My zucchini are falling! Why does this happen?

I’m not going to sugarcoat that here: gardening can be a little traumatic, even devastating at times. We pour so much love and energy into planting and nurturing our plant babies, only for tragedy to strike.

For example, zucchini plants may be fine one day and be fruitless or flowerless the next. If your zucchini fruit falls, it might be enough to make you cry in the dirt for a while.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this happens.


1. Bad pollination

The whole point of a plant’s flowering and fruiting cycle is to continue its lineage. Namely, to transmit its DNA to ensure that there are plenty of future baby plants.

If a plant’s flower has not been pollinated properly, there may be a problem with the fruit. For example, it may start to grow well but it does not develop internal seeds.

If this is the case, the plant will instinctively know that this fruit will not retain its genetic material. As a result, he will choose to abort the fruit by dropping it. Quite simply, it will not put the energy and time needed to grow a fruit, which in turn will not be fertile.

To counter this problem, be sure to grow your zukes with plenty of beneficial flowering plants as companions. Nasturtiums, dill, borage and yarrow are ideal because they attract pollinators while repelling unwanted insects. This will greatly increase pollination while reducing the pest population.

As a last resort, you can always get dirty and pollinate the flowers yourself. Simply take a clean paintbrush and transfer the pollen from the anthers of the male flowers to the stigmas of the females.

2. Calcium deficiency

If your soil does not contain enough calcium, your fruit plants can end up with blossom end rot. What happens is that the lower end of the fruit (where the flower falls) does not heal properly after releasing the flower. Thus, this area of ​​the fruit eventually breaks down. This causes the whole fruit to die from bottom to top.

When and if blossom end rot occurs, the parent plant will drop affected fruits. This way rot will not seep into the branches and kill the parent plant.

The best way to avoid this problem is to ensure a good calcium content before the plant flowers. Once the flowers have developed, it is too late to save the fruits. You will notice your zucchini falling off as soon as they start to form.

If you discover blossom end rot in any of your fruit, remove all of them, along with any existing blossoms.

However, you cannot just add calcium. Often the soil already contains enough calcium, but the plant cannot access it because the roots do not receive constant water. Before you can fix the problem, you need to make sure you’re irrigating regularly.

Next, amend your soil with calcium.

Once a new set of flowers develop, they will be able to draw up enough calcium to form healthy fruits.


Do your zucchini plants get at least eight hours of direct sunlight? How about enough water? Or maybe they are getting too much water?

Have there been any unusual temperature fluctuations recently? Or do you grow your zukes in containers?

Zucchini plants that experience stress will often drop fruit in an attempt to survive. Also, it’s quite easy for zukes to feel stress, as they are tougher than many others. Cucurbitsae family members.

They need full sun, just the right amount of water, and enough room to stretch out their roots. If they don’t get all of these factors right, they’ll have “oh HELL no” moments and throw their fruit on the floor in tantrums.

Check the soil around your plants daily to determine water levels. If the soil seems dry, give them a good soak. Alternatively, if it looks waterlogged, let it dry out a bit.

Also, remember to always water your zukes at ground level. If you water from above, you risk creating favorable environments for powdery mildew to appear.

4. Insect activity

Squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and squash vine borers can all wreak havoc on your zucchini plants. If they have damaged the stems, for example, they could weaken to the point that the fruit causes them to break. As such, it is not that the zucchini fruits per se fall, but that their stems break.

Likewise, if the squash borers have damaged the vines and roots too much, the plants may drop their fruit. They are simply too sick (and tired) to continue funneling nutrients into fruit development. All their energy is devoted to staying alive.

You can pick squash bugs and beetles from the leaves and drop them in soapy water. Neem oil is an excellent insecticide to repel these tremors. As for the vine borers, check the zuke stems to see if you can find their holes. If so, you can cut them out and drown them.

Neem can also protect against these, just like other protective measures. For example, you can trap them in yellow bowls of soapy water. This is because they are attracted to the color yellow (as in squash blossoms) and rather drown enthusiastically.

5. Pests

Your zuke fruit might not fall by itself. Instead, they could be knocked over by nocturnal visitors.

While small mammals like squirrels and mice can damage young plants, larger ones can cause real damage in the garden. We have lots of raccoons here, and I’ve lost tons of produce to their clingy little hands. Likewise, if deer or larger animals decide to wade through your vines, they could knock the fruit left, right, and center.

Deter herbivores by planting alliums around the periphery of your flower beds. You can also scatter carnivore poo in the area to repel them. When it comes to raccoons and foxes, your best bet to keep them away from your zukes is to fence off your grow beds.

6. Insufficient support for heavy fruits

Some zucchini grow much larger than others. I once missed a ‘Cocozelle’ zucchini under thick foliage and it grew to be 15 inches long with a diameter of five inches! If your zucchini fruits are falling, it’s possible they’ve become too heavy for the vines to support.

Give your zukes extra support from above, if possible. The technique my grandmother taught me was to create scarves from them made from old tights. It might look a little funky in the garden, but it works well. Essentially, you are aiming to reduce stress on the heavy fruit vine. By doing this they are less likely to come loose and fall off.

As you can see, there are several reasons why your zucchini is falling off. Even better, once you determine the cause, there are fairly simple solutions for each problem. You’ll be up to your neck in zucchini before you know it! Then all you have to do is get creative with cooking and baking so nothing goes to waste.

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