Ask a Question forum: Butternut squashes shriveling up before maturation

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Oakland, CA
Jul 20, 2017 5:07 PM CST
I have several very prolific butternut squash plants which keep starting little squashes. I thought I'd have a ton of veggies, but most of them have shriveled up on the vine and turned yellow. I've read that this might because of poor pollination, but am a bit confused about how to identify male vs. female flowers in order to manually pollinate.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Jul 20, 2017 6:17 PM CST
Female flowers have a baby squash on the stem behind the flower. Male flowers don't have that. You can "help" to pollinate by using a little artist paint brush, brushing some pollen off a male flower onto a female flower.

Check in the mornings to see if there are bees around the plants, too. Also be sure your plants are getting enough water during hot, sunny weather. Water deeply in the mornings to carry them through the day.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Oakland, CA
Jul 21, 2017 1:27 PM CST
That's helpful, thank you! Will try manually pollinating.

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