The Q&A Archives: something is cutting off my zuchinni buds

Question: I have a problem where something is cutting off my zuchinni buds before they can fruit out. Looks like a pretty clean birds or it slugs?

Answer: If the flowers are disappearing or appear to be eaten, squirrels are the most common culprit. But if the blossoms are simply laying on the ground beneath the plant, the problem is lack of pollination or aborted male flowers. Zucchini plants have male and female flowers. Only female zucchini blossoms can produce zucchini squash. Once male zucchini blossoms have opened to release their pollen, they simply fall off the plant. Many times, a zucchini plant will produce only male blossoms when first in bloom to ensure that pollen will be available when the female blossoms open. The male blossoms will all fall off, making it seem as though the zucchini plant is losing all of its flowers. Don?t worry, female blossoms will open soon and you will get zucchini squash. Zucchini blossoms will also fall of the plant if the pollination between the male and female blossoms are poor. Basically, the plant will abort the female blossoms if they are not pollinated well enough. Poor pollination can happen due to a lack of pollinators like bees or butterflies, high humidity that causes the pollen to clump, rainy weather or a lack of male blossoms.

While zucchini blossoms falling off the plant may look alarming, it is perfectly natural and is not an indication of any problems with the plant itself. Eventually both male and female blossoms will be open at the same time and you'll get zucchini.

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