How to tell which zucchini flowers are “female”

Lots of people ask me how to tell which zucchini flowers are the female ones.   As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth 1000 words”.

The picture below shows a flower that is clearly attached to what looks to be a baby zucchini. That is a clear sign that you are looking at a female flower. Also notice that the stamen of the female flower is different from a male stamen.

If you look real close you can see there is actually a broken off male stamen inside the female flower. I did that to help bring the pollen from the male flower into the female flower. We have lots of pollinators, but why take chances!

IMG_4671.JPG

How We Grow Better Zucchini

In years past we lost many zucchini plants to various types of rot. I believe the rot was often caused by wilting and rotting leaves that created an environment of wet, mushy mess. Wet, mushy mess is a breeding ground for plant ailments. A couple of years ago I began to carefully experiment with trimming off single leaves and their stems from the main stem of the plant. This can be a risky move because pruning a zucchini plant leaves the plant vulnerable at the spot where you made a cut.

In my experience the risk was worth taking. The video below shows how I prune my zucchini and what they look like in late September.