Growing pumpkins indoor

Asked January 15, 2014, 1:58 PM EST

When we carved our pumpkins last Halloween, there was a sprout inside one of them, and now it is growing in our kitchen window. It has already had a couple flowers, though not at the same time to try and pollinate them. How do we keep it growing and healthy indoors? How can we pollinate it? It needs to be in a bigger container (right now it's in an ice cream bucket) - can I transplant it into a big box? How do I do that? Also, when spring/summer comes, can/how can I transplant it outside? Thank you for your help! I've never grown pumpkins to begin with, let alone in the winter time!!

Weber County Utah fruits and vegetables indoor gardening horticulture

1 Response

How fun!!

First, you need to understand that pumpkins are typically hybridized. That means that the seed that you buy come from two different plants, often different varieties. This provides the resulting plant with what we call hybrid vigor, which often provides some disease and pest resistance as well. Your developing seedling could have been self pollinated or from an unknown cucurbit plant in the garden. This means that the resulting fruit from your seedling may or may not come true to your expectations. More than likely, it will revert to the main characteristics of the femaie parent. So it could be beautiful or could be less than desirable. But that is not the issue.

What you do have the potential for is to grow a giant pumpkin. You can follow the directions on the links below for some guidelines.

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1646.html
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/how-grow-monster-pumpkin-0
http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene61ea.html

Pumpkin vines typically will produce flowers with male and female parts. You will need to have flowers that are both. You then harvest pollen from the male flowers using a little paint brush and brush the pollen onto the female parts of the flowers. Outdoors, the bees do this for you. The link below can give you some guidelines.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs398