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my zucchini plants look fine, but the fruit starts off well and then turns yellow and dies.

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asked Jul 13, 2011 in Fruits and Vegetables by anonymous

2 Answers

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Please refer to this question as it's already been answered. http://www.wiltedleaf.com/310/zucchini-starts-off-fine-then-turns-yellow-end-and-shrivels
answered Jul 13, 2011 by snovell Zen Gardener (7,380 points)
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Hi "Anonymous"!

The answer you've been referred to is a little bit off the mark. Unpollinated flowers don't produce fruit - so it's not a pollination problem, as you have developed fruit that have turned yellow & withered.

This is a common problem with plants in the  cucurbits family such as courgettes (what you call zuccini in the US), squashes melons, cucumbers etc.

These plants like it warm but can tolerate quite cool temperatures - what they CANNOT tolerate is temperature fluctuations, i.e warm days & cold nights. When exposed to those conditions the fruit will often turn yellow, stop growing and eventually wither and fall off.

Remedy? Keep your plants in as constant a temperature range as possible & water well. DON'T overwater when the plants & fruit turn yellow - thinking they are suffering water shortage. Too much watering can also turn plants yellow (rotted roots and resultant lack of nutrients) and their fruit will wither.

Hope that helps. If you want more info visit my web-sites at http://aberaeronallotments.org or http://gardenerschat-shed.net/ (a gardening social networking site).

Hope you resolve your peoblem soon!

answered Jul 14, 2011 by Big Gee Pro Gardener (2,920 points)
Completely wrong actually.  Female Squash blossoms have fruit in hopes of pollination, but if it isnt pollinated, it will yellow and die.  This is actually quite common nowadays.
...and slowly we realize how important those little pollinators are...
I think you're confusing embryonic fruits (unpollinated) with actual developing fruit (pollinated). As you correctly say the female flowers have an EMBRYONIC fruit behind the flower that is awaiting pollination from a male flower before it starts to develop. Failure to receive pollen will make the embryo fruit eventually drop off.

I was under the impression that the problem referred to was with a developing fruit post pollination. In which case I believe my original answer was correct.

You are however quite correct when you say "how important those little pollinators are..." I couldn't agree more, and we are now seeing the effects of the decline of pollinators.