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Where are the zuchinni?

Posted by sunnyside1 z6/SW Mo. (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 20:33

I need some help here. I have flowers, but no fruit. Seems there are plenty of bees, so it can't be pollination. Male flowers? Who can tell the difference?

Think I read somewhere that I was supposed to pull some flowers off. Early flowers? Or what?

Hope someone knows about this -- the plants look really good and (I'm whispering in case The Fates hear me say) no squash bugs or stem borers yet.

What am I doing wrong? Seems I've never had much success with zuchinni and I sure would like to have some this year. Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Where are the zuchinni?

Had an early batch nailed by squash bugs, 2nd batch going had to use ortho on it, growing great. May be late bloomers. If lots o leaves, don't fertilize anymore, will just grow more leaves. Plenty of water please.

RE: Where are the zuchinni?

I have one zuchinni plant and don't know much. It seems like mine had lots of flowers before I got some with fruit. I opened a flower today that was male. Look at your flowers to see if they are all male.

Here is a link that might be useful: why blossoms fall off

This post was edited by helenh on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 3:59

RE: Where are the zuchinni?

RE: no female squash flowers

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•Posted by okiedawn Z7 OK (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 11:37

Mia, This is a fairly common phenomenon and there's nothing you can do except wait it out. Many varieties of squash only produce male flowers when they are stressed. Unfortunately, excessive rainfall (and I feel safe in saying your area has had excessive rainfall this summer) is a form of stress, even though we gardeners prefer too much rain to too little.
Often, heavy rainfall pushes the plants to grow and grow and grow (as your description of big, healthy plants indicates) and while they are doing that, they don't seem to form many female flowers.

If it will stop raining for a week or two and your plants can slow down their vegetative growth, they then should start setting female flowers.

One way to think of it is that the plants flower and produce fruit for one reason only---to set seeds to guarantee the preservation of their species. As long as life is nice and wonderful and the plants do not experience the sort of stress that threatens their life, they don't necessarily get in a hurry to set seeds. I suspect if y'all suddenly got hot and dry, they might get in more of a hurry to produce seeds via the lovely squash fruit. In this case, patience is required....and hopefully the SVBs won't find your plants while you are being patient.

For what it is worth, this is a problem in many gardens this year in areas of the USA where rainfall and cloudiness have been plentiful. It happens every year wherever there is excessive summer rainfall, and the gardeners just have to wait it out. Eventually the plants will produce female flowers and fruit.

Larry, Sometimes with some varieties you have to wait up to about 3 weeks from the first appearance of male flowers before the females show up. If you've been getting recent rainfall in decent amounts, that could slow down the process even more.

If you have male and female flowers but the females are falling off, then maybe there is a lack of pollinator activity and you need to hand-pollinate the squash.


RE: Where are the zuchinni?

That's incredibly helpful. Thank you Helen and OkieDawn, and Joeinmo!

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