The flowers on my zucchini seem to drop off- or maybe they're being
bitten? It seems like a clean cut, as though someone took a pair of
scissors to them. I rarely see squirrels or other critters in the
yard. I had this issue once before, years and years ago, and I assumed
it was squirrels since there were tons of them around my place then,
but this place has very few.
Thanks for any advice,
PS: My first zucchini looks more like a cantaloupe! It's almost
perfectly round. The following ones look more normal (or as normal as
a zucchini ever looks :)
Zucchinis (and other squashes) are monoecious, meaning they have separate
male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers are on the ends
of long (~6") stems, while the female ones are on much shorter stems with a
baby zucchini at the base of the flower which will grow to normal size if
that flower is successfully pollinated.
Both the male and female flowers have very short lifespans -- about two days
(and they won't be lookin' so good on that second day anymore either ;-).
After that, the male ones will shrivel up and frequently drop off from the
tips of their stems, leaving a stem with a clean end. (The female ones will
also shrivel up but seem less likely to drop off on their own.) It could be
you are just seeing dead male flowers that have fallen off normally on their
own. You didn't say where the cut was (high or low). I would not expect
cutworms to cut off zucchini flowers unless their stems got in direct
contact with the soil, which is not the usual case (though if the plant
flopped over to one side there might be some that end up in soil contact).
Cutworms are moth larvae living in the soil and cut stuff off right around
Utopia in Decay
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