9 Tips for Growing Zucchini in Pots - Backyard Boss
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9 Tips for Growing Zucchini in Pots

People love zucchini because it’s delicious, hydrating, and low-calorie. It’s a highly versatile veggie as even its flowers are edible. Better yet, you can grow zucchini at home in pots! So even if you have a small space, you don’t have to miss out on homegrown zucchini.

Learn these nine care tips to ensure the process goes off without a hitch! 

Choose the Right Variety 

Image credits: Eugene Golovesov via Unsplash

Compact bush cultivars, such as ‘Eightball,’ ‘Black Beauty,’ and ‘Gold Rush Hybrid,’ are best for container gardening. You can plant vining cultivars, such as ‘Raven’ and ‘Greybeard,’ in containers if you support them with trellises

You can always check the seed package and ensure they are labeled “compact” or “for containers.” 

Sow Seeds the Right Way

Keimlinge Zucchini 'Mastil' Container
Image credits: blumenbiene via Openverse

Timing is critical when it comes to sowing zucchini seeds. The best time to plant them is in late spring or early summer. 

When you place the zucchini seeds in the pot, gently push them two inches into the potting mix. Each dug hole should contain four to five seeds for maximum results. Ensure you keep some distance between each pod of buried seeds (4 inches), so the plants have space for their roots to grow. 

Select the Best Area

Courgette flower (male) - 7 weeks
Image credits: caitriana via Openverse

Where you place your pot matters; zucchini plants love sunlight, at least six to eight hours per day. This plant will not germinate in cold temperatures.

Zucchinis needs warm weather between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but they germinate best at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide your plant extra warmth on cooler nights by using a heating pad.

In about five to 10 days you’ll have germinated zucchini seeds!

The Bigger Pots, the Better

garden center filled with various planter pots and containers
Image credits: Francisco Leão via Pixabay

Since zucchinis spread 2 to 4 feet and can grow up to 3 feet tall, the choice of pot matters. Use a large container at least 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. You can even take a large storage bin, drill drainage holes at the bottom, and use it as a zucchini pot. Or, use wooden or steel planters

Prepare the Perfect Soil

Gardening soil
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Zucchini requires highly fertile, well-draining, and loose soil to thrive. It should be high in organic matter and have a pH between 5.5 and 6.8. You can also add 1 inch of compost over your potting mix. Zucchinis will love it! 

Be careful when fertilizing your zucchini pot as excessive nitrogen can lead to more flowers and less fruit. Once your plant sprouts its first true leaves, apply a slow-release fertilizer based on the instructions and the size of your pot. Then, use a low-nitrogen or high-potassium fertilizer every week.  


Watering can
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Just like zucchini plants love the sunlight, they are fond of water too! So make sure that you are watering your zucchini pots right.

An easy way to ensure enough water reaches your plants’ roots is to cut off the bottom of a water bottle. Then, stick its mouth in the pot. When you water through the bottle, that H20 can go straight to the roots. Not to mention you plant can have a drink whenever it pleases. This is especially practical for dry climates. 

Plants in containers dry out more quickly than those in the ground. So, water your zucchini plant 1 to 2 inches per week or even more, depending upon the weather. You can check if the soil is dry or not by putting your finger in the soil about an inch deep to figure out when it is time to water. 

Hand Pollinate 

Zucchini flower
Image credits: LeeleeUusikuu via Pixabay

If you want the fruit, you might need to aid the process along by hand-pollinating your zucchini plant. Male flowers appear first in the zucchini plant (a theory is that they take less energy to produce). Then come the female flowers with immature fruit behind their bloom. However, there are times the immature fruits fall off without developing so don’t fret. 

To hand pollinate your zucchini, take a fine paintbrush or a cotton swab and brush the pollen on the male flower. Then, dab them on the center of the female flower, and pollination will begin! 

If all goes well, your zucchinis will be ready to harvest in 45 to 65 days

Protection From Pests

Treating powdery mildew on a zucchini plant.
Image credits: FrankHH via Shutterstock

Zucchini plants are vulnerable to pests that can destroy the leaves, flowers, and fruits. Check your plant every week and look for signs of diseases like powdery mildew and pests such as squash vine borers and cucumber beetles. 

You can try hand-picking them to get rid of them or use neem oil or insecticidal soap to treat and prevent pests. 

Add a Companion 

Zucchini companion vegetables
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Corn and beans are great companion plants for zucchini and can be grown together in a pot. This trio is often referred to as “three sisters,” as these plants complement each other’s nutritional needs. 

Corns provide support to the beans. The beans absorb nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil so the other plants can easily use it. The zucchini provides shade, which prevents weeds and pests. Growing these plants together can provide you with a better yield. 

Easy-Peasy Zucchini in a Pot

With just a few considerations, anyone can grow zucchini in a pot and enjoy a fresh, home-grown zucchini. You can place your zucchini pot on the patio or your balcony if it receives sufficient sunlight. 

Which zucchini variety is your favorite? Have you ever tried to grow it in a pot? Share in the comments below!