Zucchini stem rot
I love growing zucchini but the plants always seem to experience a rotting of the stalks near the ground. Is there some way to prevent this?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Commonly squash borers pierce the stem and lay their eggs in the stems causing them to wilt, and after a while the stem becomes mushy. This happens at ground level early in the season and can be discouraged by wrapping the young stems in aluminum foil to protect them from the adult borers. If you see wilting, slit open the stems, remove the larvae - white with black heads- and there may be more than one, then cover the damaged stem with good soil and keep watered. New roots will develop from the buried stem. It also helps to keep the young plants covered with floating row cover (available at nurseries and garden centers), pegged down at the edges so that the flying adults cannot enter. When the flowers start to open (males first, then both sexes) you must remove the row cover to allow pollinators to enter. By that time the stems are usually hard enough that the insects cannot penetrate the stems to lay their eggs.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (3)

Squash vine borers lay eggs on the outside of the stem, they don't pierce the stem and lay them inside. I have also seen eggs laid on flowers and fruit. Eggs are about the size of a poppy seed and make a satisfying pop when you grab them with tweezers. The larva emerge from the eggs and then bore into the stem. I seem to have had some success this year in avoiding a major infestation (which is what I typically get) by removing eggs every other day or so beginning the last week in June.
Submitted by scbiz

The foliage is laying in the trench of where the water runs down to water plants. Stems and fruit are rotting. I have cut away all rotted stems and fruit. It's like they are rotting because of the location of the leaves. My crook necks and zucchini are prematurly dying at the stock where the begin looking healthy and then begin to die and get mushy at the tips. I have propped the parts of the plants that are laying in the swampy water up out of it with sticks. I hope this cure the rotting problems. And NO signs of any bugs. Sorry so long of a question and explanation. I'm at my witts end. Thank you, Ginger Austin, California. (Northern)
Submitted by gingerblooms