• slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide

Spots, Stripes and Unusual Squash Fruit

Spotted acorn squash, striped zucchini and warty pumpkins are sometimes found on volunteer plants growing in gardens and compost piles. No need to worry, most are edible but not always as tasty as the original variety.

So here is how it happens. Vine crops such as squash, pumpkins, melons and gourds produce separate male and female flowers. Each type of plant can only be pollinated by the same species.

Since summer squash, pumpkins, gourds and some winter squash are all the same species, they can pollinate each other. This doesn’t affect the fruit we harvest from seeds we purchase and plant. But the seeds of these, if cross pollinated, can grow into new plants and produce unusual fruit.

So if you save seeds, leave fruit in the garden or compost pile, the volunteer plants may produce unique fruit with characteristics of one or both of the parent plants.

A bit more information:  As you harvest these distinctively different fruits try tracking down their parents. Look at last year’s garden plan to see what closely related plants may have crossed to create these fun fruit.  If this is not the case, you may have a virus or other disease, causing this change in appearance.

Upcoming Appearances


Sept. 25, 2021
Green Bay Botanic Garden
25th Birthday Celebration

in-person

Sept. 30, 2021
Shade Gardening for Beauty and Pollinator Appeal 
Webinar

Oct. 9, 2021
Everything Hydrangeas
@ Sanger House Gardens

in-person

Oct. 15-17, 2021
NARI Milwaukee Home &
Remodeling Show

in-person

Oct. 20, 2021
Kid & Pet Friendly Houseplants
Webinar

Oct. 23, 2021
San Diego Fall Home & Garden Show
Del Mar, CA

Oct. 27, 2021
Pruning Tips for Shrubs
Webinar

Register today! Plus, watch Melinda's past webinars ON DEMAND
for a limited time.

Learn More

Book an Appearance

Learn More

Enter to win a $150
Corona Tools Gift Card

ENTER NOW