2

I have only one plant of each, Zucchini and Butternut squash. Sometimes female flowers bloom when no male flower is open. Can I somehow preserve the male flowers to pollinate by hand later ?

  • 1
    Yes, but you shouldn't have to worry about that. Not with a squash in a pot on your balcony...I never hand pollinate and I always get too many of everything. Where are these plants? Are they out of doors? – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 8:03
  • You should not have to worry about hand pollination. I went back and yes, they are out of doors. Sorry. This might just mean a bit of patience is necessary. Pollen most certainly can be saved but that is not at all a thing you need to be doing. Maybe watching the pot causes the water to never boil? Is that right? Grins. Please give us a bit more information such as fertilizer or any additives. What soil have you used in those pots? – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 8:14
  • I know that it is usually not necessary but I really think it is in my case. I saw how the fruits turned black and fell off after the flower bloomed without any male one around. And since I supported the pollination by hand (if two were open at the same time) that didn't happen anymore. Maybe it has to do something with the plants being on a rooftop in a city and there are not so many other squash plants close to it. – Meera Jul 20 '18 at 16:21
  • that is the point to having male and female flowers on the same plant. That is not a worry. Kind of smart, huh? If you are pollinating them, why are they turning black and falling off? That is what we need to address. Please send pictures! – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 22:27
  • They turned black and fall off after the blooming if they didn't get pollinated because bees didn't do the work and either I didn't support pollination (in the beginning I thought I don't have to) or I couldn't because no male flower was open. Hence this question. My other open question is about them falling off before blooming, it's a different story. – Meera Jul 21 '18 at 3:47
2

Yes, you can gather the polen in a ziplock bag with a q-tip or toothpick. I am unsure how long polen can stay fertile but after searching for a bit I found a similar question: https://gardening.stackexchange.com/a/23095/20219

Quote:

After a few months, the pollen may lose over 50% of its vitality, but applied heavily enough, it will be sufficient.

2

I have saved pollens in a jar and used them to hand pollinate. I faced the same thing: flowers were not pollinating on their own. A lot of the times, male and female didn't open at the same time. I saved pollen from male and hand pollinated female ones to get good zucchinis.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.