Pumpkin Plant Life Cycle

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Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin Patch (Image: "Pumpkin patch 083" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: World Resources Institute Staff (WRI Staff) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Pumpkin plants are voracious vines that grab onto any surface that they can, even growing in opposite directions, to ensure that they receive the most water possible. Their growth, from the air, appears as a leafy carpet, conserving moisture and hampering weed growth.

Seeds

Pumpkin seeds grow in the inside of the hollowed-out portion of the pumpkin, in and amongst soft, stringy flesh. They are white seeds about the size of a fingernail.

Sprout

After planting in the late spring, when the temperature consistently reaches the low 70s, a pair of green leaves resembling a butterfly will push up from the ground.

Sprawl

Pumpkin plants are grown from sprawling vines that grow like a carpet, each vine stretching 30-feet long. These vines can grow upward of 6 inches per day.

Flowers

After about eight weeks, yellow flowers sprout on the plant, both male and female, attracting bees for pollination.

Fruit

After pollination, the female flowers become the pumpkins. The fruit will be ripe by the end of August as the vines begin to dry out and the leaves become tattered. Pumpkins are ready to be picked when their external color is bright orange like the setting sun.

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