I am growing 6 Zuchinni plants in raised beds. They were flowering...

Asked July 14, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

I am growing 6 Zuchinni plants in raised beds. They were flowering wonderfully, looking beautiful. All of a sudden I noticed many of the blossoms gone, some haven fallen, some just gone. Plus there were teeny black bugs on some blossoms. I went to Homestead gardens and bought and sprayed Jack's organic bug killer, per the Hoestead staff.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

The insects on the squash blossoms ae out of focus and we cannot identify them. Many insects can be attracted to the pollen. We do not recommend a control as it can affect the bees and pollination. It would be helpful to know the reproductive cycle of the squash plant.
Squash have male and female blossoms on the same plant. The male blossom is borne on a slender stalk. (Your photo shows male blossoms only). The female blossom has the swollen embryonic fruit attached at its base.

Many squashes will produce male flowers for 1 to 2 weeks before the first female flower is observed. This is a normal growth habit and varies with cultivars. For a squash flower to develop into a fruit, pollen must be carried by bees from male flowers, on the same plant or on different plants, to the female flower (the one with the tiny squash). Poor fruit-set is common during rainy weather when bees are inactive. Avoid using pesticides during the bloom period.
You willl have to be patient and wait for female blossoms. Do NOT spray with pesticides as this will affect the bees and pollination.
See our profile on squash http://extension.umd.edu/learn/vegetable-profiles-summer-squash