User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I think my zucchini plant is going to bloom for the first time tomorrow! =D I just went out to give it a milk spray, and there was this pretty little orange bud that looked like it was eager to open up. So excited!

Now I'm not totally up on my zuke anatomy, but some of the buds that are forming look like they have stems, while others look different. More like zucchini shaped thingies. So does that mean the zucchini-shaped stems are female and the normal stems are male? Most of them look like normal stems, but one or two have the zucchini shape. Or can you only tell once they open up?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Zucchini sex 101. The flowers with the long stems are males and the flowers with the little baby zucchini behind it are female. You are lucky your zucchini put out males and females together. My first flowers are mostly males. Zucchini must be pollinated, either by insects, usually bees, or by hand pollination or the little fruit behind the female flowers will shrivel up and die.

Also a beginner side note, my friend had cucumbers and squash. She thought that the cucumbers were the females and the zucchinis were the male and tried to mate them. Needless to say she was very disappointed that she did not get any cucumbers or squash as a result.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Oh no! LOL! That is a funny and sad story all at once. :> I'll make a point not to mate my cukes with zukes. :()

Good to know the female flowers are usually later than the male--I'm also growing crooknecks. So I should expect just male flowers at first. Is the same true for all cucurbits? Do they all have male/female flowers?

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I believe they all produce male and female flowers. If you find that you do not have lots of bees around you may want to pollinate some of them to make sure you get a good amount of fruits. I am growing bush buttercup and they put out a bunch of males and females at the same time. They put out these big yellow flowers and when I checked inside, sure enough multiple bees were there. Today I was looking at them and a few of the mini squash are starting to get bigger so I guess the bees did the job. But I might have to pollinate a few here and there myself too.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

YAY!! ZUCCHINI!!!! :clap: Such a proud moment for plant mommas! *sniffle* I get excited too...and goofy, LOL

Even though we have bumble bees around, I plan on hand pollinating when my females show, just to be sure, but I'm demanding of my plants! LOL My mom used to harvest some of the males that first showed before the females, and would use them to make a squash flower soup with them. I only have 2 zucchini plants though so not enough to harvest for it.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

We seem to have a lot of bees, although I do know that many of them are wasps. But I do see bumble bees in my flowers and stuff. I may end up hand pollinating just because I'm impatient. XD Any trick to hand pollinating I should know?

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7453
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

If you see bees working the squash blossoms, they will do the pollinating for you. One thing you can do is put up some nest boxes for the wild bees. Plenty of info on the web. Do a search.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Checkin' it out--thanks, Utah! :>

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Ooh, I don't think my kids would ever forgive me if I installed one of those. LMAO!!

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

You don't want to put up nest boxes in your yard unless you want the bees to stay there, but maybe you could put them up somewhere secluded near by? Maybe if you live near the woods? When I need to hand pollinate or just want to, I use a soft paintbrush and just swirl it in the male flowers and then the females. I prefer a brush with dark hairs so I can see the pollen granules in it to be sure.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

If you have bees you probably don't need to hand pollinate.

Cuncurbits do have both male and female flowers and are monoecious.

That being said, I do know that there are some varieties of cucumbers that are parthenocarpic or bred to be self pollinating so they do produce nearly all female flowers. I know this because I usually grow Suyo long, a Japanese (English) burpless cucumber that is parthenocarpic and my fruit gets weirdly shaped when it gets pollinated by bees.

It is actually undesirable for parthenocarpic cucumbers to be pollinated because it will cause the fruit to be oddly shaped, thick on one end and thin on the other. The fruit is still edible, just weird looking. Under pollination causes the same kind of deformity in monoecious pollinated fruit.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

How do you know if your variety is parthenocarpic? Is there a way to tell? I ask because I went out and checked my zucchini plant, and almost all the buds that are forming are female. I counted only two males, but there are about six females. And these are the first flowers. (Mind you, none of them have bloomed yet, except one male, and one female is at the door.)

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Where did you get the plants? Do you remember the variety?
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I think it was just called "Dark Green Zucchini." I got the seeds at Lowe's.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I was thinking if you still had the packet they came in you could just look them up in google to find out. This is what I found on their "official" website, LOL! Are either of these the seeds you bought?

https://www.lowes.com/Search=zucchini+se ... ni+seeds#!
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I figured out the plant code from my seed packet. For some reason it didn't turn up in a normal search, but here it is. https://www.lowes.com/cd_Lowes+Plant+Gui ... de=LB22543

Still googling around trying to find out if it's self pollinating.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I couldn't find a direct answer on that either, but there were a couple of descriptions that talked about it being attractive to bees and insects, so I suspect it might need to be pollinated. But it looks like the variety of zucchini you have are heirloomable plants. I realized I hadn't looked mine up either, and my zucchini are self pollinating, but my cucumbers are not. Glad you all reminded me, LOL!
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Well, I suppose one way or the other, it will make yums! =D

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7453
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I think I would just be patient for a week, if the female flowers get pollinated you will know because they will grow fruit very quickly. Not much use worrying about it unless they don't develop.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Sounds like good advice to me! :)
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I will try to be patient. :> Not my strong suit!

Question, though. Will the large leaves that are shading the flowers effect the blooms in any way, or will they make it hard for bees to come to the blossoms? It is a very bushy plant, and you can't see any of the buds unless you part the leaves.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

It won't affect it and the bees will find the flowers. You just have to have enough bees active in your yard to begin with.

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Thanks, PR. :D I do see bees around, so hopefully we have enough. I see a few different kinds. The big black ones, the medium sized yellow striped ones, the itty bitty ones that hover...

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I never ever see bumblebees around here. But I got plenty of honey bees. I think those hovering bees you are talking about are actually hoverflies. They are good to have. I occasionally see these tiny green metallic looking bees. But they seem to be attracted to my Pepper flowers. I grow Yarrow, Dill, and sometimes let carrots, cilantro, and parsley flower just to attract different kinds of bees/wasps/flies. I usually will plant a cilantro plant right before Summer so that it bolts right away. I do it simply just to get the flowers because so many beneficial insects like it like Ladybugs.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

So cilantro attracts ladybugs? I thought they were just after those gross aphids. I'm going to have to plant some cilantro now! :D
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Parthenocarpic/ self-pollinating would be very rare and marked as such. The ordinary zucchini is monoecious. While it is more common for them to only make male flowers at first and then start also making females, sometimes it goes the other way around, with females first. Either way you just need to be patient and let Nature and the plant work their magic.

You are very lucky, that I think on the west coast you don't have zucchini vine borers. We are plagued by them to the extent that I and most of the gardeners I know around here, just give up on growing zucchini.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

RamonaGS wrote:So cilantro attracts ladybugs? I thought they were just after those gross aphids. I'm going to have to plant some cilantro now! :D

Check out this link -

https://www.farmerfred.com/plants_that_a ... enefi.html

Some of these plants have to flower before they start to attract certain insects.

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

No, we don't have squash vine borers. Thank goodness! They sound awful. :(

So my zuke bloomed a male flower, then two females got ready, and now that they have bloomed the male has closed up. Boo. :P

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Patience, patience, all in good time. :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Oh crud, that patience word again. I suck at patience. LOL! :mrgreen:

liagarden
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

"some of the buds that are forming look like they have stems, while others look different."

As long as you're getting males & females, and already have baby zuchinnis, you can pick some of the male squash flowers, stuff them, & cook them. Many recipes on epicurious.com, all-recipe, youtube, etc. I don't find them particularly flavorful, but once in a while it's fun to do. Of course, I'll eat anything stuffed with cheese! :D

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

liagarden wrote: Of course, I'll eat anything stuffed with cheese! :D
Oh Heck yeah!!! :()
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I have one blooming female, and none of the males look like they will be ready for a couple of days yet. The blooms don't seem to last long. Should I eat it? :-()

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

Okay, I know this is a dumb question, but remember I have never grown zucchini before. How large does an ovary get? Mine are four inches long. Is that actually a zucchini growing, or are ovaries just that big?

Image

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

they are the same thing-- the ovary/embryo zucchini just grows and develops in to the fruit. Looks like yours is well on the way.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

They can get really big actually. But if you want to be sure it's developing see if you can hand pollinate. Looks to me like it is starting to grow though. It's best if you don't let them get too big in your case, because didn't we find that your zucchini are an heirloom variety? That means their seeds will get hard and inedible if the zucchini gets to a certain size, but then you can harvest the seeds and grow them next year. So if you want zucchini to just pick, slice, and eat then don't let them get much larger than 8-10 inches long, maybe less. But what I have done when an heirloom zucchini got really big, and developed hard seeds, is I split it, harvested the seeds, and then stuffed the zucchini in the space where the seeds had been, and baked it up because the flesh of the zucchini is still quite edible when it's large like that.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

rainbowgardener wrote:they are the same thing-- the ovary/embryo zucchini just grows and develops in to the fruit. Looks like yours is well on the way.

I'm still trying to work out the terminology. I guess what I'm wondering is how can you tell the difference between the unpollinated baby, and the pollinated, growing fruit?

Ramona, thanks for the tip about size--I didn't know the seeds got hard like that, but I guess they must, considering the seeds that you plant.

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

On the heirloom zucs they do get hard, but not on hybrid types usually. You can always test it out by growing the first one really big and checking the seeds. I've grown some that got away from me and ended up about 16 inches long. Hybrids at that size usually have soft edible seeds, but the heirlooms had hard seeds that can be replanted.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

User avatar
jemsister
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: Western Washington, USA

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

As I understand it, if a female has not been pollinated, the stem and ovary will shrivel up and fall off. How quickly does that happen?

User avatar
RamonaGS
Green Thumb
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:10 pm
Location: Solvang, Ca

Re: Zucchini--I'm so excited!

I read somewhere that if it is unfertilized that the fruit only gets to be 2-3 inches long and then starts to die. That might have been a thread on here somewhere.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~



Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”