What Do Pumpkin Plants Look Like and Growing Stages

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What Do Pumpkin Plants Look Like

Today we are going to explore all things pumpkin, including the stages that the pumpkin plant goes through, as it sprouts, and begins to grow your pumpkins on the vine, and also, what pumpkin plants look like. I am so excited to share these pictures with you, and indicators to help you identify a pumpkin plant, as well as how to grow it.

pumpkin on the vine

No matter if you are looking for baby pumpkins, or for the perfect giant pumpkin, it’s important to identify the different stages of a pumpkin plant as it grows, in order to harvest its fruit. It’s also good to know what the pumpkin plant looks like so you don’t pull it when you’re weeding your garden, and although it often seems like a long growing season to be able to enjoy your pumpkins, it really only takes a few months. Now, let’s jump right into the pumpkin life cycle.

Pumpkin Life Cycle

Perhaps you are new to growing your own pumpkins or are looking to start a pumpkin patch. Walking through the pumpkin patch during harvest season is such a fun activity, and pumpkin patches are greatly increasing in popularity in recent years as well. Let’s look at the different growth stages of a pumpkin plant, in order to be able to grow your very own pumpkin patch and enjoy pumpkins in the fall.

Pumpkin Growth Stages

There are several different growth stages for a pumpkin plant. It looks differently at each stage as well. Let’s begin by looking at pumpkin seeds. Keep in mind that you can sometimes buy pumpkin plants and seedlings from a nursery, or as seeds from many different stores.

Pumpkin Seeds

The kind of pumpkin seeds that are for planting are a light tan color, and they are shaped very similar to a squash seed. They have a somewhat shiny exterior and have a pointed end to them. They are kind of oval in shape but are flat. 

To sow pumpkin seed, you will first want to cultivate the area, then plant the seeds approximately ½ to 1 inch deep in the dirt, with the pointed part facing down. Pumpkin seeds will do best when they are planted in mounds or small hills.

Pumpkin Seedlings

After a few weeks, you will begin to see pumpkin seedlings pick up from the mounds where they were planted. The young plants will be simple little seedlings, typically with two oval-shaped leaves poking up from the soil. 

As the weeks progress, your pumpkin plants continue to grow, they will grow from seedlings into young pumpkin plants.

Pumpkin Plants

As the seedlings grow into plants, more leaves will begin to grow on the young plants, and your pumpkin plants will take shape. You’ll start to see the leaves grow from being small oval-shaped seedlings into their own unique shape.

Pumpkin plants will grow more leaves in their leaves on the plants will begin to form in a large, pointed shape. Smaller leaves may have about three points on them, well larger ones may have three to five points. 

Check out the picture, for an idea of what a young pumpkin plant will look like. This is similar to that of a yellow squash or zucchini plant but is in fact a pumpkin plant pictured.

young pumpkin plant

Pumpkin Vines

Most varieties of pumpkins will also send out vines from the plants as they grow. This is why it’s a good idea to allow plenty of space when planting pumpkin plants. The vines will extend from the base of the plant and grow outward. There are typically main vines with others branched off from the main vine.

Bright Yellow Flowers

After the plant has formed, it will begin flowering. The first flowers that appear on the plant are typically the male flowers, which will be followed by the female flowers. In order for pumpkins to form, the male pollen must pollinate the female flowers, and the bright orange flowers will eventually grow into small pumpkins at the base of the flower. Eventually, the female pumpkin flowers will die off, as the pumpkin grows where the female flower once was.

Small Pumpkins

After the female flowers are pollinated, you’ll begin to see small pumpkins form underneath the flowers near the stem. They will start off as green balls, these green fruits will eventually grow into your orange pumpkins. The size of the pumpkin will be determined by whatever varieties of pumpkin plants you planted at the beginning of the year. 

Harvest Time

When harvest time rolls around, you can tell if your pumpkin is ready to pick, by the hollow sound inside of the pumpkin, as well as by looking at the pumpkin to see if it is the correct color hue that your pumpkins should be. But also, you can check the skin of the pumpkin. If it is firm, then it is ready to be picked. However, if your fingernail easily scratches the skin of the pumpkin, then it needs more time to grow before it is harvested.

pumpkin blossom on plant

The Best Way to Tell What Pumpkin Plants Look Like

There are a few different ways that you can tell what a pumpkin plant looks like. Keep in mind some varieties may vary slightly, but they are all similar in appearance. 

Green Color. Pumpkin plants have a lovely deep green color. Some are brighter shades than others, but mature plants are usually a nice, beautiful green.

Long Stem. Pumpkin plants have a long, typically skinny stem that forms on the plant. The plant will then form vines.

Long Vines. Long lines were formed from the plant, after the plant itself as ground. It will then send off long vines. Some of these vines may be much longer than others. 

Leaf Edges. Most variety of pumpkin plants have jagged edges around their leaves. Some have noticeable points, the others are rounded slightly, but the jagged edges are usually present in true pumpkin leaves. The leaves appear somewhat similar to other types of squash plants such as zucchini or yellow squash, but they are still slightly different, and grow long vines as opposed to many other types of squash.

Grow Green Balls. Pumpkin plants will also form bright yellow, or orange flowers, which will eventually turn into small green balls when they are pollinated. The flowers will eventually fall off, and the green balls will grow into your lovely pumpkins, of whatever color shade that variety is.

flowering pumpkin plant

Pumpkin Varieties

There are many different varieties of pumpkins. Some are little, while others grow huge pumpkins. The colors of the different varieties of pumpkins also vary. Some are orange, which is most common when you think of a pumpkin, but others are a shade of yellow, or even green.

There are different uses for pumpkin varieties as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most common uses for pumpkins. 

Pumpkin Fruits

Pumpkin Pie. When you think of pumpkins, one of the most common uses for pumpkins is to make them into delicious pumpkin pies. Did you know that this actually requires a specific type of pumpkin in order to make tasty pies? That’s right, there is a specific type of pie pumpkin that is needed in order to make amazing pies, which is called a pie pumpkin. 

Carved Pumpkins. Other fun things to do with pumpkins, which is most common during the month of October, or for Halloween is to carve pumpkins. When you see big orange pumpkins, either is typically the type best suited for carving pumpkins.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Another fun use for a part of pumpkins is to roast pumpkin seeds. These can actually make a very tasty treat.

small pumpkin vine

How to have a Bountiful Harvest

Plant in Full Sun. Pumpkin plants will do the best when they are planted in full sun areas. This is why you can go to a pumpkin patch, and have it be a wide open field of nothing but pumpkin plants. 

Nutrient-Rich Soil. Pumpkin plants also like to grow in nutrient-rich soil. This can be done by adding compost or fertilizer such as manure to the soil before planting your pumpkin seeds. 

Well-Draining Soil. Your pumpkin plants will grow and thrive when they are planted in a dry place, but if you are able to keep moist soil often, this will help the roots grow. You want to be able to water the pumpkin plant regularly, but also you don’t want there to be a lot of standing water, which is why its well-draining soil works best

Good Air Circulation. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pumpkin plants have good air circulation. This means that you want to allow plenty of space for the air to flow through the pumpkin leaves. This will help prevent the plants from molding in writing, as well as help to fight other fungal diseases or fungal infections such as powdery mildew as well as many others which can hurt your plants and harm your harvest. 

How to Plant Pumpkins 

Planting in Full Sun. When you are looking for a spot to plant your pumpkin seeds, look for a nice sunny spot. Your pumpkin plants need a lot of direct sunlight in order for them to grow and thrive. 

When to Plant. Pumpkin seeds will do their best when they are planted after the danger of frost has passed for the year. They typically like soil temperatures around 80°F, which is after the last frost date. In most parts of the country, this will mean planting in late May to early June. Make sure to reference the back of your seed packet, to see when the ideal planting time is for your specific location, as southern states will be different from northern states, and other parts of the world.

Allow a Lot of Space. When you are looking for a place to plant your own pumpkins in your vegetable garden, or if you’re starting a pumpkin patch, make sure that all the seeds you plant have plenty of room for growth. Pumpkin plants produce vines, which can spread out a long way. This is why you want to make sure there’s plenty of space for growth.

Growing pumpkins

Growing your own pumpkins is a lot of fun. It’s enjoyable to watch your pumpkins go through the different development stages of the plant, as your pumpkins grow. Then at harvest time, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Knowing what pumpkin plants look like is an important key to growing your own pumpkins. I hope that this has been helpful to you, and now you can begin growing and enjoying your own pumpkin plants. 

Thank you so much for stopping by, to check out what the pumpkin plants look like. I hope that this has answered your question, and now you can begin enjoying your own pumpkins! 

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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