How to pollinate the mini watermelon

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:16 pm

Mini watermelon pollinating made easy

Your mini watermelon grows magnificently, but drops its flowers and does not form fruits? Don’t worry! We’ll explain why and how you can prevent it. “Pollinate watermelon” is the magic formula here.

Pollinating mini watermelons: how to get the fruit

How to pollinate the mini watermelon

The compact mini watermelons have smaller but significantly more fruits per plant than their larger cousins. Regardless of which variety you cultivate in your garden, the blossoms of your melon must be pollinated so that the delicious fruits can form at all.

In watermelons, including our mini watermelon, both the female and male flowers are on one plant. The female flowers form the fruit later and must be pollinated by the male flowers in advance for this to happen.

How do I distinguish between male and female flowers?

The male flowers appear a little earlier and are located in the leaf axils. Often there are several at once per leaf axil. They are somewhat more elongated and narrower than the female ones. These, in turn, sit on the slightly later growing side shoots of the plant. They have a thickened area just below the calyx that already looks like a hairy miniature melon. This is the so-called ovary.

How to pollinate the mini watermelon
The thickened ovary can be seen on the left, while the calyx of the right male flower sits on a thin stalk

Pollinate mini watermelon: how to fertilize the flowers?

Mini watermelon pollinate in the open field.

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In the open field, pollination practically happens by itself: Bees and bumblebees do the job here, because they love the bright yellow flowers and fly to them regularly. So if your mini watermelons are outdoors, you can sit back and relax.

Pro tip: Mini watermelons make great bedding partners, as they get along very well with almost any plant. Except for their relatives – zucchini, squash and cucumber – you can combine your melons with almost any plant. Choose bed partners that are especially bee-friendly. That way, you can increase your mini watermelon’s yield tremendously!

Good bee magnets:

  • Catnip
  • Nasturtium
  • Mint
  • Marigolds
  • Tagetes (marigold)
How to pollinate the mini watermelon
Marigolds and nasturtiums are great companion plants for watermelon because they attract lots of pollinators

Mini watermelon pollinate in the greenhouse

In the greenhouse, it’s not always so easy to lure in the coveted pollinators. Sure, sometimes a bee gets lost through the open window or door, but that doesn’t happen very often. That’s why you have to take action yourself. Don’t worry, it’s not witchcraft and it’s a great way to keep an eye on things at the same time. You have several options for this.

  1. a gentle breeze

A small fan or a long and regular airing of your greenhouse ensures that the pollen of the male flowers is distributed in the air and finds its way to the female ones. This method is much more reliable than hand pollination because:

Female flowers bloom for only one day and have a fertile window of only about 7 to 8 hours. Therefore, there is a risk of pollinating them with a brush, but still not succeed. If a breeze blows for a longer period of time, on the other hand, the chances are very good.

  1. do it yourself with the brush
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Of course, you may not have the space or the necessary power connection for a fan. In this case, you can try to help yourself. The success rate is generally a little lower. However, if you do it regularly, the chance of getting delicious watermelons is still very high. A combination of long airing and dusting with a brush is a good idea.

All you need for this is a fine and soft brush. Gently dip the brush hairs into the inside of a male flower so that the pollen sticks to the brush. The bright color of the pollen makes it easy to see if it’s working. Feel free to turn the brush back and forth a little. Charged enough pollen? Then find a female flower and stroke the stigma of the flower with the brush hairs to deposit the pollen there.

How to pollinate the mini watermelon
The pollen is transferred to a female flower of watermelon

Pollinate mini watermelon: success is not long in coming.

Whether the pollination was successful, you will see quite soon. Blossoms that have not been pollinated quickly dry up and are discarded by the plant. Keep in mind that the mini watermelon generally drops quite a few blossoms because it is not even possible to produce that many ripe melons.

So one or the other will die in any case, and this is quite a natural process. But all the more energy goes into the formation of pollinated fruits and you can look forward to sweet, bright red mini watermelons!


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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