You just spent several weeks lovingly caring for a squash plant. All of these gorgeous blossoms just popped up all over and all you can say is, "This is it; we'll have squash within a week." The next thing you know, those squash blossoms are falling off the vine like rats from a sinking ship. No tasty squash and no blossoms. Whatever should you do?
Is Squash Blossoms Falling Off Normal?
The first thing is not to panic. This is very normal. Yes, you read right, it's normal for squash vines to lose their blossoms, especially early in the growing season. Squash plants are monoecious, meaning that they have both male and female blossoms growing on the same plant. The female blossoms are the only ones that will eventually produce fruit. Early in the growing season, squash plants tend to produce more male blossoms than female blossoms. Since there are no female blossoms for the male plant to pollinate, the male blossoms simply fall off the vine. Your squash vine will produce more blossoms very shortly and these blossoms will be a more even mix of female and male blossoms. The male blossoms will still fall off the vine, but the female blossoms will grow into lovely squash.
Male and Female Squash Blossoms
How can you tell the difference between the male and female blossoms? You just need to take a look under the blossom itself. At the base of the blossom (where the blossom attaches to the stem), if you see a bump below the blossom, that is a female blossom. If there is no bump and the stem is just straight and skinny, this is a male blossom. Do your male blossoms need to go to waste? No, not at all. Squash blossoms are actually edible. There are a great many delicious recipes for stuffed squash blossoms. Male blossoms, which will not produce fruit anyway, are perfect for these recipes.
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Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007 and built it up to what it is today.
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