Watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew melon are commonly grown in Australia, and all are dependent on insect pollinators to produce large, evenly shaped fruit. Although their flowers look the same, each melon type has different pollination requirements. Rockmelon and honeydew represent about 29 per cent of the melon industry in Australia.
Each vine contains a mix of male flowers and fruit-producing flowers that have both male and female reproductive parts. These flowers don’t need other plants to cross-pollinate, but they do need insect pollinators to dislodge pollen and move it onto the stigma for seed set and fruit development. Melon flowers that are cross-pollinated have been shown to produce heavier fruit than those pollinated from flowers on the same plant.