Last year while carving pumpkins we found a surprise inside one of them – one of the seeds had sprouted and started to grow inside the pumpkin!
I have been carving pumpkins for 40+ years and have never seen this before! We were able to see how it grew out of the seed as well as the roots.
After discussing what our pumpkin plant would need to grow (water, sun, soil) we planted it in soil, poured some water on it, and placed it by a sunny window.
We continued to care for and water it daily and it began to grow.
It quickly outgrew it’s small container and we transplanted it into a larger pot where it grew into a vine. Then one morning we found a flower!
After doing some research we found out that pumpkin plants produce both male and female flowers. Only the female flowers turn into pumpkins. We only had male flowers on our plant because it was indoors. In order to get female flowers, we needed bees to pollinate our plant, however it was still too cold outside to transplant it (it was still winter). We had to wait until it was 70 degrees which in PA would be a long while! So we kept caring for it daily until one spring day in May when we were able to transplant it in a nice, sunny area outside. It had gotten quite large and took many hands to carry it and get it in the ground but we did it! We had to water it A LOT for the first week and it didn’t look very good the first few days, but then it came back!
Now we just needed the bees to find it. After about a week or so we started seeing bees flying around it and landing on the flowers. We were thrilled! But alas, it didn’t result in any female flowers at first. But then in June we saw this – a female flower!
Unfortunately that was the end of the school year. We had volunteers monitor and care for it during the summer and one morning I received a text – we had a pumpkin!!
I was so excited! I raced over and sure enough a pumpkin was growing! It continued to grow all summer and by August we had not one but two pumpkins growing! I am proud to report that in October we now have 2 large pumpkins ready to be picked!
This was such an amazing and fun experience! We will be carving these pumpkins that we grew from our old pumpkins next week. I will let you know if we find another sprout! Regardless, we will be planting the seeds and hoping for the best!
I created pumpkin life cycle sequencing cards from our own photographs. Since finding the sprout inside the pumpkin was rare, I didn’t use that photo. Feel free to use them with your students!