• GardenBite@Facebook • GardenBite@Twitter

Squash pollinating problems

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Squash pollinating problems

I have lovely ‘cupcake’ squash growing in a container.  It really looks great with those wonderful leaves and all those blossoms.  What doesn’t look so lovely is the shriveling of the fruit.  I’ve lost 4 fruits so far.  The stems of my non-vining squash look good with no signs of squash vine borer, I don’t see any issues on the leaves or anywhere that would indicate bugs OR disease.

Squash container

Squash container

So, I went a-googling and found, first that a-googling is apparently a real word… then that pollination could be my problem.  The fruit are swelling somewhat and then shriveling up and dying.  And just last week I talked about bee!  So, I have pollinator plants all over my back yard and in the vegetable garden but NOT in front where I potted up my squash for the first time.

My next move was to hand pollinate them.  Knowing the difference between male and female blossoms is required.  Female squash blossoms usually grow close to the center of the plant. Check the base of the flower where the blossom meets the stem. Female squash blossoms have a small swollen embryonic fruit at their base, which will grow into a squash if the bee does what bees do. Male squash blossoms are showier and they tend to hang out on long skinny stalks all along the plant. There are a lot more male squash blossoms than female and they begin blooming earlier.  Open up the female flower by ripping a small opening and then take a male flower and open it up, rub the male anther onto the female stigma.  And, literally, that’s that!

The above is a very simple video to show you how…  don’t feel bad about ripping the flowers a bit to get “do the job”!  It worked!!!

Squash 'Cupcake'

Squash ‘Cupcake’

squash - Cupcake 4



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply