Failure to produce produce - Knowledgebase Question

Portland, Te
Question by ggtamt
July 23, 2008
Why are my yellow and zucchini squash plants blooming but not producing? I live in the coastal/tropical south gardening area, and the soil (which I have amended somewhat with compost) is heavy clay and very alkaline. The plants are in a sunny western exposure and I keep them watered. I am disappointed as I was expecting to be eating grilled squash by now! Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Answer from NGA
July 23, 2008


If the plants are blooming, they should produce fruit. Squash plants develop both male and female flowers. The male flowers do not produce fruit but produce pollen which the female flowers need in order to develop fruit. When temperatures are very high the pollen can be rendered sterile; if there is no bee activity in your garden, the pollen won't be transferred. You can try pollinating the flowers yourself. Male flowers are attached to the main stem with a straight stem; female flowers will have a slight swelling directly behind the flower petals. Take a male flower off the plant and lightly brush the insides of the male flower to the insides of a female flower (one male can pollinate several female flowers) to transfer pollen. This should result in a fruit. Best wishes with your squash!

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