female flower

How to Hand Pollinate Zucchini

Are you growing Zucchini but the fruit seems to shrivel and die before being ready? If so, you may have a pollination issue. Hand pollinating Zucchini is super easy to do once you know how.

Firstly, to hand pollinate Zucchini you need to know how to identify the male and female flowers. The best time to do this is early in the morning when the flowers are open.

Female Flower

female flower
The female zucchini flower has the small fruit at the base.
female flower
The centre stigma of the female flower has multiple parts to form a circle shape.

Male Flower

hand pollinate zucchini
The male flower has just a plain stem and flower with the centre stamen a single point covered in pollen.

Generally, the plant will produce a bunch of male flowers first which is natures way of attracting pollinators to the garden. Then it will alternate between male and female. I like to plant a few of the same variety as sometimes you can have female fruit but no male flowers open. Early mornings are best because the flowers will be open and then they will close up to capture the pollen.

You can either use a paintbrush to simply transfer the pollen from the male stamen to the female stigma but I find it easier to remove the male flower and use that to transfer the pollen.

Pick the male flower and remove the petals.
hand pollinate zucchini
Then you are left with a pollen covered stamen to transfer on to the female flowers.
hand pollinate zucchini
Transfer the pollen onto the female flowers to hand pollinate Zucchini.
golden zucchini

This will make sure your zucchini are getting pollinated so you can enjoy the abundant crop!

This method can be used for other fruiting vegetables such as pumpkins, melons, cucumbers. I tend to use a small paintbrush for the melons and cucumbers though as the flowers are much smaller and delicate.

It is also important to try and attract wildlife to your garden for natural pollination, to find out what flowers to plant, click below.

flowers for the bees

Do you hand pollinate in your garden? Leave me a comment below.

Holly 🌱

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