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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.
Is it seed problem? soil problem? The seeds were from last year's crop which yielded on average 5 or 6 good size fruits per plant. I use mostly cow manure and compost soil, supplementing with "Miracle Gro" 15-30-15.
There has been plenty of sunshine and they are well watered. Lately I added some cedar mulch to help retain the moisture. Yet nothing seemed to get the female flowers to 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.
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!
My zucchini plants are overloaded with leaves, but very few fruit. Can I prune a lot of leaves and allow more sun to penetrate the plant?
If you don't have enough bees to pollinate, you will have to do it by hand. Take a Q-tip and stick it in the center of one flower and transfer the pollen to another.
My zucchini is growing lots of big bushy leaves and lots of blossoms, but none of those blossoms are growing into veggies. Why? I would welcome any advice.
Fertilize the plants. There is probably something lacking in the soil. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and water them. If you are actually seeing the blossoms, grab a cotton swab and gently swipe the center portion. Continue to each bloom. YOU will be pollinating them.
Have they only been blooming a week or two?
Squash have both male and female flowers. You can easily see the difference. Not only are the centers of the flowers different, but the female flower has a baby squash at the base. But the male flowers always start blooming a week or two before the female flowers start blooming. If you're in that time frame, hang in there. Pretty soon you'll have plenty of zucchini.
I have several of zucchini plants this year and they are huge! My problem is that they bloom with flowers and then all of the sudden the flowers close up and then eventually fall off. I do not have any animals getting inside the garden and I have checked for any pests and there are none. I water ever other day usually as long as it's not extremely hot and in that case every day! Can you help me with any suggestions? I have managed to only grow one zucchini so far.
When I was living in AL I had the same problem. What I did was I took the bloom that had fallen off, and peeled back the petals. Then I rubbed the inside of the bloom gently on the other blooms that were open. It has to do with them not getting pollinated. Hope this helps.
Believe it or not, zucchini flowers are considered a treasure. For years, Italians have made zucchini flower fritters. Please let me know if you care to receive the recipe.
I get only male flowers on the zucchini plant. It's been about two weeks so far. What should I do?
By Gene W
The female flowers arrive a week or so later than the male flowers.
I'm growing courgettes in green houses. The problem is that my production has stopped after a few weeks even though my plants are strong and have green large leaves. Bees are also working very well. I don't think there is poor pollination. Can you give some suggestions as to what may be the problem?
Try feeding dried blood
What does a male and a female zucchini fruit look like?
The females have the fruit right at the end. The males have a stem and no fruit
How do I know the difference between a male and a female zucchini and cucumber plant?
By Jaye L
There are three ways to determine which is which.
1. Stems - The male blossom has a long, slender stem, while the female blossom is on a short stem.
2. Blossom Attachpoint - Male blossoms have only a slender stalk directly attached to the stem. The female blossoms have a small bulbous area below the flower. This is actually the ovary which is an unfertilized zucchini.
3. Inside flower - Look inside the blooms. The male blossom has a stamen in the center of the flower. Female does not. The pollen on the stamen pollinates the female plant.
My zucchini plant will bloom, but I don't see where it is producing fruit. What should I do and is it too late?
No. It's not too late, it's actually too soon. Now that the flowers are there the bees and butterflies will polinate them. Then the fruit will start to grow. Give it more time.
My zucchini plants look beautiful and have large green leaves. They were grown from seeds (which were planted 1-16-12). There are beautiful large blooms, but no zucchinis yet. What is the problem?
You answered your own question with the word "yet". Just wait, the butterflies and bees will pollinate them, then they will show up. It's too soon.
Why do I not have zucchini squash even though there are lots of blossoms? When the blossoms fall off, a tall stem that looks as if the flower fell off is all that remains.
By Ann H
The first blossoms are the male blossoms. They don't produce fruit. Later, the female blossoms appear on the end of the fruit.
Why are all the flowers on my 4 courgette (zucchini) plants all male?
By chris from Kent
The first flowers are always male; they are because the pollen will be waiting for the female flowers. Just wait a few days.
Zucchini flowers but no fruit comes.
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Pat B from Marysville, WA
Zucchini plants have both female and male flowers, and bees usually do the pollination. However, some years, I remove a male flower that has opened and rub the pollen on the female flower just after it also has opened. This will give me fruit.
To understand the difference between a male and a female flower, look it up on the internet. A female flower has a swollen small zucchini behind it.
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I planted zucchini this year. I have had many blossoms for about 2 months, but not one zucchini. Why? Pretty soon it will be too cold for the plants. Should I expect them or not and why/not?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
Chirssy from Rochester, NY
All those flowers you got were male. It's probably too late this season, but next time, pinch off all of the flowers that don't have baby Zucchinis under them (male flowers are all stem, no fruit) and the plant will start making female flowers. Good luck next year. (09/04/2007)
Sometimes you need to plant more than one plant to allow for pollination, but you also need to be sure that bees come around. Not sure how to help you out with the bee part. I typically do not use any kind of pesticides, because my younger daughter likes to go into the garden, pick and eat the super sweet 100's (small cherry tomatoes). (09/06/2007)
Not positive, but how many bees are you seeing in your area? Bee hive collapse is a major problem to all of us right now. (09/06/2007)
If you are getting blossoms and no fruit try taking a small stick or Q-tip and remove some of the pollen from one of the male flowers and place inside the female flower to help pollinate it.
By Gina R.
My mother in law loosened the soil around the roots and finally I see tiny Zucchini.
I live in New Jersey and have a problem with Zucchini plants. The plants are huge and healthy and producing an enormous amount of flowers, but no Zucchini. The flowers fall off and no fruit is produced. I don't see any female flowers forming. What can I do to help the plants produce fruit. I have never experienced this problem before with the Zucchini plants. Please help.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
Dennis G. from Saddle Brook, NJ
If this is the first flush of flowers on your Zucchini plants, don't worry. What you're seeing is normal. Zucchini plants, like all members of the Cucurbitaceae family of vine crops (melons, cucumbers, squash, etc.) produce male and female flowers on the same plant. During the initial first flush of flower production, usually only one gender of flower (usually the male flowers are first) is produced for the first few weeks. These flowers naturally shed their pollen and drop off. After this initial flush of flowers, a second wave of flowers develops that will contain both male and female blooms. I'm not sure exactly why this is, but some scientists think it's nature's way of "luring" in the bees, sort of giving them time to catch up and discover the flowers. Successful pollination requires proper timing and this first flush of "bait" flowers may be the plant's way of making sure there are bees at the ready when both genders of flower emerge. If the female flowers on your plants (the flowers with the slight swelling below the back of their petals) continue to drop off once both types of flowers are being produced, it's an indicator of pollination problems (the female flowers will abort if not pollinated). Then you may need to consider hand pollinating your plants.
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This is a common problem with Zucchini. The flowers need to cross pollinate themselves for the fruit to grow and mature. Sometimes you may even notice the Zucchini growing and rotting at like 4 inches long. Bees are essential to cross pollinating and if there are none around or not enough, you can help the plants along. Take a Q-Tip and rub some of the pollen from one flower and then rub it into the next flower and so on. This will ensure proper pollination and should help produce plenty of Zucchini. (07/12/2006)
By Cindy Scinto
I don't think that everyone knows how important bees, the black bumblebee, wasps, and the wood bores are to pollinating fruit trees, vegetables and berries. Some of my neighbors use insecticides and other sprays for their lawns. These are so harmful to the pollinating creatures. My one neighbor had used weed killer on their lawn and we were finding dead robins. I called our local bird watching group and they said that the weed killer poisoned the worms and bugs, and the birds eat these, which kills the birds. Please, everyone, try and use environmentally safe products. (07/13/2006)
I have planted a zucchini and it has started producing a lot of male flowers (a month ago), but it hasn't produced a single female flower.