Zucchini flowers are glorious golden blossoms, which are not only attractive but also good to eat. With zucchini flowers, you can prepare delicious meals. If you want to harvest zucchini flowers for consumption you need to know a few things about the reproductive biology of the plant.
Above all, you should know when and which flowers to pick to ensure that you have a good harvest of fruit. It is recommended to consume zucchini flowers as soon as possible. However, to keep them fresh for a longer time, I will share in this article some tips on how to store zucchini flowers to extend their flavor.
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Differentiating Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) produces male and female flowers, now you will learn how to differentiate zucchini flowers to know which flower is better to harvest.
The male flowers of the zucchini are formed by stamens, which is an organ that generates pollen. It is usually yellow and if we brush the stamens with a paintbrush, you can see the small granules of pollen that adhere to them.
As you can see another characteristic of male flowers in zucchini, cucumber, watermelon, melon, squash, and all plants of the Cucurbitaceae family is that they have a rather elongated stem.
The female flowers of the zucchini are formed by the pistil, which is the organ through which the pollen grains enter to fertilize it. In Cucurbitaceae, the female flower is seen on the lower part of the fruit, whether it is a pumpkin, zucchini, melon, or watermelon.
It is best to harvest the male zucchini flowers because the female ones will produce the fruit. That is why it is important to know how to differentiate between a male and female flower in zucchini.
When to Harvest Zucchini Flowers
When to Harvest Zucchini Flowers? The best time to harvest zucchini flowers is during the morning before daytime temperatures rise. The male flowers are the first to grow on the plant and are differentiated from the female flowers by their longer and hairier stems.
Although the female zucchini flowers are the tastiest, we recommend harvesting the male zucchini flowers because they do not produce fruit. Be sure to leave some male flowers because they are also necessary for zucchini pollination. Learn more about when to harvest zucchini.
How to Harvest Zucchini Flowers
How to Harvest Zucchini Flowers? To harvest zucchini flowers, you need to use a sharp knife or scissors to make a perfect cut and not damage the plant. It is also important to disinfect the tools you will use before harvesting zucchini flowers.
Collect only the flowers that you see healthy and fully open. Leave some male flowers for zucchini pollination. Remember that the best time to harvest zucchini flowers is in the morning.
How to Store Zucchini Flowers
How to Store Zucchini Flowers? It is best to harvest zucchini flowers and consume them within 24 hours after harvesting. Zucchini flowers are very delicate, and it is not possible to store them for a long time, but there is a little trick that can help zucchini flowers and other edible plants and flowers, such as forget-me-nots and edible orchids, to preserve in the refrigerator.
Wash the zucchini flowers and then remove excess moisture. Place a paper towel on a plate and then place the zucchini flowers on it. Store the zucchini flowers in the refrigerator, this way the zucchini flowers will last up to 1 week.
How To Cook Zucchini Flowers
How To Cook Zucchini Flowers? Once you harvest the zucchini flowers, you should be able to use them in a variety of tasty dishes. Zucchini flowers can be used in salads, soups, and many other dishes. My favorite is the stuffed zucchini flowers with rice and cheese, they are so delicious.
It is recommended to consume zucchini flowers as soon as possible after harvesting to consume them fresh and with the best flavor. We hope this article on how and when to harvest zucchini flowers will be useful. Learn more about planting zucchini on a trellis.