Boy meets girl – finally!

Finally, female flower (top) and male flower (bottom) bloom on the same day!

You know, when you want something to happen, you have to first open your mouth and complain that nothing’s been going on.

An evening stroll gave me a good surprise when I approached my loofah vines. Two yellow flowers blinked at me through the fading light of day, and closer inspection showed me that, finally, I had male and female flowers – one of each – blooming simultaneously!

This is so very important since the flowers of the angled loofah bloom and last only for a single evening.

Well, I have a side bet going on about that, because two mornings ago, I saw a male flower on the ground that had bloomed the evening before. On a whim, I stripped the petals off to expose the anther and what pollen was left, and attempted to pollinate a female flower that had bloomed two days before that. Whether that works remains to be seen.

However, on this day, I had both flowers blooming at the same time, and even though there were many red ants frantically attending the flowers, I had to get in on the act, too. Using a cotton bud, I collected pollen from the male flower and introduced it to the female flower.

Pollinating the loofah flower by dabbing pollen from the male flower onto the female flower.

It would just happen that each of the flowers was on a different vine – proving again my theory that loofah flowers are notoriously out of sync with each other! Hopefully that will change when they mature more. After all, I’ve heard that loofah plants are very prolific, so it would be very ironic if we went from me whining about pollination problems to having a glut of loofahs!

With my luck, that’s exactly what will happen…

Anyway, I now await the results of (hopeful) pollination. Eh, with the novice I am at growing vegetables, anything can go wrong! :D

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