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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Zucchini Will Not Produce Any Fruit

Here is a zucchini plant with both male and female flowers. The male flowers are supported by a long thin stalk. The female flowers have a stalk supporting it which is swollen and resembles a small zucchini.
Q. My friends are giving me grief because I can't grow zucchini or other squashes. I get female squash flowers with the squash below the flower. I have male flowers, too. We seem to have insects around enough to pollinate other plants. Fruit withers at about large grape size.  I am thinking that the two flowers aren't opening at the same time for the insects. What can I do to become one of those zucchini and squash growers who have so much they can't even give it all away?

A. The weather right now has been very strange. Give it a chance to warm up a little bit. Summer squash likes warm temperatures.

Zucchini fruit falling off due to high temperatures.
Zucchini usually produce male flowers first followed by female flowers a little bit later. It is possible that they are not open at the same time and having more than one plant should solve that problem.

Bees are needed for pollination. If the plant is very dense, bees may have trouble getting inside the canopy where flowers are located. Try removing some of the leaves in the canopy to make it more open so bees can find the flowers more easily.

Some zucchini have a hard time setting fruit when temperatures are high. You might try hand pollinating. This requires a soft paint brush and transferring the pollen from the male flower to the female flower. This is a pretty good video on hand pollinating zucchini.

Video on hand pollinating zucchini

It is also possible that you have a variety that is just not do well in our climate. I have one right now that I did not select and it is absolutely a lousy producer.

It is not true that you can just pick any old variety and it will do well here because it does well in South Carolina or Ventura, California.


  1. http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/pubs/0403/zucchini.html

    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2003/mar03/art8mar.html [Q-tips to hand pollinate; a small artist's paint brush can be used instead if preferred.]

    https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs398 [hand pollination; images]

  2. Hey Bob! In regards to the squash plants and getting a crop. I use a q tip to artificially inseminate the squash blossums. First I get some from the male and touch it and get some of the yellow on it and then a go to the female and brush her and walla I get fertilization and then the squash. It works and it is amazing. Sometimes you need to help Mother Nature!!