flowers failing to open

hi my courgettes in the polytunnel have loads of flowers but the mail ones are dropping off and the female ones are not opening just rotting away any one kno whats wrong have been watering them


  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    Hello, I'd be interested in any answers to this as I'm growing courgettes for the first timeimage

  • hi hollyhock usually my courgettes do very well have far to many but just this problem with flowers dot know what to do

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    HIya, I'm still getting to grips with the male and female flowers. Wasn't expecting them to flowerimageimage This picture was taken this morning. I have seen bees go into them and now they are closed.



     My first flower which has a courgette behind it, was a bit wilty so I picked it off. I do have other courgettes on the same plant  that are much bigger and seem to be doing ok.

    As you can tell I'm a complete novice...........planted some seeds and learning as I goimage

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    Hi, Scent & all. If you can tell the difference between male & female flowers presumably you have little courgettes on the plant, behind the female flowers. If the courgette vegetable is growing don't worry about the flowers. Maybe they open in the morning and close before you see them again. If they get wet or sit on wet soil they will rot. Not a problem unless you want to fry them as they do in Greece.

    I usually find, as has happened this year the first couple of courgettes are small and insignificant, usually stunted at about the size of a woman's little finger. I take these off and new better sized ones follow. Once you have little courgettes on feed once a week with liquid tomato food. Water at the base of the plant, don't wet leaves, they don't like tap water on their leaves.

    Hope this helps.

  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi scent of flowers and hollyhock, courgette flowers only seem to last a day and then wilt and drop off, I tend to remove them when they've died as they tend to get soggy on the soil and start to rot.  

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    Thanks KEFimage will pick off the smaller first courgette. I've been feeding them with tomato feed.

    Thanks also for the advice re watering. They have generally been watered at the base of the plant but we have been spraying them with the hose so I'm guessing that may explain why there are white marks on some of the leaves.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,908

    I'm with KEF on thisimage 

    You can also self pollinate courgette's to encourage the female flower to reproduce. I've been seeing if the bee's will do it this year but sometimes mother nature needs a helping hand. If you take a male flower and dip it into the female flower the pollen is transferred and once pollinated the female will then grow. The courgettes which start to go rotten on the end usually haven't been polinated. 

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    scent of flowers, having them in a polytunel can make it difficult for insect life to get in and pollinate the female flowers. Try following Zoomer's advice and pollinate by hand. It's very easy. Just brush the male flower's stamen lightly across the female flower's stigma. Don't be too vigorous, you don't want to damage the stigma.

  • ninnin Posts: 156

    Hi Kef

    Thanks for the info you made me feel better; my courgettes have flowered and first few have been tiny stayed smaller than my little finger for well over a week possibly two weeks picked off today, feeling more positive now.

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    Cheers Nin, but also do as Zoomer & Italophile say if there's any doubt about pollination.

  • bigolobbigolob Posts: 127

    It seems to be a rotten year for courgett plants. There were none available to buy in my local garden centres in April or May (due I was told to the growers not being able to germinate the seeds and grow on due to the weather in March) and even hard to find up to June.

    My plants were put under cloches in the veg. plot in early June and even now with the warm weather, they are lethargic and not producing the number of flowers as in previous years. I suppose we will just have to try again next year!


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,908

    bigolob. There did appear to be less on sale, here too. I look at GC's stock to guage how well mine are growing and their's were similar to mine this year, which is unusual, GC's one's are normally romping away. 

    If you sow back up plants, a couple of weeks after the first lot have germinated and don't plant all out at the same time, you have a wider window for success. Your later sowing will also go on producing more veg when the first on'e have been exhausted.    

  • thanks everyone for the advice


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