I have a few zucchini plants that are not producing fruit. They all look very healthy, big, tall, and keep extending their territories. All have lots of flowers, but the female flowers wilted before they bloom.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Wing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pollination is the issue. You have no male plantings going on. This happened to me a couple years ago, Master Gardeners said it happens. Lots of beautiful flowers, no fruit on the vine. And you don't know till too late to eat the blossoms that it is not the one.
Thank you so much for your feedback. You were right about pollination issue as there could be no pollination if the female flowers wilted before blossoming. I read elsewhere that it may be the lack of calcium. So I added a different fertilizer with calcium and magnesium. I also put in lots of crushed egg shells and some lime powder to increase calcium content in the soil. After 2 or 3 weeks, 2 out of the 4 plants have produced fruits. The other 2 are still stubbornly infertile.
I'm having this problem now, and suspect pollination. How can I fix it? Can I put on my butterfly wings and use a toothpick and move pollen from one flower to the next, or does it need to be shared between 2 different plants? If the latter, is there a male and female plant? (sorry, I love gardening, but don't know much about how to garden.)
Thanks Becky Jaine Raleigh NC
Pollination should be your first consideration. We don't have enough bees anymore to do all the work; I go out first thing in the morning and look over my zukes and other squashes. Oftentimes, a single plant will produce both male and female flowers. Mostly male early on, but the female (fruiting) flowers should come on shortly.
I hand-pollinate by removing the male flower from the stalk, peeling back (every so gently so as to not disturb the pollen) the flower petal part (eat this, its subtle flavor is yummy!) and leaving just the base and the center. Then stop by one or two female flowers and pollinate them by hand. They should go on to produce fruit as long as they are getting enough water.
The flowers should be new that day; older flowers tend to be too far past prime.
Works for me in AZ most every time. Good luck!
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