If you planted pumpkins in your garden this year, you may not have any fruit\non the plants just yet. In that case, you may be wondering when your\npumpkin plants will produce fruit, and if there is anything you should do to\nhelp them along.\n\n\n\nSo, when does a pumpkin plant produce fruit? \nA pumpkin plant produces fruit in\nthe fall, usually in September or October. \nWhen growing pumpkins from seed, it will take 90 to 120 days to produce\nmature fruit. Pumpkins are annuals and\nonly live for one year, meaning that they die after producing fruit for the\nseason.\n\n\n\nOf course, depending on the variety of pumpkin plant you choose, it may take a longer time for your plant to begin producing fruit. Other factors such as improper pruning, over fertilization, and environmental conditions can all delay the growth of fruit on your pumpkin plant.\n\n\n\nLet\u2019s take a closer look at pumpkin plants, when they bear fruit, and the factors that can affect your harvest.\n\n\n\nWhen Do Pumpkin Plants Produce Fruit?\n\n\n\nDepending on the variety, a pumpkin plant can produce fruit 90 to 120 days\n(3 to 4 months) after planting from seed in the garden. It is recommended\nto start pumpkins directly from seed, from late May in northern regions to as\nlate as early July in the far South.\n\n\n\nA pumpkin plant can take from 90 to 120 days from seed to harvest.\n\n\n\nHowever, if you start seeds indoors and transplant seedlings outside, you\ncan give your plants a head start of 4 to 5 weeks. This can be useful in northern regions with\nshort growing seasons.\n\n\n\nEither way, you should wait until soil temperatures are 65 degrees Fahrenheit\n(18 degrees Celsius) before planting seeds or seedlings in the ground.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on growing pumpkins from the University of Missouri Extension.\n\n\n\nYour pumpkins will be ready for harvest when the rind is\nhard, and the fruit has a solid color (usually orange, but there are varieties with\nother colors).\n\n\n\nSize is not a reliable indication of ripeness. Miniature pumpkin varieties bear fruit that\nweighs less than 1 pound, while jumbo varieties can produce fruit that weighs\n300 pounds.\n\n\n\nYou should wait until after the last spring frost before putting seeds or transplants in your garden. To look up frost dates in your area, check out this frost date calculator from the Old Farmer\u2019s Almanac.\n\n\n\nYou can choose either vine or bush pumpkin varieties. If you have a tiny garden, you can grow your pumpkins on a trellis to save ground space. For more information, check out my article on trellises.\n\n\n\nHow Much Fruit Does A Pumpkin Plant Produce?\n\n\n\nA pumpkin plant can produce 1 to 12 fruits per plant,\ndepending on the variety. Pumpkin plants\nwith smaller fruits, such as miniature varieties, will produce more pumpkins\nper vine.\n\n\n\nYou may get one large pumpkin or several miniature pumpkins on one plant, depending on the variety.\n\n\n\nIf you are looking to grow state-fair jumbo pumpkins, you\nmay want to thin the fruit to one per plant.\n\n\n\nThe fruit on a pumpkin plant is normally orange when ripe, although there\nare varieties with brown, yellow, or green coloring.\n\n\n\nDo Pumpkin Plants Die After Harvest?\n\n\n\nYes, pumpkin plants will die after harvest. Pumpkins are an annual\nplant, meaning that they only survive for one year \u2013 long enough to produce\nfruit and spread seeds to reproduce. \n\n\n\nKeep in mind that an early fall frost can kill pumpkin plants before their\ntime.\n\n\n\nWhat Kind Of Pumpkin To Grow?\n\n\n\nYou have some decisions to make when deciding which pumpkins to grow. First, you will need to decide on the size of\npumpkins that you want to grow.\n\n\n\nMiniature pumpkin varieties will yield more fruit, and they are easier to\nharvest and manage. Jumbo varieties can\nbe hard to handle when harvesting.\n\n\n\nAlso, you can choose either vine or bush pumpkins. Vine pumpkins grow\ntall and are ideal for growing on a trellis. \nBush pumpkins grow much wider than vine pumpkins, and do not require\nsupport, since they crawl along the ground.\n\n\n\nHere are some different varieties of pumpkins you can try.\n\n\n\nMusquee de Provence Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces deep brown fruit (20 pounds) that matures in 100 to 110 days. This variety grows to a height of 24 to 30 inches, with a spread of 72 to 96 inches. For more information, check out the Musquee de Provence pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-musquee-de-provence-prod001896.htmlEarly Sweet Sugar Pie Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces orange fruit (6 to 7 pounds) that matures in 90 days. This variety grows to a height of 24 to 30 inches, with a spread of 72 to 96 inches. For more information, check out the Early Sweet Sugar Pie pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-early-sweet-sugar-pie-prod001154.htmlConnecticut Field Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces orange fruit (15 to 25 pounds) that matures in 120 days. This variety grows to a height of 12 to 18 inches, with a spread of 72 inches. For more information, check out the Connecticut Field pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-connecticut-field-prod000860.htmlJack Be Little Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces small yellow fruit (4 to 8 ounces) that matures in 95 days. This variety grows to a height of 12 to 18 inches, with a spread of 48 inches. For more information, check out the Jack Be Little pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-jack-be-little-prod000861.htmlSmall Sugar Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces orange fruit (5 to 8 pounds) that matures in 100 to 105 days. This variety grows to a height of 12 to 18 inches, with a spread of 48 inches. For more information, check out the Small Sugar pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-small-sugar-prod000867.htmlAtlantic Giant Pumpkin \u2013 this pumpkin plant produces orange fruit (up to 200 pounds) that matures in 100 to 120 days. This variety grows to a height of 24 to 36 inches, with a spread of 96 to 144 inches. For more information, check out the Atlantic Giant pumpkin on the Burpee website. https:\/\/www.burpee.com\/vegetables\/pumpkins\/pumpkin-atlantic-giant-prod001981.html\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on pumpkin production from the Penn State University Extension.\n\n\n\nDo You Need Two Pumpkin Plants To Grow Pumpkins?\n\n\n\nNo, you do not need two pumpkin plants to grow\npumpkins. A single pumpkin plant has\nboth male and female flowers.\n\n\n\nThe key is that the pollen must move from the male flower to\nthe female flower. Usually, bees or\nother pollinators do this. However, you\ncan also do it by hand if you pick off a male pumpkin flower and touch it to\nfemale flowers on the same (or other) pumpkin plants.\n\n\n\nYou can see the swelling at the base of this pumpkin flower, telling us that it is female.\n\n\n\nKeep in mind that male flowers often show up first on\npumpkin plants, with no female flowers to be seen for days. The male flowers will drop off after one day,\nbut this is nothing to be concerned about.\n\n\n\nMore male flowers will continue to appear. When a female flower appears, it will only be\nopen for pollination for a few hours in the morning on one day. You can tell a female flower by the swelling\nat the base of the flower.\n\n\n\nThis female pumpkin flower is open, and can produce a fruit for your harvest!\n\n\n\nIt is a good idea to watch your pumpkin carefully once they\nstart to flower. If it is too hot or\ncold for bees on any of those days, make sure to pollinate your pumpkin flowers\nby hand, as discussed above.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on pollinating pumpkin flowers from North Dakota State University.\n\n\n\nWhat Other Factors Affect Fruit On Pumpkin Plants?\n\n\n\nThe quality of care that you give your pumpkin plants will help to determine\nhow much fruit you get each year. Some of the most important factors are\ntemperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.\n\n\n\nTemperature For Pumpkin Plants\n\n\n\nEarly fall frosts or late spring frosts can spell death for both young and\nmature pumpkin plants. Soil temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16\ndegrees Celsius) early in the season may delay germination of pumpkin seeds.\n\n\n\nPumpkin seedlings are sensitive to frost and cold temperatures (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius), so be sure to protect them!\n\n\n\nYoung pumpkin plants are very sensitive to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit\n(10 degrees Celsius). Mature pumpkins can\nwithstand a frost or two, but be sure to plant early enough so that you can\nharvest before you start getting frost every night. \n\n\n\nIn general, this means planting in late May in the Northern U.S., up to early\nJuly in the Southern U.S. This will\nallow you to harvest your pumpkins for Halloween (October 31).\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on pumpkins from the University of Illinois Extension.\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, excessive heat can also cause problems\nfor pumpkin plants. Daytime temperatures\nin the 90s or nighttime temperatures in the high 70s can cause pumpkin plants\nto drop both flowers and fruit.\n\n\n\nThe ideal temperature range for growing pumpkins is 65 to 90\ndegrees Fahrenheit (18 to 32 degrees Celsius).\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on pumpkins from the University of Delaware.\n\n\n\nIf you already planted pumpkin seeds outside and a frost is threatening your plants, check out my article on how to protect plants from cold and frost.\n\n\n\nWatering For Pumpkin Plants\n\n\n\nPumpkin plants have deep roots, so they can handle some drought stress. However, avoid letting the soil dry out too\nmuch when the plant is still young and developing, or when fruit is forming.\n\n\n\nIf you find that you have a problem with dry soil, check out my article on how to treat dry soil.\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, over watering your pumpkin plants can lead to root rot\nand eventual death. Since pumpkin vines grow along the ground (unless\ntrellised), moist soil also poses the threat of rotten vines and leaves, along\nwith disease from the soil.\n\n\n\nBe careful not to over water your pumpkin plants - vines and leaves on the ground are especially susceptible to rot!\n\n\n\nThe best way to decide when to water is to feel the soil with your\nfingers. If the soil feels dry 2 or 3 inches below the surface, then go\nahead and water.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.\n\n\n\nTry to water early in the morning, rather than at night, to allow water to\nsoak into the soil. Avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent rot, mold,\nand diseases.\n\n\n\nFertilizing For Pumpkin Plants\n\n\n\nBefore you sow pumpkin seeds or put transplants in your garden, add some\ncompost to your soil. It will provide organic material and nutrients for\nyour plants as they grow. The best part is that you can make compost\nyourself from ordinary yard and kitchen waste!\n\n\n\nCompost is a great way to recycle yard and kitchen waste while adding organic material and nutrients to your garden.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on how to make compost.\n\n\n\nIt may be necessary to use fertilizers as a supplement to compost, in order\nto provide extra nutrients if your soil is lacking. The best way to tell if you\nneed fertilizer is with a soil test.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on soil testing.\n\n\n\nFinally, remember that it is possible to harm or kill your pumpkin plants by\nover fertilizing them. For example, too much nitrogen can prevent your pumpkin\nplant from producing any fruit.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on over fertilizing and my article on low-nitrogen fertilizers.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article from the University of Connecticut on maximizing pumpkin production.\n\n\n\nPruning For Pumpkin Plants\n\n\n\nSome gardeners choose to pull off some of the early female flowers on a pumpkin\nplant. This allows the plant to conserve energy so it can produce fewer\nbut larger fruit.\n\n\n\nIf you are going for championship pumpkins, then you might want to thin to\none fruit per plant!\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nBy now, you have a much better idea of when your pumpkin plant will produce\nfruit. You also know a bit more about how to take care of pumpkin plants\nand how to avoid the problems that can affect your harvest.\n\n\n\nI hope you found this article helpful \u2013 if so, please share it with someone\nwho can use the information. If you have any questions or advice about pumpkin\nplants, please leave a comment below.