How to Remove Flowers From Melons


Melon plants produce both male and female flowers on the same vine. Male flowers appear first, followed by female flowers several days later. Insects move pollen between the male and female flowers, and incomplete pollination of female flowers is the primary cause of misshapen and small melons. It would seem counterintuitive to remove flowers from your melon vines, however, removing male flowers and hand-pollinating your female flowers can result in more melons being produced by your melon plants.

Step 1

Identify male and female flowers. Male melon flowers appear 1 week before female flowers. A male flower has stamens (also called anthers) covered in sticky yellow pollen. A female flower has a swelling (this becomes the melon) at its base, right below the petals. Female flowers remain open for just one day.

Step 2

Grasp the flower at its base and pull slightly to one side.

Step 3

Insert a small pair of sharp scissors between the base of the flower and the main stem. Snip the flower off making a clean, straight cut.

Step 4

Remove all flowers (and melons smaller than a golf ball) 50 days before your first predicted frost date (mid- to late summer). Doing this allows the melon vines to concentrate on ripening the fruit they have already set, resulting in bigger, sweeter melons.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not remove too many female flowers. The more female flowers you remove, the fewer fruit your melon vines will produce.

Things You'll Need

  • Small sharp scissors


  • Agriculture Guide; Growing Melons in Greenhouse
  • University of Missouri Extension; High Tunnel Melon Production

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension; Growing Melons
  • Bonnie Plants; How to Grow Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons
Keywords: growing melons, removing melon flowers, growing big melons, melon care