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8 Pumpkin Plant Growth Stages: From Germination to Harvesting

Pumpkin is a classic nutritious vegetable with antioxidant properties that will be ready for consumption only after a series of growth stages.

Generally, the Pumpkin plant growth stages include planting the seeds, germination of seeds, vine growth phase, flowering phase, pollination of the flower, fruit development, and harvesting time.

Read the article to the last to learn about Pumpkin plant stages in detail.

Growth Stages of a Pumpkin

A Pumpkin takes about three to four months of a timeline to complete its life cycle.

Step 1: Getting the Seeds

As a pumpkin plant is not a rare thing to get your hands on, you could easily find one in your local shops.

Make sure you buy a completely ripe Pumpkin that is full of seeds.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds not only help grow a Pumpkin but are also edible and loaded with many benefits.

Look below for the sites where you can buy Pumpkin seeds.

Online sitesDelivery details
WalmartAbout 3 days
Amazon2-7 days for delivery
Johnny Seeds1 or 2 business days
Harris Seeds1 or 2 business days

To extract the seeds from a fresh Pumpkin, follow the steps below.

  • Take a large newspaper and place your Pumpkin over it to avoid mess.
  • Get a large kitchen knife and cut the top part of the Pumpkin into the shape of a lid.
  • Get a big spoon and scrape the Pumpkin’s insides to get the seeds along with the fiber and pulp of the Pumpkin.
  • Strain the pulp in a colander and separate the seeds from the pulp.
  • Keep the seeds in cold water for some time and then spread the seeds on dry paper and let the seeds dry out completely.

Step 2: Planting the Seeds

Before planting the seeds, you may want to conduct a viability test. Put the seeds in water for 15 minutes; if they sink, they are viable.

The best time to plant the Pumpkin seeds is during the late spring months when the soil temperature is around 70℉.

Follow the steps below to ensure the optimal sprouting of your Pumpkin seeds.

  • Prepare good, rich soil for planting the seeds. You can add soil additives to the potting mix (manure, compost, humus, etc.) to boost its growth.
  • Dig a small 1-inch hole in pots or garden soil, place 2-3 seeds to overseed, and have a better chance at germination.

Note: Sow the Pumpkin seeds with their pointed ends facing down. Additionally, keep a 24 inch gap between each seed.

  • Water the soil until moist and keep it like that for better germination.

Step 3: Germination Phase

If the soil temperature is ideal, you will witness the germination in about 7-10 days.

The seed will produce two oval-shaped leaves that are called cotyledons. The outer covering of the seed is attached to the newly-sprouted leaves.

Germinating Pumpkin seeds
The first true set of Pumpkin leaves grows after one or two weeks.

As the plant matures, the cotyledons fall off, and true leaves emerge.

In about seven days, you will notice the plant’s true leaves that have a rounder shape and lighter color than the cotyledons.

Step 4: Vine Growth Phase

A Pumpkin seedling takes about 15-20 days before protruding the vines from its stem.

Depending on the Pumpkin species, the vines can grow to a length varying from 10-20 feet.

During this phase of Pumpkin growth, water the plant thoroughly in the roots but ensure you do not wet the leaves.

For better growth, water the Pumpkin plant every day during hot weather.

If you have planted your plant indoors, it might be time to move them to gardens.

Step 5: Flowering Phase

About two months after planting the seeds, you can witness the flowers in your Pumpkin plant.

It produces large flowers with huge bright yellow-colored petals and long stamen.

Female flowers of Pumpkin have fruit behind their receptacle, but the male flower lacks any fruit. The male flower grows ten days before the female flower.

When the plant produces flowers, you must provide them with liquid fertilizer for vegetables every 15 days during their growing season.

Step 6: Pollination of the Flower

The main pollination agents of the Pumpkin flower are the small bees that can be found almost everywhere.

The male flower produces sweet nectar and pollen, pivotal in attracting the bees.

After successfully collecting the pollen, the bees move to the female Pumpkin flower and leave the pollen there, aiding in fertilization.

If the bees do not visit your garden frequently, you can take a paintbrush and manually induce the pollination.

Step 7: Development of Fruit

At the beginning of development, the fruit is green, which turns yellow as it matures.

If the fruit is too heavy for your plant to handle, you can make a hammock out of old clothes to support its weight.

With the development of the fruit, the vines start turning brown and withering down.

Pumpkins take about 90-120 days to mature, with a deep color and a fully hardened stem.

Depending on your variety, Pumpkin comes in different colors, like blue, red, yellow, and white.

Step 8: Harvesting time

To harvest the Pumpkin, you need to find out whether it is ready to harvest or not.

Pumpkin Fruit
Leave at least 2 inches of stem at the top of your Pumpkin fruit while harvesting.

Look for the following telltale signs to determine if you should pick your Pumpkin.

  • Feel the outer skin of your Pumpkin. If it is hard, it is ready to be picked.
  • The vines connected with the fruit start turning brown.
  • The color of the Pumpkin is the right color depending on its variety.
  • When you tap the outer cover of the Pumpkin, it gives a hollow sound.
  • The stem connected to the Pumpkin becomes hard.

To cut the Pumpkin off the plant, you can use a sharp knife after sterilizing them properly. While cutting, leave at least 2 inches of stem attached to the plant.

After the Pumpkins are harvested, start the curing process by placing them in a sunny location for about 10 days with relative humidity (50-70%).

Tips to Care for a Pumpkin to Grow Faster

Although the Pumpkin plants will not require much looking after, they will yield better if you provide proper care.

  • Add compost manure to your soil to ensure you get better Pumpkins faster.
  • Pumpkin plant needs a lot of water. So, ensure you water one inch every week.
  • Increase the watering frequency in hotter weather but remember, Pumpkins are susceptible to blight disease.
  • Prune wild vines with sterilized pruners now and then to promote optimum growth.
  • Control the weeds around your Pumpkin plant by mulching it properly.
  • Your plant will require at least six hours of sunlight daily to grow correctly.
  • The soil should be well-draining and rich with good aeration.

If you want results faster, you need to do the above. Otherwise, you could let the plant grow naturally at its own pace.

From Editorial Team


Pumpkins are tender annual plants that can quickly succumb to frost weather.

So, you must keep your plant at a suitable temperature (65-90ºF) to prevent its death.

Happy Planting!

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