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Author Topic: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants  (Read 415 times)

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JayG

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First time growing 'La Diva' all female cucumbers this year, and although the growth is satisfyingly rampant, both plants are producing nearly as many male flowers as female.  :ohmy:

As soon as I started noticing them I've been picking off the male flowers - looks as if the female flowers are setting OK, but whether they had a 'dalliance' with male flowers beforehand only time will tell I suppose.

Grew Picolo all-female cukes for the previous 3 years, and never noticed any male flowers at all - has anyone else found this to be more of an issue with La Diva?
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mumofstig

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 11:32 »
I've never picked off the male flowers, my packet doesn't tell me to, either.
They seem to make more male flowers when it is hot in the greenhouse, but the female flowers will still set fruit on their own, provided they have enough moisture at the roots. They can be grown as ridge cucumbers so it would be pointless removing their males when other plants were about  :wacko:
Thinking about it, the parthenocarpic courgettes are the same, they do set fruit without male flowers - but you don't have to remove any males that do appear.

So I just let them get on with it  :D
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JayG

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 13:13 »
Thanks Mum!  ;)

I don't think I'll ever reach the stage where I completely understand the distinction between outdoor/indoor/ridge/all-female cucumber varieties, and therefore how to manage them, and that's mainly due to advice like this from victoriananursery.co.uk (this is specifically about La Diva but other websites seem equally conflicting when you compare their advice.) :

Quote
As this is what is known as a 'Ridge Type' it is suitable for outdoor growing, frame growing or growing in a polytunnel or greenhouse. Being an all female variety, it is best to remove the male flowers (identified by not having a tiny fruit behind the flower). If male flowers are left on these may pollinate the flowers causing the fruits to become bitter to taste.

My best guess is that because the female flowers can set fruit without pollination, this usually happens before they are subject to pollination by any male flowers there may be about, but if pollination occurs before they have set fruit by themselves there is a risk that the fruits could be bitter.  :unsure:

oldgrunge

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 21:46 »
I have grown La Diva on and off for quite a few years, and never encountered male flowers. This year, however, I am growing two plants, side by side in my greenhouse one is producing nothing but female flowers, the other plant is producing nothing but males ???
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JayG

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 09:28 »
Oh dear - an extreme case of gender diversity there!  :lol:

Gives you more of a dilemma than the one I'm facing - hope they sort themselves out soon.

Despite Mum's encouraging words, having not grown this variety before (and really looking forward to my first cuke this year) I think I'll play safe and continue to remove the male flowers - much as I like to experiment I'd prefer to do it on someone else's cukes on this occasion!  ;)

Lardman

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 10:55 »
Quote
Being an all female variety, it is best to remove the male flowers

Sigh....  :nowink:  ::)

I've grown it for a few years Jay and here it kicks out a few male flowers when starting or when stressed (most days and twice on Sundays).  I pinch them off for fear of bitter fruit.

Other than it's N.B.G.D. issues it's a decent cuke - I made ML a sandwich from one this morning, pick them early around 4-5" and before they get too fat otherwise they tend to be a bit watery.
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JayG

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 10:59 »
Been picking them for a couple of weeks now - no bitter fruits despite the plants still producing at least as many male flowers as female, and me no doubt not managing to remove all of them.

They certainly do deliver the goods (:ohmy:) - I'm composting a couple of lurkers which weren't far off being as broad as they were long!  ;)

oldgrunge

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 20:27 »
Further to my earlier post re my La Diva producing all males. Having allowed it to produce a couple of side shoots, female flowers are now appearing on the shoots!

sunshineband

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 21:37 »
Further to my earlier post re my La Diva producing all males. Having allowed it to produce a couple of side shoots, female flowers are now appearing on the shoots!

Good!
Ours have a mix of male and female flowers but all the cucumbers taste just fine. I leave the males on and they seem to do no harm, maybe because of the parthenogenic nature of Divas, as MoS suggested  :nowink:
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Lardman

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 09:54 »
They certainly do deliver the goods (:ohmy:) - I'm composting a couple of lurkers which weren't far off being as broad as they were long!  ;)

 :) Don't suppose you could have a word with mine could you. Having sung their praises earlier they have done nothing this year at all. I think I've picked 3 cukes from the 2 plants in the bottom GH.  :(  They just yellowing and falling off - lack of pollination in a parthenogenetic plant ?! there are no males flowers appearing either.  :unsure:

It may just be a pants year for them though as I have 6 more plants (a mixture of iznik and passanda )in the top GH which steadfastly refuse to produce anything either.

oldgrunge

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 10:31 »
Mine are not setting the world alight, either! My other Diva in the GH has produced one fruit so far, the others, like yours Lardman, are yellowing off. I have two Marketmore outside which have produced a few though. As the toms, chillies and peppers have also slowed down, personally, I think it could be the cool, damp, weather we're having.

JayG

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 11:16 »
The only difference that I'm aware of between 3-4 years of failure followed by 3 years of success is liquid feeding with a far greater frequency than for anything else I grow.

Not sure I've done too much right this year apart from that - in the attached pic there are 2 plants in one ex chicken poo tub, and they have grown so rampantly that in warm weather they need watering twice a day. One plant would have been ample.  ::)

Wasn't prepared for the number of side shoots either, all of which carried both male and female flowers but have now been pinched out.

Only very immature fruits showing in the pic because I picked 8 cukes yesterday, and put 2 other lurking giants in the compost bin.
STA70058-001.JPG
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:21 by JayG »

sunshineband

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Re: Quite a few male flowers on La Diva cucumber plants
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 15:07 »
Those divas do like a good nitrogenous feed  :nowink:



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