How to Pick Zucchini Flowers


The zucchini squash isn't the only part of the zucchini plant that is edible. Its flowers are also edible, and are often dipped in batter and fried. The flowers can also be eaten raw as a colorful addition to your favorite summer salads. Use a pair of shears or scissors and pick zucchini flowers off your plant today and discover how tasty they can be.

Step 1

Identify the male flowers on your zucchini, which have thin stems whereas the female flowers have thick stems with a bulge where the zucchini is developing.

Step 2

Grasp the zucchini flower at its base with one hand while wielding a pair of sharp scissors, garden shears or a knife in your opposite hand.

Step 3

Cut off the zucchini flower 1 inch from where the flower stem meets the zucchini vine.

Step 4

Rinse the cut zucchini flowers under cold water and store in your refrigerator to preserve their freshness until you eat them. The flowers can typically be stored for 24 to 48 hours before they wilt to the point of not being edible.

Tips and Warnings

  • Only pick the male zucchini flowers. The female flowers are edible, but picking them will reduce your zucchini plant's zucchini production. In addition, always leave 10 to 15 percent of the male flowers on the vine to help with pollination.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears, scissors or a knife


  • "Kitchen Harvest: A Cook's Guide to Growing Organic Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs"; Susan Berry; 2002
  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener"; Karan Davis Cutler, et al.; 1997

Who Can Help

  • The Food Network: Stuffed Zucchini Flowers Recipe
Keywords: harvest zucchini flowers, pick zucchinis, choose zucchini flowers

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.