Image by Paul Sullivan
By Heather Rhoades
Your zucchini plant looks healthy. It is covered in lovely blossoms. Then one morning you walk out to your garden to find all those blossoms lying on the ground. The stem is still intact and it looks as though someone took a pair scissors and cut the blossoms right off the stem. Is there a crazy marauder cutting your zucchini blossoms off? No, not at all. This is perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with your zucchini plant.
Why Do Zucchini Blossoms Fall Off the Plant?
There are two reasons why zucchini blossoms fall off the plant.
Male Zucchini Blossoms
This is the most common reason for zucchini flowers falling off the plant. Zucchini plants have male and female flowers. Only female zucchini blossoms can produce zucchini squash. Once male zucchini blossoms have opened to release their pollen, they simply fall off the plant. Many times, a zucchini plant will produce only male blossoms when first in bloom to ensure that pollen will be available when the female blossoms open. The male blossoms will all fall off, making it seem as though the zucchini plant is losing all of its flowers. Don’t worry, female blossoms will open soon and you will get zucchini squash.
Zucchini blossoms will also fall off the plant if the pollination between the male and female blossoms are poor. Basically, the plant will abort the female blossoms if they are not pollinated well enough. Poor pollination can happen due to a lack of pollinators, like bees or butterflies; high humidity that causes the pollen to clump; rainy weather or a lack of male blossoms.
While zucchini blossoms falling off the plant may look alarming, it is perfectly natural and is not an indicator of any problems with the plant itself.