How to Grow Summer Squash With the End Turning Black


If you've been looking over your summer squash and are disappointed to see the ends of the vegetables turning black and wrinkled, you may be anxious to determine what disease or pest is causing the problem. Often, however, the ends turning black on your squash means there has been a lack of pollination in your squash. To grow summer squash with the end turning black you'll need to remove the unsalvageable fruits and ensure your plants are well pollinated.

Step 1

Remove any of the squash which have black ends and discard or compost them. Water your plants well and keep the soil well moist around your squash throughout the remainder of the growing season.

Step 2

Hand pollinate your female flowers by using a soft paint brush or cotton swab to gently swab the pollen from male flowers and transfer it to the female flowers. The male flowers rest at the end of a thin stem, while the female flowers are recognizable for the small squash plant directly behind it.

Step 3

Plant flowers such as basil, English lavender, marjoram, zinnias, and wallflowers to attract bee pollinators to the vegetable garden. A few nasturtiums planted right next to your growing squash will help attract bees as well as work to deter aphids and squash bugs.

Step 4

Supply water to your pollinators by leaving a shallow dish or birdbath in the garden with water in it. Be sure there is always at least a 1/2 inch of water in the dish so pollinators can rely on this source of water.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Paint brush or cotton swab
  • Water
  • Flowering plants
  • Shallow dish or birdbath


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • "Growing Fruit and Vegetables"; Richard Bird; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Pollination: Squash and Pumpkin Pollination
Keywords: summer squash pollination, attracting pollinators, squash ends black

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.