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Old 07-27-2017, 06:58 PM
 
340 posts, read 435,106 times
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I planted zucchini a bit late this year, but they're beginning to flower just fine. I noticed that the blossoms are sitting atop skinny 'male' stems, rather than the thicker / fertile 'female' stems. This can be typical the first couple of weeks, since the male part of the plant tries to attract the bees for pollination. I'm just not seeing the volume of bees in my garden that I would like and if the flowers don't get pollinated correctly, it will be up to me.

Any advice?
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,167 posts, read 3,768,508 times
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I tried doing this with Q-tips a few years back and just gave up on it. I probably should have followed through but I didn't. Hopefully someone has more info and tried and true results.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:38 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I have done it for several years, since bees don't often get into my greenhouse. I use a soft artist brush, and it's very easy, but even with 5-6 plants you need to try and check 1-2 times a day to get both male and female flowers open at the same time. One male will do 2-3 females.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:48 PM
 
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Hemlock can you describe what you do in a little more detail?
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:15 PM
 
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You don't even need any brush. I hand pollinate by rubbing the male flower to the female flower, simulated sex for the zucchini, lol. It's always worked for me. But the trick is you have to wait until the male flower has pollen, not just a young stem.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:21 PM
 
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Do it all the time to assure the quality of the zucc.
A cross of gourd male and zuch female will produce a very seedy and tough skin progeny.
At certain weather conditions we get all males or all females. I once scrounged the neighborhoods for a male flower.

Wife planted a set of 3 plants in a single 3" container. We got 2 gourds and 1 very bad zucc.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:32 PM
 
340 posts, read 435,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
You don't even need any brush. I hand pollinate by rubbing the male flower to the female flower, simulated sex for the zucchini, lol. It's always worked for me. But the trick is you have to wait until the male flower has pollen, not just a young stem.
How can you tell that it's time to do the deed? In other words what should I look for in the flower?
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaylaM View Post
How can you tell that it's time to do the deed? In other words what should I look for in the flower?
A bit of powder in the male flower.
This link might help.
http://theveggielady.com/zucchini-flowers-but-no-fruit/
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:13 AM
Status: "Please tell me what to do. Ha ha ha." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Big Island of Hawaii
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In my greenhouse, I've got to pollinate before 9am, or the female flowers close up.

I dip my soft artists brush into every male flower that's open (probably overkill), then into the females, dipping into male flowers between females.

This is nearly always successful. Getting both male and female flowers open at the same time is not as common as I'd like, but there are only 2 of us; how many zukes can we eat?
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:51 AM
 
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Thanks for all the good responses! So far, it looks like I only have male stems coming up but I'll wait a week or so to see if female stems emerge. Otherwise, I'm stuck with a dud.

Here's a good article outlining the anatomy of the male/female plants and more about the pollination process.

What is difference between male and female zucchini blossoms
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