What Causes Courgettes to Wither and Rot?

My courgettes were growing exceptionally well and then disaster struck. I noticed the ends of the baby courgettes started to wither and die off.

Courgettes withering at the end
Courgettes withering at the end


withered baby courgette close up
withered baby courgette close up


Courgette plant with white marks on leaves
Courgette plant with white marks on leaves

The rest of the plant is perfectly healthy so the only thing I can think of is that the wet weather meant the bees were not pollinating the flowers. Maybe I planted them out too early?

(We live near the sea and have been told the marks on the leaves are from the salt humidity)

I have now planted some more courgette seeds to see if this variety fares any better.


Courgette F1 diamante
Courgette F1 diamante

I left the withered courgettes on my garden workbench overnight – at least someone had a meal from them!

Courgette eaten by mice or mongoose
Courgette eaten by mice or mongoose


Does anyone have any suggestions what could have caused the baby courgettes to wither at the end?

8 thoughts on “What Causes Courgettes to Wither and Rot?

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  1. Yes, excessive irrigation, or normal irrigation alternating with lapses of irrigation, can cause such problems. Watering late in the day rather than earlier should not cause this problem, but can make it worse once it starts. Until you solve the problem, you should water only on the ground, without getting the foliage wet. (Actually, it is best to keep the foliage dry anyway.)
    Excessive application of fertilizer, particularly nitrogen, can, on rare occasion, cause this problem. However, if excessive nitrogen was a problem, you would likely have already noticed overly vigorous foliar growth, and inhibition of fruit production. I have been told that deficiency of calcium causes end rot, but have never actually seen it, just because there is no shortage of calcium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tony. Yes, I think watering is the problem. The earth is still soaked. It’s a raised bed so maybe one of the drainage points is blocked. As for fertilizer, I’ve not applied anything extra other than what was there. At the beginning of the year, my Gnome dug in all the rotted compost and added some bags of commercial compost to the whole bed of existing soil, which was horse poo based and other nutrients.

      I did add membrane collars to the base of the plant as the courgettes were resting on wet earth but the babies were already starting to wither then. Maybe I take one off and see if that makes a difference.

      As long as the plant stays healthy I don’t mind experimenting

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If the soil is saturated enough to rot the fruit, it can eventually rot roots too. It is still early, so as the weather gets warmer, they will draw more moisture, and will not be so susceptible to rot.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi if the bees hadn’t pollinated..you wouldn’t get the courgettes…
    Generally this type of wither is caused by lack of water or irregular watering..

    Kind regards

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 2 people

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