Zucchini plants are failing

I planted my zucchini this year with high hopes of having enough zucchini to make squash pickles this year. The plant itself is hardy and robust with huge green leaves. The problem is that the blossoms are falling off once they've bloomed instead of producing anything. I've never seen anything like it. Has anyone else had this problem? And what do I do about it??? I water almost every day to every other day. I'm afraid I won't have any zucchini this year at all.

  • Posted by: Rachel
  • July 12, 2016


Pegeen July 26, 2016
This is a different problem, squash vine borers, and hopefully you will never have it! But I just heard it on Mike McGrath's excellent "You Bet Your Garden" radio show. http://www.gardensalive.com/product/squash-vine-borer-control
(And there are many excellent zucchini recipes on Food52!)
Pegeen July 26, 2016
This refers to a different problem and hopefully you won't have it! But I just heard this broadcast on NPR about squash vine borers, on Mike McGrath's "You Bet Your Garden." http://www.gardensalive.com/product/squash-vine-borer-control
Rachel July 25, 2016
I wanted to follow up to say thanks for your responses. I was anticipating that some female blossoms would be coming along; however, no zucchini is going to be making an appearance in my garden this year. The hail we received in SW DC last week did a fine job of pulverizing it all into a green mush, and I don't have time to plant another this late in the season. Maybe next year!
PHIL July 25, 2016
They may come back, they are vigorous growers especially with all this heat. Worst case you can pick the flowers and fry them up
BerryBaby July 12, 2016
First use a water meter roc heck moisture a
BerryBaby July 12, 2016
Oh boy, using cellphone, it slipped, made weird corrections and I didn't finish my msg!
Use a water meter to check the soil. May look dry on top but plenty of water underneath. One year I had first blossoms fall off and the more bloomed and I had zucchini.
Susan W. July 12, 2016
Lol. I wondered if you were sipping on zucchini wine.

My mom (master gardener in La Jolla) claims that the first bloom is often the boys and the second bloom is often the girls. The boys make pollen for the girls and fall off the plant.
PHIL July 12, 2016
Based on Susan's reply here is a photo. Male flower is on the bottom, notice the long skinny stem. You may have to pollinate the female flowers by hand if the bees aren't doing the work for you. Or maybe like Susan said, you have all male flowers.
Susan W. July 12, 2016
It's very possible that what you are seeing are the first bloom and they are boy blooms. Once the pollen is developed, their job is done. On some plants, the girl blooms come later and make use of the pollen from the boy blooms. It also happens if your plants don't have enough bees and butterflies to pollinate the plants. Hopefully it's the first scenario and not the second.
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