Zucchini Fruit Fall Off The Plant Before They Are Full Grown

Zucchini Fruit In The Garden
(Image credit: ClaireLucia)

For the most part, zucchini plants are one of the most prolific performers in the garden, but even the beloved and prolific zucchini is prone to problems. One of these problems can be when the zucchini fruit on your zucchini plant grows just a little bit and then seemingly inexplicably falls off.

What Causes Zucchini Fruit to Fall Off the Plant?

The most common cause of zucchini fruit falling off the plant is no or poor pollination. This means that for some reason, the flowers on your zucchini plant were not properly pollinated and the fruit was unable to produce seeds. Remember, a plant's sole purpose is to produce seeds. When a fruit has shown it will not produce seeds, the plant will "abort" the fruit rather than invest precious time and energy in growing it.

A less common reason for zucchini fruit falling off a plant is blossom end rot. The tell tale signs of this are blacked ends on the stunted fruit.

How Do I Fix Zucchini Fruit Falling Off the Plant Prematurely?

In situations where you have poor pollination, the first place to look is at your own gardening practices. Are you using pesticides in your garden? Pesticides frequently kill off the good pollinator bugs as well as the bad bugs. If you are using pesticides, stop this practice and look into other pest control methods that will not be as harmful to the pollinators.

If you are not using pesticides, your garden may simply be a victim of a national epidemic that is affecting farmers and gardeners across the United States. The honeybee population has declined rapidly in the past decade. Honeybees are the most common kind of pollinator found in the garden and, unfortunately, they are getting harder and harder to find. Try attracting some of the less common pollinators like mason bees, bumble bees, and butterflies to your garden. In a worst case scenario you can hand pollinate the flowers on your zucchini plants.

If the problem is a blossom end rot problem, the situation will most likely remedy itself, but you can speed the process along by adding calcium additives to your soil. Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil. 

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.