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Ornamental Gourds: shriveling gourds???

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momherb
Tucson, AZ

July 5, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5207146

This is the first time I've grown gourds. These little gourds were doing just fine and growing bigger, however, now they've all shriveled. They're planted in containers and getting watered regularly. Does anyone have an idea of what happened to them? Photos included.

thanks, Momherb

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momherb
Tucson, AZ

July 5, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5207149

Here's one more photo.

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Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

July 5, 2008
5:33 PM

Post #5208011

Maybe they need some kind of nutrients . . . I hope you figure out what the issue is, momherb!
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 8, 2008
2:29 PM

Post #5223096

I've had it happen. Check the vines near the roots for frass (looks like wet sawdust) to make sure it's not a borer damaging the vine.
momherb
Tucson, AZ

July 8, 2008
3:09 PM

Post #5223373

I haven't actually checked for a borer (these vines are at my work place) but the vines themselves don't appear to be damaged yet. I've had borers in my squash before so I'm quite familiar with them. If this is some sort of nutrient deficiency, what would it be? I only garden organically so I won't use a chemical fertilizer but there's probably an organic solution if this is what is suspected.

Thanks. Momherb
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2008
3:11 PM

Post #5223385

Let's ask our Horseshoe...Oh SHOE!! Jo
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 10, 2008
4:23 PM

Post #5235735

momherb, it doesn't seem to be a nutrient deficiency. I can't tell exactly what kind of gourd they are and it's hard to judge the "proper" size of them or tell how old they are in your pics. However, first thing that comes to mind is that those female flowers didn't get pollinated (or were poorly pollinated). When that happens it is very common for the (potential) gourds to die.

Normally gourds are pollinated by night time moths. If you have a bug zapper near by that would be the first thing to turn off. Also if you have bright lights that would attract the moths away from the flowers you might want to turn it off as well.

OR, you can easily hand-pollinate by taking a male flower and rubbing the pollen onto the female flowers.

Hope this is helpful. And thanks, Jo, for giving me a holler!

Happy Gardening to All!
Shoe
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
4:25 PM

Post #5235745

Shoe...You always come up with good ideas..I never thought of turning the yard light off. Jo
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 10, 2008
4:28 PM

Post #5235764

Well, if your yard light is a security light maybe you can just turn it off during the early evening hours; might be best to turn it back on for safety's sake when you go to bed, eh? (Don't you get night-time "pedestrians" sometimes sneaking by your way at night?)

Shoe
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
4:29 PM

Post #5235776

Shoe...we really don't encourage yard lights in my neighborhood...and we have no street lights...but we don't want to help the illegas out in finding their way to Phoenix. LOL Jo
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 10, 2008
10:18 PM

Post #5237466

hehehe...good thinking, RR!

Shoe
momherb
Tucson, AZ

July 11, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5238103

You know, today I looked VERY carefully at the gourd plants. There are some morning glories planted in the same container and they are completely healthy but the gourd vine appears to have declined considerably. I missed this because all I saw was the green morning glory vine and didn't realize the gourd vine was unhealthy. I didn't see any sign of a borer but I do notice that the vine is growing again from the roots. I suspect that someone may have forgotten to water the plant somewhere along the line. Anyway, the new vine appears to be green and healthy so we'll hope for another harvest that is properly cared for.
jipsi
Clinton, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 11, 2008
4:57 AM

Post #5239604

momherb:

I'm only guessing, but it is also my personal experience that Morning Glories, although lovely, can literally CHOKE the life out of any other neighboring plant.
I, too, had a few Morning Glories sprouting up around my gourd plants. When I actually pulled them up and tossed them, the gourd plants TOOK OFF in renewed vigor, and are now, finally, giving me VIABLE FEMALE blossoms to hand pollinate...
I would suggest relocating the Morning Glory "starts"/vines away from your gourd plants, and see if things improve afterwards...

jip

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