Do Cucumbers Self Pollinate? All You Need To Know!

Now Introducing How To Make Sticky Traps For Insects!Many aquaponics owners like to grow cucumbers.  This article will answer the important question: Do cucumbers self-pollinate? 

Pollination is a natural process of moving pollen from one flower into another flower in order for a plant to produce fruit.  Pollen is formed naturally inside the flower bud.  Bees, ladybugs, and many things work to move the pollen for you.  

It is essential if you want to be successful with your growing.  Some plants have male and female flowers.  These flowers need to cross their pollen in order to produce fruit.

Cucumber plants can self-pollinate.  This means they do not need any outside plant to pollinate.  Read on to understand how cucumbers do self-pollinate!

Before we get into details, let’s explore the cucumber plant.

Cucumbers In Aquaponics

Cucumbers are an excellent choice for your aquaponics system because they grow fast and can produce a lot of fruit if grown in the right conditions.  According to the University of Georgia, cucumbers can be ready to harvest within 50- 70 days.  That is only about 1.5- 2 months!  

Cucumbers are climbing plants like melons.  This means they either need to be grown on mounds or trellised.  A trellis is a supporting structure that allows the plants to climb up.  I usually grow my cucumbers on a trellis to save space.

If you choose to use the trellis method, make sure you have adequate vertical space for the cucumbers to grow.  This means you need to have your aquaponics grow bed in the right location.  

Cucumbers are considered a subtropical plant variety.  This means they will need a warm climate to grow.  They love full sun and need at least 6 hours of it a day.  

If your climate is not suited to these conditions, you may want to consider growing a different plant.  The optimum temperature for cucumbers is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.   

Cucumbers like a lot of water. They especially need a lot of water once they are in the fruiting stage. After pollination, you will start to see a baby cucumber grow from the female flowers.  

Once you notice this happening, start increasing your aquaponic flood cycles to ensure they receive enough moisture.  They also require a lot of nutrients because they grow so fast.

This means you will need to make sure you have enough fish in your aquaponics system.  You can also measure the nitrogen levels in your water to assess whether or not your cucumbers are getting enough N during the vegetation stage.  

Remember, during flowering and fruiting you will need to increase the amount of Phosphorus and Potassium.  If you worry that your aquaponics tank is not providing enough, you may need to supplement with outside fertilizer.

Now let’s get into the details of cucumber pollination.

Cucumbers In Aquaponics

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How To Pollinate Cucumbers

Cucumber is known as a Monoecious plant.  This means that it does not require an outside plant to produce fruit.  On each cucumber plant, you can find both male and female flowers.

The male flowers usually appear first.  On average, the male flowers will come about 10 days before the first female flowers.  However, female flowers will generally outnumber the male flowers on the plant.  

Female flowers may appear 10 times more than male flowers!  This is good because it means that you will get a lot of fruit.  

If you harvest cucumber fruit, your plant will continue to produce more flowers.  So make sure you continue to harvest when fruits are big enough.  

Although the cucumber plant has both male and female flowers, the nectar from the flowers still needs to be transferred in order for the fruit to come.   Both flowers produce nectar, but the male flowers make a higher amount.  Also, the nectar from male flowers is sweeter than the female.  

The female flower has an ovary which looks like a baby cucumber.  This appears at the base of the flower.  

As mentioned earlier, the pollen can be transferred by insects or wind.  However, if you are having a problem with pollination you may need to hand pollinate.

How To Hand Pollinate Cucumbers

Hand pollination is the last resort for those who do not have enough natural biodiversity to do the job of pollination for you.  In order to hand pollinate, you have to first locate the pollen in the male flowers.  You will be moving this pollen into the female flower.

The pollen is yellow-colored.  You will need to use a pointed tool to pick the pollen out of the male flower and drop it into the female.  Some things you can use are Q-Tips, a chopstick, a paintbrush, or anything else you may find suitable. 

One male flower can pollinate many female flowers if done correctly.  Take the yellow pollen and insert it on the stigma of the female flower.  The stigma is located in the center of the flower.  

Please note that the pollen is very sticky and hand pollination can be a very difficult process. When you have a lot of plants, this job will be very time-consuming.

If this is too complicated you can also purchase special self-pollinating cucumber seeds. There are seeds called gynoecious and they contain almost all female flowers.  You can look at the seed packets to determine whether the variety is monoecious or gynoecious.  

Feel free to experiment with different varieties to see which one works best for your aquaponics system.  If you can get cucumbers to grow, it will be a very giving plant.  

Understanding how do cucumbers self-pollinate is a very important step in growing this plant.  Pollination is crucial in order to get fruit! 

As you can see from this article, there are a few different approaches you can take to pollination.  First, make sure you provide the cucumbers with the right growing conditions.  Once you have that set up correctly, you can worry about pollination.

Feel free to ask questions and comment below! We are always happy to help! 

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