Cucumber plants not producing is something that worries every home gardener. It might happen if the plant lacks female or male blossoms or pollination doesn’t work. Changes in the ideal growing conditions can also prevent your cucumbers from fruiting.Cucumber Plants Not Producing

So, if you wonder why are there no cucumbers in the shops, our gardening team will help you tackle the problem.

Why Are the Cucumber Plants Not Producing Fruits?

The flowers on the cucumber plants are not producing fruits because of the lack of female or male flowers or due to the lack of pollination. In addition, it can also be due to the temperature change taking place or fluctuating in the nitrogen levels of the plant.

If the plant lacks enough male or female flowers, it won’t be able to set fruit. Moreover, poor pollination is also a common reason why your cucumber fruits might not appear despite flowering. Cucumber varieties are typically easy to care for, but changes in growing conditions can also delay or prevent fruiting.

Understanding why your plant is failing to grow fruits is crucial, as this will help you find the solution to the problem. Many gardeners start their vegetable garden with cucumbers because these are among the easiest plants to grow. But, there are multiple issues that you might encounter before you can enjoy your cucumber harvest.

– Lack of Female or Male Flowers

Most cucumber varieties have female and male blooms on the same plant. It’s easy to differentiate between the two types because male blossoms are located on shorter stems. These don’t produce fruits, and the stem behind them is thinner. Male blooms are usually found in clusters and plant pollen.

Female blossoms are single flowers located on the plant’s long stems. The stem behind every female bloom looks swollen because this is where the fruit grows, and in this case, these flowers don’t produce pollen. Ideally, plants have male and female flowers, but they don’t appear at the same time. In most cases, the male blooms will appear first, and then the female ones will appear weeks later.

This happens because the plant devotes its energy to producing male flowers first to ensure there’s enough pollen for the female flowers when they appear. However, male blooms stay on the plant for a single day before falling off, and this will make it more significant how they will not be able to produce.

Some male blooms will fall off the plant before any female blooms appear. This isn’t a major issue as long as the plant keeps growing male blooms until the female ones appear for successful pollination.

Yet, if male blooms don’t appear later or female buds fail to form, you won’t be able to see fruits growing on your cucumber plant. Some cucumber varieties are gynoecious, producing many female flowers and very few or no male blooms. Unfortunately, these plants won’t produce fruits unless a nearby plant has enough male blooms.Why Are Cucumber Plants Not Producing Fruits

– Lack of Pollination

Do you see cucumber flowers but not fruit? Even if you have enough flowers on your plant, you might not see the fruits growing due to a lack of or inadequate pollination. When there aren’t any pollinators, you will not see them thrive off the plants in a prosperous way.

Cucumbers aren’t self-pollinating plants; for instance, honeybees and bumblebees usually help cucumbers with pollination, but each plant should be visited by these helpful bees several times for successful pollination. Ideally, bees will carry pollen from the male blooms to the female ones. When this doesn’t happen, you might see a lot of flowers on your plant, but it won’t be able to grow any fruits.

Bees might not visit your garden if you have flowers that bloom only in the early spring. They won’t be interested in your garden and won’t visit later when the cucumber blooms appear. If there are wasps in your area, bees might also avoid your garden, leading to poor or failed pollination.

– Temperature Changes

Growing cucumbers at an adequate temperature is crucial for successful flowering and fruiting. Female blooms might not appear or will die before they’re pollinated if the temperature is too hot.

Moreover, pollinators won’t visit your garden to pollinate your plants if the weather is too cold. This is why you will see it fluctuating and going through a distressed situation.

Cucumbers grow best in warm climates, as cold temperatures are typically more harmful to cucumber plants than hot ones. However, some cold-tolerant varieties might not suffer that much when the temperature drops.Cucumber Plants Not Producing

– Fluctuating Nitrogen Levels

Nitrogen is a vital component of chlorophyll; without it, plants won’t be able to perform photosynthesis. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and thrive when there’s enough nitrogen in the soil, so in this case, when there is a lack of it, the plant won’t have right energy to thrive and produce.

However, too much nitrogen in the soil can burn plants, including nitrogen-loving cucumbers. This usually happens when you use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that increases nitrogen levels suddenly. Moreover, this increase can delay the production of flowers while boosting the growth of the foliage.

How To Encourage Cucumber Plants to Produce Fruit?

You can encourage your cucumber to produce more male or female blooms by planting other cucumbers and placing a greenhouse. You can help by practicing hand pollination if there aren’t enough pollinators. Maintaining adequate temperatures and nitrogen levels will boost flowering and fruiting.Solving Cucumber Plants Not Producing

– Plant Other Cucumbers

After identifying male and female flowers, you can determine the ones missing from your cucumber plants. Sometimes, you should wait until the female blooms appear, and pollination will happen naturally if you are thinking about how do you encourage cucumbers to fruit.

However, some gardeners see their male blooms falling off before any female blooms appear. Although this might seem concerning, more male blooms will likely appear on your plant.

Lack of female blooms can be a significant concern for gardeners, especially in hotter climates. Moreover, if you plant your cucumber variety later in the season, you might notice that your plant isn’t growing enough female blooms.

So, how to increase female flowers in cucumber, you may also wonder, should I remove male flowers from cucumber plants. You must notice that this can also be a worrying notion, because you would see how this can be tricky because cooler temperatures can encourage the production of female blossoms. At the same time, they negatively impact the number of male flowers produced earlier in the season.

– Place a Greenhouse

The best way to encourage blooming is to protect your plant from cold temperatures earlier in the season. A greenhouse might promote the formation of male blossoms. At the same time gynoecious plants produce more fruit, but you’ll have to grow some monoecious plants in your garden. This guarantees that there will be enough male flowers for pollination.

Unlike other plants like tomatoes and peas, cucumbers need the help of insects for pollination. This happens because of the pollen size and because the male blossoms stay alive for a single day. Honeybees play a crucial role in pollinating cucumbers, and in their absence, you might have to hand pollinate cucumbers, or they won’t be able to see the fruit set.

Later in the season, putting the plant outside will encourage the formation of more female blossoms. In addition, you should ensure your plant enjoys some shade, especially in the afternoon.

Seeing no male flowers on cucumber plants is rarer than the lack of female ones. It’s mostly common in gynoecious cucumber varieties, which produce more female blossoms and very few or no male blossoms.

– Improve Pollination

Cucumbers can’t self-pollinate; without enough pollinators in your garden, you might not see fruit growing on the plants. So, if pollination is failing, you can attract more bees to your garden or try to hand-pollinate your cucumbers, or you can encourage by planting flowers and herbs that they would naturally be attracted to.

So, how to pollinate cucumber flowers? Making your garden bee-friendly is crucial by addressing problems that might drive them away, like wasps. Plant different local flowers throughout the season so that bees can access pollen and nectar.

Hand-pollination is an excellent way to encourage fruiting. You can cut male blossoms and rub their stamens on the female buds. You can also use a soft-bristle brush or a cotton swab to transfer pollen from male to female blooms and note that since male blossoms live for a single day, you should pick the newest and healthiest ones to ensure successful pollination.

– Adjust Temperature

Cucumbers, even cold-hardy varieties, are sensitive to temperature changes. When the temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, blooms won’t be able to form, and this means that fruits won’t develop. Moreover, temperature changes can also affect the number of flowers growing on your plant.

Cold temperatures encourage the growth of female blossoms, while male blooms won’t grow. On the other hand, hot temperatures will promote male blossoms’ development and lead to female ones’ absence.

– Adjust Nitrogen Levels

Although cucumbers appreciate the presence of nitrogen in the soil, too much nitrogen harms your plants. High nitrogen levels in the soil can burn cucumbers and delay the production of flowers. This means that your plant won’t be able to produce any fruits.Nitrogen Levels for Cucumber Plants

Cucumbers are heavy feeders, and they need multiple nutrients to thrive. Although nitrogen is essential for their growth, too much nitrogen in the soil will negatively impact your plant.

Excessive nitrogen encourages the growth of foliage and makes the leaves thick, and this can lead to pest infestations. At the same time, the plant won’t be able to produce enough flowers, which later turn into fruits. On the other hand, nitrogen can scorch some delicate plants, and its accumulation in the soil negatively impacts the ecosystem.

Many novice gardeners use fertilizers to keep their cucumbers healthy since these plants are heavy feeders. Nevertheless, nitrogen-rich fertilizers encourage foliage growth while delaying the production of blooms.

Applying a high potassium and phosphorus fertilizer with a low nitrogen content is best when planting your cucumbers. Giving your plants another dose during the mid-season with consistent watering will encourage healthy growth and fruiting. Phosphorus is especially crucial because it encourages bud formation.


Seeing your cucumber plants not developing fruits despite producing flowers might be alarming. This happens due to several reasons, but can easily be fixed, so read the summary:

  • The male and female cucumber flowers don’t appear simultaneously, and poor or absent pollination can prevent fruits from developing.
  • You can try to manipulate the temperature to encourage the growth of female or male blossoms if they’re absent.
  • Hand-pollination using a brush or cotton swab is a potent way of encouraging pollination.
  • Applying a balanced fertilizer that contains less nitrogen and more phosphorus, and potassium encourages healthy flower production and fruit development.

So, if you see your cucumber growing but not producing enough fruits, try these tips and see what happens.

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