Zucchini plant troubles

Asked July 25, 2019, 8:15 AM EDT

Having some troubles with our zucchini. They're staying small, then turning orange and rotting. Thought it may be a lack of pollination so for the last 3 mornings I've went out to hand pollinate only to find all but 1 flower closed. The first day I think they were all closed, the second only a male was open, and this morning only a female was open. There was a bee hanging out inside the female this morning. Any idea what may be causing the problem?

Monroe County Michigan

4 Responses

Hello. Yes, it does seem you might have a pollination problem. Perhaps you have a low population of pollinators in your garden. I will forward your question to a person with more veggie experience.

This does sound like a pollination problem. Zucchini pollination can be a little tricky. Flowers, both male and female, are open only for a short period of time. They usually close by noon and pollen from male flowers is only good for about 24 hours. The best pollinators are squash bees. Honey bees may not visit both male and female flowers. Plant stress can also lead to aborted fruit. The leaves seem a little on the yellow side which could be a water, nutrient, or disease issue. Hot weather can inhibit fruit set, too. It may be that with our absurd weather that it just may take a little time.
I hope this helps,

Thanks for the response. I checked them again this morning and both a male and female flower were open so I was able to hand pollinate the one, however I noticed what may be powdery mildew forming?