We had a few zucchini ready for picking yesterday, so we picked them. This morning I went to check on the garden and all 3 of our plants are limp and the leaves look like they closed up for the night! What on earth is happening?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Sarah from Delaware, OH
Your wilted zucchini plants are probably just suffering from some water loss due to harvesting. When you harvest your zucchini, it's best to avoid removing any of the fruits during the heat of the day when plants are losing the greatest amounts of water through transpiration. This is because water is lost through the wounds where the zucchini was attached to the vine, which increases the water stress inside the plant. This additional water loss can temporarily cause them to look wilted. You can help reduce this stress by making a clean cut when harvesting. Use a paring knife or shears and cut through the stem about an inch above the zucchini to remove it from the vine. A clean slice will help to cut down on water loss, where as twisting or yanking the fruit to remove it can permanently damage the vine (and injure the fruit). Harvesting in the cool hours of the morning or evening will also cut down on water loss. Make sure to keep your zucchini plants well watered throughout the season.
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Pick your zucchini after the sun goes down. Also don't twist it off, cut it off with pruning shears. It will be less of shock to your plant. Keep up on removing old leaves. That might be what your discribing as limp. I remove leaves about once a week. It allows new growth plus the sun to reach the plant blossoms.
Don't worry too much about it. Just remove the limp leaves. Water as usual for the heat. Good luck
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