Ask a Question forum: Help, male flower shortage!

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Jun 21, 2017 4:23 PM CST
Hi! I'm a first time Squash grower and have had a disappointing situation! My summer Squash...(or yellow zucchini?) Has SEVERAL female flowers that have blossomed the past few Mornings, but I have NO blooming males to pollinate them! This morning I literally had 4 females bloom, and what looks to be MAYBE 1 male flower set to bloom tomorrow. There are other males coming out but they are still tiny...and i have twice as many females about to bloom!

My (semi urgent) questions, are:

1. How long after a female Squash flower blooms, is it fertile (Not sure if that is the correct term to use)? If the male flower blooms tomorrow morning, could I still successfully hand pollinate the female flowers from today so that they don't go to waste? Or is it too late? (Say it isn't so! )

#2. Roughly how much pollen needs to be transferred to a female flower for it to be pollinated? I.e. if my one perspective male flower does bloom tomorrow morning, could I possibly pollinate all 4 females from today and the 2 I'm also anticipating to open tomorrow as well?

#3 If I am able, what is the best way to hand pollinate when trying to ration out the pollen? I generally just tear off the male leaves and expose the pollen to the female (stigma?).

Are my best odds to pollinate the females that bloom tomorrow with the male and just chalk the other FOUR up as a loss? I've scoured the internet for answers and I've only found issues with people have ALL males and no females, not the other way around!

Good news is, as I said earlier, there are many teeny tiny males coming up, so hopefully they'll even out soon!?

Please help.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Jun 21, 2017 4:59 PM CST
One blossom = one day.
If you have pollinators, don't worry.
Hand pollinate, if you wish, but, do it in early morning. Afternoon, is, too late.
Blossoms, will, equalize, themselfs.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jun 21, 2017 8:18 PM CST
I'm with Philip. Your squash plants will work it all out in their own time. Squash plants have been getting the job done for 1000's of years. I don't think they will fail now. Unless this plant is, for some reason, living in the house, all will be well. The male and female flowers will bloom at the same time and pollination will take place. Relax and let Mother Nature do her thing.

There is only one reason that male and female flowers don't bloom at the same time - immaturity of the plant.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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