Thursday, February 13, 2014
Why won't my Zucchini pollinate?
Angelonia Archangel Raspberry. Click on this image to see a slide show of this week's Spec. Load.
Angelonia are a not only survivors in these current conditions… they thrive! Ideally suited to extreme heat, humidity and drought, Angelonia offer an abundance of delightful flowers all summer long. They grow 10 to 25cm high and spread 30 to 50cm giving WOW factor when planted in a range of containers or hanging baskets.
"my pumpkin & zucchini aren't producing female flowers so no fruit forming - can anything be done about this problem?"
I get this query fairly regularly at this time of year. I have read that it is quite common for Zucchini & Cucurbits generally to produce male flowers first, the female ones follow reliably. The alternative could be a stress response. When the plants experience the extreme temperatures we had only a week or so ago they produce only male flowers to save energy, I still think that so long as the plants survive the extended hot dry spell they will produce female flowers and then, of course fruit. I have to be honest that the plants at home are so heavily infested with whitefly they may struggle to pull through. We had a nice small harvest of Zucchini & Lebanese Cucumber just after Christmas but nothing since, I'm expecting female flowers after a week or so of mid-20s temperatures and a drop of rain.
I am seriously considering avoiding the rush to plant Tomatoes and Cucurbits early next year, the poor things just get to fruiting stage when they get savaged by the weather (and some neglect on my part). We planted a few Tomatoes in November, these plants are still growing vigorously and will start fruiting in March and should be much happier. OK, late plantings might get hammered with a flooding Autumn break so I suppose a series of plantings would be ideal.
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