Cucumbers Not Fruiting!

Female flowers have small fruits at the base (left) and male flowers don’t (right).

“Why do I get a lot of flowers on cucumbers plants but no cucumbers?” Question from Margaret of Dade City, Florida

Answer: How annoying for you! Nothing is worse than having “happy” plants that don’t produce good fruit. If your plants get enough sun, water, and good vegetable fertilizer for fruiting, and they still aren’t producing, then several other factors could be keeping you cucumberless. Here are the top five most likely causes, followed by some suggestions to help you maximize future cucumber harvests!

  1. Lack of pollinators: Most cucumbers have two flower types, male and female (image above), and these are strictly bee pollinated. The male flowers are produced first, followed by the female blooms. If you see female blooms on your plants, and no bees, this could be the problem.
  2. Insecticides: If insecticide sprays or dusts are used around your plants, they could be killing your pollinators.
  3. High Heat: Most cucumber varieties grow best in temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees F, and many stop producing when days exceed 95 degrees F are nights remain hot.
  4. Timing: To avoid the high heat problem, Florida gardeners can start cucumbers in late summer for a fall and early winter crop of cukes.
  5. Variety: Heat-resistant cucumber varieties are best for Florida growing, while heat-sensitive varieties are not recommended. You can also choose cucumbers that are self-fruitful, meaning pollinators are not required for fruit production.

For Florida growing, I would suggest growing the self-fruitful, heat-tolerant varieties ‘Diva’, ‘Beit Alpha’, or early-yielding, super heat-tolerant variety, ‘Thunder’. We also recommend you watch our video about cucumber growing (below)! It has lots of great growing tips to maximize your cucumber growing!

Happy gardening, Jessie


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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