Help! My Zucchini Is Not Fruiting!

This healthy zucchini is near a beehive, so it has plenty of bees to pollinate the squash. (Image by Jessie Keith)

“Last year, lots of blossoms but no zucchini so I planted in a different space. So far, not even blossoms. I’ve never seen this before. Zucchini usually grows like weeds.” Question from Sharon in Washington

Answer: That’s an interesting problem…tell me more. There are lots of things that can cause zucchini or summer squash from producing, including lack of pollinators (bees pollinate the blossoms), excess hot days (above 95 degrees F) and hot nights (above 75 degrees F), too little light, improper fertilization, and even variety choice. Did you notice that last some of year’s flowers had blooms with little fruits at the base (female flowers) and blooms with no little fruits (male flowers)? If you noticed both flower types, then pollination failure could be the problem. In this case, choosing a self-fertile variety, like ‘Bush Baby’, will help. Do your plants get enough sun and did you amend and fertilize with a good vegetable fertilizer for fruiting? Or, did you experience an unusually hot summer? Let me know!


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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