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Gardening in Washington State

My squash plants are blooming, but no fruit has set. Why not?

For most squashes, the male and the female flowers (distinguished by the round chamber at the base of the flower) are on the same plant. These flowers are dependent on honey bees and other bees to transfer the male pollen to the female flower. Take precautions to minimize insecticide use during flower bloom and encourage bee access and visitation. Inadequately-pollinated female squash flowers may grow, but abort before full fruit development.

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Female and male flowers (Rasbak, Wikimedia Commons)

For more information on how to grow squash in your home garden, see WSU Extension Factsheet FS087E “Growing Squash in Home Gardens.”

Submitted by: Sheila Gray, July 20, 2015

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2 comments on “My squash plants are blooming, but no fruit has set. Why not?”

  1. Teresa Edens said on June 6, 2017:

    I have bumble bees in the garden but haven’t seen any honey bees, Does this make a difference?

  2. Sheila Gray said on June 7, 2017:

    Hello Teresa,
    Bumblebees are good pollinators for a wide variety of plants, “A Citizen Science Guide to Wild Bees and Floral Visitors in Western Washington (Home Garden Series)” found at http://pubs.wsu.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=15974&SeriesCode=&CategoryID=&Keyword=wild%20bees, is a good publication that speaks to a wide variety of bees.

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