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Buds dying on squash, before maturing

Posted by jemsister 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 9, 14 at 13:44

I'm having a problem with my pattypan plant. I'm seeing the flower buds start to form, but instead of maturing and blooming, they turn brown and fall off. Anyone know what I need to do to fix this? The plant looks healthy, it's just this bud problem. It looks like some of the buds might be growing okay, but I have lost about 5 of the "bad" ones.

The buds on my crookneck are also struggling, although they are not dying, but they are stalled, I guess you could say. Not growing or blooming, just staying the same size and sitting there.

The zucchini is doing great, blooming and producing fruit.

They are all three in one giant container, about 4' wide x 4' long x 2' deep. They are in a garden soil/topsoil mix (which I understand is not ideal, live and learn), and mulched with dead lawn clippings. I am feeding them liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. I planted them all on the same day, and they all sprouted the same day.

Thanks for the help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

  • Posted by Drew51 5b/6a SE MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 20:10

The soil is ok for vegetables, you can't believe everything you read here, lot's of super bad info in this forum. Failure is usually related to pollination. If the flowers are not pollinated they will drop off, you may need to do it yourself. Remove a male flower and rub it in all the female flowers. Check Google on how to tell flower types. Male flowers are the first to form. You can also use a paint brush.


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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

Thanks for the response, Drew. The thing with these, though, is they are drying and falling off before blooming. In fact, they are not even growing and getting big. They stay those little tiny nubs, and then they die instead of growing. Thoughts?

It looks like I might be getting some good ones now, that aren't dying, so maybe the problem has resolved itself. I hope so! I have just never had that happen before.


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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

  • Posted by Drew51 5b/6a SE MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 12:35

Yes, not sure? The plant was stressed and aborted buds. Why is unknown? Too little water? Too much?
Good luck! Keep us updated. I want to see the squash when ready! We eat squash all the time. I skipped this year, but will be growing it again next year.


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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

Well, I'm suspecting the heat at this point. I have three crookneck ladies that matured and bloomed yesterday, so hopefully they were pollinated. There were several males on other squash plants, so I hope it works out. If they fall off, I will figure it's lack of pollination. But it looks like it's stopped aborting buds, for now anyway. One of the pattypans has a female developing. Looks like it might bloom in a day or two. Crossing fingers! I have never had this happen before, so I was certainly puzzled. Hope it's a thing of the past.

I have noticed ants on my squash plants--on the summer squash, and on my spaghetti squash (which is planted elsewhere). Could this be a contributing factor? Would soap spray kill ants?

This post was edited by jemsister on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 14:38


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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

  • Posted by flo9 10 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 14:46

Mine are doing the same thing on 2 green zucchinis and 1 yellow zucchini. The yellow all die when tiny.. 1 currently might make it. On my green ones.. most die... 1 survived but quit growing and I ate it today pretty small before it rotted on the plant. 2 more so far are growing well.

I see bees coming over to pollinate many times a day. My cucumbers are barely giving me anything too and most die when young... and again... bees are always coming over like every 10 minutes.


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RE: Buds dying on squash, before maturing

"I have noticed ants on my squash plants--on the summer squash, and on my spaghetti squash (which is planted elsewhere). Could this be a contributing factor?"

I sincerely doubt that the ants have anything to do with it.


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