wwright1
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zucchinis dying before maturing

What would make zucchinis shrivel up and die before they are mature enough to eat? The plant seems to be in excellent health and makes new blooms and starts new fruits every day or 2, but when the fruits are about half way big enough to eat, they literally shrivel up and die.

Too much water, not enough water, or disease?

Thanks, William

SquashNUt
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How long has the plant been producing? If it is just starting then you probably not getting the fruit polinated. You can hand polinate them by putting the center of the male blossom into the female blossom and apply the pollen to the female.
My summer squash has started with no males this year. Ussually the males come first them the females. I hope I have males soon.

opabinia51
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Question: Do squash plants have separate male/female flowers on the same plant or on different plants?


I noticed some blossoms on one of my squash plants yesterday.

SquashNUt
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Yes there is female and male flowers on the same plants. The male flower has no little sqush just behind the flower on the stem.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

opabinia51
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I'm a little confused. Are you saying that the male flowers do not produce squash? Don't really know what you mean there.

SquashNUt
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That right the males do not make squash.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

swc888
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Female zucchini flowers dying before opening

I have three zucchini plants, and many male flowers open up. So far I was able to pollinate only 2 female flowers. There are one female flower coming out from each plant, they seem to be ok at first, then they shrivel up even before the flowers mature and open up. I have no clue what the problem is. :cry:

SquashNUt
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It's seems pretty normal for the first few squashes not to polinate. It's hard to be patient and watch them shrivel and die, But it should get better and pretty soon you'll have more than what you can use.
North Idaho
Zone 5/6

The Helpful Gardener
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Exactly so...

taelia
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Re: Female zucchini flowers dying before opening

swc888 wrote:I have three zucchini plants, and many male flowers open up. So far I was able to pollinate only 2 female flowers. There are one female flower coming out from each plant, they seem to be ok at first, then they shrivel up even before the flowers mature and open up. I have no clue what the problem is. :cry:
This is exactly my problem. My female flowers never even get to open to be pollenated before they die. Any ideas?

The Helpful Gardener
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Hand pollination would solve that...

HG

opabinia51
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I've been thinking about this problem and attracting pollinators in the garden would really help. For this season, hand pollinating is the answer but, in the future plant things like cosmos, marigolds (be careful what variety), heather, hollyhocks, peas, beans, daylilies (edible and yummy too), baby blue eyes (nemophilia) and so on in your gardens to ensure a healthy population of pollenators.

You can also plant perennials such as Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis or Soligao viguara (sp?)) and others to keep pollenators around.

Goldenrod is a late bloomer so, wouldn't be much help this time of year....

Lot's of perenial flowers out there though.

The Helpful Gardener
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Nepeta spp., known as catmints have a ludicrously long bllom time and attract huge amounts of pollinators in my garden. The bee balm (Monarda spp.) has also had a great following this year including hummers, who love it (I grow Gardenview Scarlet just for them). Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum) is a veritable weed, but I know of no better attractor of pollinators for North America. These three perennials alone should keep you knee deep in pollinators all summer long...

Scott

rrrbs29
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zuchinni

Wow> I sure learned alot!! I planted green beans in a row vertical to my squash. I have had a bumper crop. One other tip is not to top water the squash.

opabinia51
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I know everyone says that it is best to not water plants from the top and to keep the water off of the leaves but, I personally ignore that and always water my plants from the top down (well, most of the time). The way I look at it, in nature; the only way things are watered is by rain and rain always waters from the top down. No other way it can water. So, anyway, that is what I try to do.
I know the story about perpetuating fungal diseases by getting water on the leaves but, I have a rebuttle for that. If you only water the soil, there will be water around the stomata there allowing more water vapour to escape the plant, by having water on the leaves, less water is lost due to evaporation. And I have never really had any problems with fungal diseases. Nothing to drastic anyway.
Garden organically, make sure your soil has lots of humus and your plants will be strong, healthy and able to fight off any diseases.

Incidentally, plant leaves are literally crawling with various orangisms including nematodes, fungi, bacteria, protozoa and so on. Yes, there are some pathogens in there but, the vast majority of the organisms are actually beneficial. And the beneficials keep the pathogens in check.

grandpasrose
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I totally agree with you Opa! If I could water top down I would, it is much easier and affordable, and I love to see my garden get a refreshing mist of water. Unfortunately, for those who have to conserve water, drip or soak watering is the most efficient use of their water.
You are totally correct about the fungi, etc. If your plants are healthy to begin with, you should not have a problem. Like anything, nature attacks the weakest! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

rrrbs29
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Here in California, where I live, it gets in the triple digits. The plant directions tell you not to get water on the leaves. In other words to no sprinkle them. Back home in the mid west where we got rain and depended on rain for the garden it didn't seem to be a problem. I think due to the cooler and more humid temps.

grandpasrose
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In that kind of heat, putting water on the leaves would just fry them! :cry:
You're right, in cooler, damper climates, there is not as much concern about burning the foliage of plants from the sun.
If you do water where the sun is strong, try watering only in the early morning, or late evening, when the plants have chance to dry off before they get that blazing sun! :wink:
VAL(Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

rrrbs29
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grandparose, I do just that. I water in the morning or evening. Actually for here I prefer to water the veggie garden in the evening. I do water my potted plants in the morning though. I learned the hard way about watering in the heat of day. I about killed everything in my garden! They looked wilted :x , so I just watered the heck out of them. After the sun went down they did perk back up. I am sure if I had only watered a little bit and not soaked them good they would have croaked. It's a learning thing for sure.

grandpasrose
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That's what it's all about! We are all learning all the time! :wink:
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

Surrounded
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Flowers not maturing

Anyway, ahem, back to the topic. I too have been having the same problem of female flowers not maturing and so the fruit rotting.

Someone said just wait, the first fruits usually do this. Ours have been producing this kind of fruit for about four weeks now and not one zucchini has produced a mature flower.

Someone else said to hand polinate. But the flower doesn't mature so this is impossible. I have tried gently tearing open the immature flower and inserting the male flower centre but this hasn't worked either - I guess the female is too immature to accept the polen.

Does anyone have any more ideas? I think the plants are probably almost finished but I'd like to have some clues for another attempt.

rrrbs29
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try planting the pollenator attractors. I dunno what to tell you about the zuchinni not pollenating. I have planted things like green beans (that flower and pollenators like it ) near by. I have so much zuchinni that I give it away like crazy. I also grow it for friends and family, because the want it to make relish. BY the way I have a fabulous zuchinni recipe for relish if anyone would like it. I make it every year and give it for Christmas presents. You will never eat store bought sweet relish again!

Surrounded
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rrrbs29 wrote:try planting the pollenator attractors. I dunno what to tell you about the zuchinni not pollenating. I have planted things like green beans (that flower and pollenators like it ) near by. ...
Thank for your suggestion rrrbs29 but surely if the flowers are not maturing (meaning they're not even opening) then pollenation is not the issue here - or am I missing something? My understanding is that the flowers can't be pollenated unless they open. Mine aren't opening.

And actually I too had beans planed right next to the zucchinis. :?: :?

The Helpful Gardener
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Sounds like blossom end rot (LOTS of fungal issues this year).

We like neem oil as a safe and effective fungicide (and insecticide, and miticide...)

HG

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