Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Maybe all small fruits looked like this and I never noticed but I don't think so. I notice that the newer smaller ones are looking like they are in trouble - yellow and a black spot at the end. Is that 'blossom end rot'? Or is that only on tomatoes? I thought my first fruits looked light green when very small (similar to the one above although it is getting bigger). But now the newer small ones are looking yellow!

Please see attached! Can you help me figure out what is going wrong or am I being a worrisome plant-parent for nothing?
Attachments
butternut_issues.jpg

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Actually, this might not be the best forum for this question. My Butternut are in 10-gallon airpots outside. If it should be in a different forum, could someone move it for me? This forum seems mostly directed towards indoor plants in pots. Sorry if I posted it in wrong place. :)

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Those are butternuts that have not been pollinated, or very little, at least. Some people this season are seeing a reduction in pollinator numbers, and are having to hand pollinate the squash, and similar plant. I have one - the bottle gourd - with a bunch of female blossoms this last week, but no males, so I couldn't even hand pollinate them! (now there are plenty of males out there, finally). Some people have had this happen with winter squash, too, but I usually get a bunch of males well before the female blossoms. If pollinators are plentiful, you'll see them in the open flowers, esp. in the morning, so if not, hand pollinate by rubbing a Q-tip around the inside of a male blossom (the ones on long stems), then inside the female. Too late for those in the photo, but be sure not to let any get like that again!
Dave

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Oh I am so very grateful to you, Dave! I was so worried! Thank goodness for Google too! The first link showed pictures of a male and female but I couldn't spot the difference so I found YouTube videos showing, not only how to tell the difference, but how to pollinate! How very cool! https://youtu.be/oT2je60YyyE

I'm so tickled to know I haven't killed my beautiful butternuts! Thank you again for helping a newbie! Oh, one last question ... should I clip off those yellow fruits, as I would yellow lower leaves or does it matter?

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

I would clip them off. They are never able to recover, as the flower will never come back. And those things might be rotting, and attracting varmints.
Dave

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Thank you! I shall do that right now! I'm growing two in 10-gallon pots and there is a cattle panel trellis but they're already outgrowing it and nowhere for them to go! I LOVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH! :-) Next year, I'll add a trellis across the top of my entire patio!

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Well, I just removed 18 yellow withered fruits. Major bummer. :shock: But now I know and I'll never let it happen again! I'm now turning to 'how to draw pollinators' to my garden to help me out and for next year. :D

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27792
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Now that you’ve removed those fruits, the plant might decide it needs to grow more fruits. You could hand pollinate them if it does.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Oh I sure hope so, Dave! And I'll be ready for it. In fact, I've already pollinated four females! Maybe the bees already did it but I'm not taking any chances. Such fun! To think that I've lived in big city my whole life and never knew anything about growing vegetables ... oh what I've been missing out on! :-()

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Hopefully it will all work out, @Grandma. Here's a photo showing that you aren't alone, so don't feel bad! Those bottle gourds I told you about, that had a BUNCH of female flowers, with no males, finally got a munch of males, so that I could hand pollinate them. Here's a photo of one of mine turning yellow, then rotting. I cut at least a dozen today! They had those dried up blossoms on them, so no way to pollinate.
ImageUnpollinated bottle gourd. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

On a good note, my wax gourds got their first blossoms, and they are male! That's what usually happens with other squash, at least in my garden.
ImageFirst wax gourd blossoms - males this time! by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Dave

Grandma99
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Location: Oregon Zone 8b

Re: Butternut fruits turning yellow!

Wow, and with me, when I decided to be sure they were all pollinated, can't find any females open but 8 males open! I wish I could take their 'thingy' and save them in a glass jar so I can pollinate the females when some finally open! Maybe all the females are done; I sure hope not!

There are several 'buds' at the base of the plant - they look like rosettes. I'm hoping they come on to be females, now that I understand how it works. Good luck to you with your gourds and thank you for showing I'm not the only one! Happy gardening!! BTW, I plan to check them three times a day to catch them to be sure I never miss another one!

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”