkins adore the sun, but when there is a lot of it, water evaporates more quickly, necessitating more frequent watering.
If you plant your pumpkins on a trellis, you can expect a heartier, healthier harvest even though it might not hasten development as much as loads of sun and water do.
Pumpkins are shielded from pests and have more airflow when they are raised off the ground, which helps them resist disease and rot.
Whether you want a large or little pumpkin, it’s critical to keep in mind that growth takes time. After all, perfection cannot be rushed! You’re ready to start your own patch of pumpkins now that you have a realistic schedule for their growth.
Common Problems in Growing Pumpkin
It might be a terrific learning experience to grow your own pumpkins, especially if you want to improve your green thumb.
But if you do not give your pumpkin plants the right attention, you can discover that they swiftly spread out across your beautiful garden and occupy more room than you intended.
Here are several problems and solutions to the common problems in growing pumpkin:
1. Plant underwatering
Pumpkins need a lot of water every day because they develop so quickly. Give them the right quantity using a drip hose or a simple watering can.
2. Harvesting too soon
When pumpkins are ready to be picked, they turn orange. You can likewise leave the fruits on the plant vine if they are still yellow until they become bright orange.
3. Letting the pumpkins stay on the ground for a longer period of time
Use a barrier, such as cardboard, underneath to stop the bottom part of your pumpkin plant from getting soft or decaying.
4. Planting them too closely to other garden plants
Planting them in close proximity to other plants will prevent the other plants from developing well since pumpkin vines have a tendency to spread out and become overpowering. Give each plant their own bed with at least a foot between them.
5. Ignoring problems caused by pests
Ensure the health of your plants by keeping a constant eye on them. Once the problem has been identified, some pests (such slugs, flea beetles, and cucumber beetles) should be treated with insecticides or horticultural oils such as neem oils, while fungi can be treated with fungicides.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Can I grow a pumpkin from seeds I bought at the store?
Instead of preserving seeds obtained from a random pumpkin, it is advisable to purchase seeds from a reliable company. It might or might not be procured when the fruit seeds are fully developed, and chances are that they are not.
Even though the pumpkin seeds grow, cross-pollination of pumpkins with different squash species could result in the development of a new plant.
Saving seeds could be a fun exercise, but if you want your pumpkins to develop reliably before Halloween, it’s better to invest a few dollars in reliable seeds.
What should I cover in my pumpkin cultivation?
When the summer heat is intense, covering your growing crop with layers of straw can assist to protect the pumpkins.
The use of mulch on a pumpkin patch, such as straw, will help in the prevention of the moisture loss in the soil due to evaporation, assist in cooling the soil, and keep your pumpkins clean.
Why are the flowers on my pumpkin coming off?
Pumpkins develop flowers that are both female and male. You can distinguish them because female squash family blooms have a single ovary immediately below them that resembles a small fruit.
Usually, pumpkin male flowers first open and then drop off. That’s alright! You’re OK to go as long as pumpkin female flowers are pollinated.
How can you keep pests away from pumpkins?
Cover your pumpkin plants with row covers at the start of the season to shield them from pests like squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. You’ll need bees to pollinate these blooms, so take off these covers as soon as they sprout flowers!
Always use caution when applying any kind of insecticide to your garden for the same reason. These vital animals may be harmed by the toxins, which would prohibit the pumpkins from producing fruits.
Growing pumpkin is fairly simple, and it has many uses. It can be used as a soup base, pie filling, decoration, and other things. Growing this crop in your garden or backyard is definitely a terrific idea.
So there you have it! All phases of pumpkin growth were succinctly explained for your perusal. You can get an intriguing peek into the changes and processes taking place inside the plant by understanding the growth phases of a pumpkin’s life cycle.
You may also check the video below for more information about pumpkin growth stages:
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