What's wrong with my zucchini?

Madeline Miller
by Madeline Miller
They are an odd shape, and some turn yellow at the ends. They are also kind of ribbed. What's wrong with them? I usually don't have a problem growing them, and this year, when I only planted one planted so I wouldn't be over run with them, the plant is odd. Any suggestions???
Whats wrong with my zucchini?
  25 answers
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Jul 10, 2014
    Zucchini is bad to cross with other plants around it? Did you plant something close by that it could have cross pollinated? One year I planted yellow squash next to my zucchini and they mixed. Still good, but they were yellow and green.
    • See 2 previous
    • Judy Judy on Jul 13, 2014
      @Donna Byram Either that or the plant was a volunteer from the previous year & yw.
  • Jennifer Wiggins Jennifer Wiggins on Jul 11, 2014
    I have found that the zucchini bush is great to plant. no running vines and great zucchini. Sorry I can not help with problem.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 11, 2014
    It is probably a pollination issue, as Donna suggest. See: http://plantanswers.com/vegetable_shapes_gallery.htm
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 11, 2014
    A pollination issue is what I was thinking since I've noticed a lack of bees in the garden.
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Judy on Jul 12, 2014
      BTW, Always listen to Doug Hunt! He really knows what he's talking about. So does Donna Dixson when she comments. They're both pros. Lots of other commenters mean well but are way off base.
  • Julie Julie on Jul 11, 2014
    I had problems with my zucchini for the past few years, the garden center told my the soil needs more bone meal. Also, don't plant in the same place. Rotate.
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks Julie. Mine was planted in a brand new raised bed. Although i did put soil amendment in it, maybe bone meal is just what it needs.
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 11, 2014
    Donna, I only planted tomatoes and eggplant in the same box. The same thing I plant every year. I think it's a polliniation problem.
  • Kay Kay on Jul 12, 2014
    I showed my green guy hubby this. As he examined the zucchini, he said the blossom end is nice and full and the other end skinny is that later in growing it lacked enough water. He believes it looks like a watering problem.
  • Margaret Dick Margaret Dick on Jul 12, 2014
    It appears it is a watering problem. The plastic around the plant is not allowing enough water to the roots.
  • Delores Snellen Delores Snellen on Jul 12, 2014
    I have yellow squash planted next to my zucchini and they have never cross pollinated. I do not pick any veggie off the vine until late at night. If I pick when the sun is high seems like the plant wants to die
  • JBug JBug on Jul 12, 2014
    Hmmmmmm....don't you need more than one plant to pollinate? Did you put any "chemicals" on your lawn nearby that would keep the honey bees away so they could help with pollination? My husband was told you need to "rotate" where you plant your zucchini...do not plant in the same area/soil...rotate.
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 12, 2014
    I believe only one plant is necessary. Flower to flower on the same plant does it. i've hand pollinated cucumbers before, but i never find two flowers open long enough to do that on the zucchini.
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 12, 2014
    I don't think that's the problem Margaret. Each plant had quite a bit of space around it before the plastic, plus each plant in the box has it's own dripper on it. It drips right by the base of the plant, so I know it's getting enough water. I also test each plant with a tester.
  • Mrs. C Mrs. C on Jul 12, 2014
    Cross pollination would only be a problem if you were saving seeds and replanting them. It wouldn't effect the current crop. Madeline is correct you only need one plant. Squash has both male and female flowers, ever notice how some don't flowers don't fruit? The answer is in the leaves. You've got some kind of fungus or blight.
  • Madeline Miller Madeline Miller on Jul 12, 2014
    Mrs. C, those dried up leaves you see are leaves that blew off the peach tree when it was windy one day. They aren't part of the zucchini plant. The leaves on the plant itself look fine except where the wind damaged some. Thanks for responding though,
  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jul 12, 2014
    When they turn yellow on the tip it is inadequate pollination. If it is really hot and dry the plants will produce weird shaped fruit. It needs consistent moisture and plenty of hummus and minerals too. Try working in a little rock dust and water with some fish emulsion fertilizer or compost tea mixed in several times a month.
  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jul 12, 2014
    Oh, I just noticed it is the stem tip that is yellow on yours. I'd it's a pollination problem it yellows and rots on the blossom end. Maybe it is too constantly wet and the roots can't breathe. They are big fast-growing plants and need lots of nutrients and water, but they also need air to the roots. Also the black plastic gets hot in the summer sun and could be over-heating the roots. Spread a little straw or dead leaves over it to shade it around the plant.
  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jul 12, 2014
    Some varieties of zucchini are ribbed, others are smooth and dark green.
  • Debra Hayward Debra Hayward on Jul 12, 2014
    Lack of Bees are becoming a huge problem!
  • Amy Ledesma Amy Ledesma on Jul 13, 2014
    Add some eggshell to the soil.
  • Cameron Harman Cameron Harman on Jul 13, 2014
    Lack of pollination. If there are no Bee's around then sorry you have to do the job yourself. Male flower into female flower ( just look at the flower's and you will soon see)
  • Cameron Harman Cameron Harman on Jul 13, 2014
    I have had the same problem over the last few years. The tip with the flower on it will continue to turn yellow and the whole thing will end up going rotten. Since I have been pollinating myself no more problem's
  • JBug JBug on Jul 14, 2014
    Thanks @John Reilly for this GREAT information.
  • Alice Alice on Jul 14, 2014
    Cross pollination. Do you have them planted near your cucumbers or squash??