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Hello Guest!
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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Zucchini blossom issue

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quiltbea
jillintx
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GWN
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Post  littlebear 6/15/2012, 11:56 am

Question....what could be causing the blossoms to fall off after a day or two? The plant is more than healthy and tons of blossoms, but they all fall off a day or two after they bloom.....Any thoughts would be appreciated! Zucchini blossom issue 601593
littlebear
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Post  littlejo 6/15/2012, 12:34 pm

Go out and look closely at the blooms. If they are just on a stem, no baby zucchini, then they are male blooms and perfectly natural. If a baby zucchini is right behind the bloom, then it's a female. If the bloom, with a baby on it falls off in a couple days, then it wasn't fertilized. If the females keep falling off, you may have to try fertilizing by hand yourself.

Jo
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Post  littlebear 6/15/2012, 12:48 pm

Zucchini blossom issue 311672 Gotcha! Thanks! Will check that out and quit worrying. Lol!
littlebear
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Post  gregrenee88 6/25/2012, 12:08 pm

How do you hand fertilize zucchinis?
Renee
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Post  cheyannarach 6/25/2012, 12:26 pm

Use a paintbrsh and swipe the inside of a male flower then swipe it into the female flower, voila! Good luck with your zukes!
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/25/2012, 12:34 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Use a paintbrsh and swipe the inside of a male flower then swipe it into the female flower, voila! Good luck with your zukes!

I did it yesterday using a stick. Hope it worked.

CC
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Post  gregrenee88 6/25/2012, 12:43 pm

Now that I know what to look for we are good to go. Males are blooming with females not to far behind! Thanks for the info everyone!
Renee cheers
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Post  GWN 6/25/2012, 12:53 pm

cape codddess
What you are looking for is the yellow sticky stuff that is not unlike the centre of your avatar picture.
That bug is getting the stuff all over his feet and will carry it to somewhere else.

not sure if a stick would gather the yellow stuff, I use QTIPS.....
I think it is normal for the males to come out first for awhile and when the plant is doing well the females come out
GWN
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/25/2012, 12:57 pm

Yeah, the stick got yellow on the tip from the male before I touched the female with it. I'm just wondering if it was enuff. But I guess bees feet are pretty small. Laughing

How do you know if it doesn't take? Does the baby zuch fall off or something?

CC
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Post  littlejo 6/25/2012, 4:55 pm

The baby will fall off/rot if it doesn't work. Some folks take the male flower, pull off the petals and take the male flower bloom around and stick to each of the female flowers.

Jo
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/25/2012, 5:01 pm

@littlejo wrote: Some folks take the male flower, pull off the petals and take the male flower bloom around and stick to each of the female flowers.

Jo

I like that idea. Tool-less. Very Happy

CC
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Post  jkahn2eb 6/25/2012, 8:34 pm

I notice on my watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cukes and zucchini I have a ratio of 15 males flowers to every female flower. Is there a way to improve the ratio?
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Post  littlejo 6/25/2012, 8:51 pm

I think the ratio does improve as time goes on, but, you don't want to mess with Mother Nature!Rolling Eyes

Jo
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Post  jkahn2eb 6/26/2012, 12:31 am

I hope so... Didn't know if temperature, whatever, a lack of talking to, a lack of listening to or some other element I haven't thought of affected the ratio.
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Post  walshevak 6/26/2012, 10:15 am

Each plant can nourish only so many fruits. Even pollinated fruit can drop off is too many get started. That's one reason for harvesting as soon as the fruit is ready. It encourages the plant to produce another.

Kay

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Post  jillintx 6/26/2012, 10:31 am

By chance do you know if there can also be an issue with pollinating fruit if the plant is too crowded? I have some squash crammed in a corner, and the foliage is very thick. I've noticed that flowers drop off without even opening up. This plant is next to another plant that isn't crammed in a corner, gets more sunlight and air in the middle, and is producing.
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Post  quiltbea 6/26/2012, 12:37 pm

The pollen has to be able to reach the female plant so I would hand-pollinate. Take a male flower (no bulb at the end), remove the petals and brush the stamens over the female flowers. If Mother Nature can't manage it, you'll have to do it.
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Post  jillintx 6/26/2012, 2:21 pm

Thanks Bea. I've done that if they open, but around the center of the hill where things are so thick it seems like the majority of the flowers don't open, and eventually just fall off. I didn't know if it could be too dark or crowded for the flowers to open. Hindsight, I should've thinned the hill...or better yet not crammed the hill in a corner!
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Post  elliephant 6/26/2012, 3:39 pm

I've had the same problem with them shrivelling up before the flower can even open.
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Post  arla 6/26/2012, 10:40 pm

Could a lack of fertilization be causing this

Zucchini blossom issue 2012-06-26%252019.15.54

A lot of my spaghetti squash seem to be doing this, and I'm not sure if it's blossom end-rot or lack of fertilization? This is a brand new female (near enough) quite small (maybe an inch long, two at the most) and the plant definitely is producing fruit now, the following picture is a squash about two hands high.

Zucchini blossom issue 2012-06-26%252019.16.40
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Post  Pollinator 6/26/2012, 11:20 pm

@arla wrote:Could a lack of fertilization be causing this

Zucchini blossom issue 2012-06-26%252019.15.54

A lot of my spaghetti squash seem to be doing this, and I'm not sure if it's blossom end-rot or lack of fertilization?
Zucchini blossom issue 2012-06-26%252019.16.40

Blossom end rot is common in tomatoes, but rare with squash. What you see is not enough pollen delivered to the female flower i.e. - usually that means not enough bee visits, or not enough viable pollen available. If no pollen is delivered, the female blossom will drop off, with no growth of the ovary. If some pollen is delivered, growth may start, then the fruit aborts (rot on the blossom end goes along with the abortion). A little more pollen, and the fruit may develop, but be misshappen. Finally, if almost all seeds are fertilized (two grains of pollen needed per seed), the fruit will develop into quality fruit.
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Post  jazzycat 5/4/2013, 1:40 am

Here is an amusing video I found with John Kohler about hand pollinating pumpkins and squashes. What a Face

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srfRonXRO4c
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