Problems With Growing Zucchini

The zucchini plant (Cucurbita pepo) has much to offer, as the plant produces edible, nutritious squash and tasty flowers. While generally easy to grow, a zucchini plant is subject to a host of issues. Eliminate common problems with growing zucchini by taking proper care of the plant.

Pests

Zucchini is susceptible to a number of pests, ranging from aphids and cutworms to cucumber beetles and spider mites. Use an insecticidal soap or spray to help prevent these problems. Wrap a zucchini plant with a small paper collar at its base to protect it from cutworms--these small gray worms gnaw the squash off at the base. A strong spray of water often can remove aphids and less serious pests.

Squash Blossom End Rot

Zucchini plants--as well as other types of squash--may suffer from squash blossom end rot, which results in veggies with squishy, soft or rotted ends. This common issue is caused by a lack of calcium. Check the plant's soil--ideally, the soil should have a pH between 6 and 6.5. Add lime to the soil to alleviate this problem. Remove the infected squash. Spray the remaining plant with a calcium-rich foliar spray to help the plant recover and produce firm squash.

Fungus

Zucchini is susceptible to several types of fungus. Powdery mildew results in white spots on zucchini leaves, and usually is caused by too much watering in late summer or fall. Pick off the infected leaves. Gray, wet spots are caused by septoria leaf spot. Help prevent leaf spot by rotating crops and clearing away any debris near the plant. Apply a copper dust or spray every week and a half or so.

Keywords: zucchini problems, growing zucchini, zucchini pests, zucchini fungus, zucchini end rot, zucchini facts

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.