Q:

How does a pumpkin grow?

A:

Quick Answer

Pumpkins grow through a process of photosynthesis, respiration and photorespiration. A pumpkin plant grows a blossom, which eventually becomes a pumpkin. The pumpkin is actually an organ for storing sugar and starch.

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Full Answer

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert water and nutrients from the soil into plant tissue. Plants convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates by using energy from the sun. Growth is dependent on specific nutrients, such as nitrogen, and 400 times more water than carbon dioxide in the mix. When these necessities are met, the plant grows enough to require a storage organ, in this case a pumpkin.

Pumpkins require a long growing season, typically 75 to 100 frost-free days. The pumpkin plant is unable to survive frost. Pumpkins grow from vines, and they typically require 5 to 6 feet between vines. Pumpkin plants produce both a male and a female flower, requiring bees for pollination. Regular pumpkins weigh between six and 18 pounds. However, some varieties have the potential to grow huge, as big as 990 pounds.

People can win prizes for growing gigantic pumpkins. However, it takes work. In the early stages, the seedlings and eventual plants have to be watched so that the hardiest ones are chosen. Then, as the fruits start to grow, only the top specimen on each plant is allowed to survive. The pumpkin needs water and regular fertilizer as well as rolling to avoid a misshapen specimen.

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