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Picking Zucchini Flowers

A few days ago, I shared one of my favorite breakfasts with you…a frittata made with edible flowers. After reading my post, a friend asked me how I can pick the flowers and still get zucchini. It’s a good question. The truth is…if you pick all of the blossoms off the plant as soon as they open, you won’t get any zucchini.

But there’s a way to eat your flowers and still have squash.

Male zucchini blossoms have skinny stems.Here’s a picture of my zucchini plant in flower. You’ll notice that the flower right in the middle has a long skinny stem. This is a male flower. (Female flowers have short squat stems that, once pollinated, will turn into the actual squash.). Don’t pick the female flowers, unless you have so many flowers that you can afford to reduce the amount of squash you harvest. And don’t pick all of the male flowers either. You need the male flowers to pollinate the female flowers. Luckily, you don’t need ALL of the male flowers.

Just remember, harvest your zucchini blossoms early in the morning. They should be free of blemishes and insects. And look for the flowers on tall, skinny stems. Those are the male blossoms. Removing a few of them won’t prevent the rest of the flowers from producing zucchini. Happy harvest!