Zucchini plants over-produce male flowers

Asked June 26, 2018, 3:46 PM EDT

Every year I plant zucchini plants (from one of three reputable sources), and every year they produce an abundance of flowers, mostly male. As a result, I wind up pulling the plants. Sometimes I get a few zucchini. What can I do to give the plants what the need so that they’ll be productive?

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

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.

Here is our vegetable profile on summer squash http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/summer-squash


Thank you. I have pollinated the zucchini flowers myself in the past. The problem is I usually get so few female flowers, even after two weeks of flowering. The excessive rain already drowned the zucchini plants I had bought. The two survivors are in another bed and were given to me by a friend.

It is still very common, and it is just a matter of patience. If the plants are growing and blooming just keep them. The squash will eventually come.