This gardening tip is for how to hand-pollinated zucchini flowers when there are no pollinators in the garden.
Pollinating Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini is one of the favorite vegetables to grow in the home garden. It is because zucchini is easy to grow vegetable from seed, and you can get an abundance of fruits from one single plant.
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This plant doesn’t take lots of space to grow, and no trellis needed even though it is still on cucurbit family same as cucumber or pumpkins. This plant is perfect for a small space garden or square foot garden system.
The first few weeks when the plant reaches maturity, it usually only have one type of flower. Some years I only find male flowers for a week and then some other years only the female flower. This condition is something that makes you want to learn about this plant.
The Difference Between Two Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini plant has female and male flowers. Both flowers have different looks on appearance.
The female flower has a swollen stem resemble a small zucchini fruit on the base of the stem and stigma inside the flower. The picture below shows how the female flower looks like and the stigma in the center of the petals.
The male flower has long stem and stamen full of pollen. The picture below shows the male flower looks like and the long stamen full of pollen.
Zucchini Doesn’t Produce Fruits
There are several reasons why your zucchini plant doesn’t produce any fruit. You can look closely surrounding the plant if it has anything necessary for proper pollination. Sometimes the plant has full of flowers but no fruit at all in the following week.
Look closer if the plant only has one type of flower. Zucchini often only have a bunch of male flowers at the same time but no female one. Also, the other way around, there are only female flowers, but none of the male one. There will be no pollination happening if one of each flower type is missing.
You need pollinators to help the garden. Maybe there is no bees around or any other beneficial insect. Grow flowers as companion planting for zucchini. Marigold always the good one as it repels squash bug as well as attract pollinators.
The fruit fell off, rot or wither on the plant. It must be the female flowers that didn’t pollinate properly.
Do Zucchini Need To Be Pollinated?
The answer is yes. Grow companion plant and pollinator-friendly flowers around the garden to attract beneficial insects. Sometimes, you need to help the plant for proper pollination.
Easy Way To Hand-Pollinated Zucchini Flowers
Hand-pollinated zucchini flower is not complicated. You might need to do this if there are no pollinators present in the garden. All you need is a cotton bud/Q-tip or a soft tip paintbrush.
Rub the cotton bud or paintbrush into the stamen of the male flower until you get some of the pollen. Transfer the pollen onto the stigma of the female flower.
If you don’t have any cotton bud or paintbrush available, then you can pluck the male flower off and transfer the pollen by shaking off the stamen into the stigma. Check the plant every morning if there are more zucchini flowers need to fertilize.
What To Do If There Are Too Many Zucchini Male Fowers
Related: Blueberry Zucchini Cake
Once you start helping the zucchini plant for pollination, you will get more fruits as expected. Overall, summer is never too much with zucchini. There always a way how to use it for any recipes.
Also, it is an excellent idea to interplant the vegetable garden with flowers or herbs to attract more beneficial insects.