Zucchini female flowers outnumber males

Asked May 24, 2019, 8:39 PM EDT

Every summer my zucchini plants produce tons of female flowers and almost no males. I hand pollinate, because I rarely see a bee. But I can't pollinate without any pollen. On my 18 plants, I will typically find 6 - 12 newly opening female flowers in a morning and 0 - 2 male flowers open. Sometimes a week goes by without a single male flower. I grow zucchini's in pots in my driveway (the only place with decent sunlight in my yard) under a clear visqueen canopy. My yard is at about 640 feet elevation in the Fishhook neighborhood near the southern feet of the Talkeetna Mountains.
Am I feeding them something wrong, keeping them too cool or too warm? Any ideas anybody? They produce very nice fruit when I can actually pollinate a female flower.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Alaska

3 Responses

This happens occasionally. My best response is to just be patient. The males should come soon.

They don't come. I've had this problem every summer for the last 6 or 7 at least, since I started growing zucchini. It is the reason I maintain 18 plants when 5 would do if I could get male flowers. I've tried multiple varieties, including some that claim to have been bred for Alaska use. I've searched the internet for answers and can only find questions about people getting too few male flowers. Some answers last summer said that comes from high air temperatures, so I thought maybe I need to close in my garden shelter more and try to raise the air temperature. But I can't afford a glass greenhouse and the visqueen is never clear enough to let in all of the sunlight. If I don't find any better ideas this summer, I will try that. But I really wish I could find a solution backed by some evidence. I can't believe I'm the only gardiner in the U.S. who has this problem.

Why don’t you submit a soil sample so I can rule out a nutrient deficiency. I recommend Brookside Labs in Ohio (www.blinc.com). The charge $19.00 for a full spectrum test. Request test package S001AN. When you get the results send them to me at scbrown4@alaska.edu and I will interpret them for you.