How To Grow Zucchini In A Pot
Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a delicious summer squash that can be grown on the ground or in a container.
Relatively easy to grow, zucchini is an ideal choice to add to your garden no matter your gardening experience.
Due to the space it requires, most people select to grow zucchini in a pot. It saves space and is extremely convenient for harvesting your fruits.
Keep on reading to find out about the different types of zucchini and how to grow zucchini in a pot at home.
Types of Zucchini
Zucchini plants are categorized into two varieties:
Vining varieties take up a lot of space. When grown on the ground, their vines spread out at least 6 feet and can provide good soil protection from the heat during the summer months.
Many gardeners planting vining zucchinis opt to use a trellis and train their plants to grow upwards. Not only does this save precious garden space for other plants, but also makes harvesting your zucchini much easier.
If you are considering growing zucchini in a pot, using a trellis would be a good option. However, you would need a substantially large pot for vining zucchinis as their taproots can reach up to 3 feet long.
Alternatively, if you are struggling for space, or, do not want to grow something quite as large as vining zucchinis, consider planting a bush variety.
As the name suggests, bush zucchinis are more compact due to growing from a central point. The zucchini fruits themselves are easily harvested as they all form at the base of the plant.
Here are 5 bush zucchini varieties to consider planting in a pot at home:
- Bush Baby
- Black Beauty
- Patio Star
How To Grow Zucchini In A Pot
Before planting your seeds, you need to ensure you have a suitable container to grow your zucchini in.
Though bush varieties do not have quite as long root systems as vining zucchini, they still require a decent-sized container. Ideally, you want to plant your zucchinis in a container no less than 12 inches deep and 24 inches wide.
Your container also needs to have holes in the bottom to help improve drainage and minimize the risk of root rot.
Make sure to place your containers in a sunny, sheltered location that receives 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.
Next, you need to spend time preparing the container and its contents. Adding a layer of garden fabric to your container will help retain the soil while allowing the excess water to drain away.
The soil should not be standard garden soil, but an optimum mix of potting soil that will help with drainage. At this stage, a slow-release fertilizer can be added to help provide the seeds with a healthy start.
Now your pots are ready for your seeds!
Once the last frost has finished and the temperatures increase, you can plant your seeds directly into your pots outdoors. Zucchini plants need a temperature of at least 60 degrees to germinate. If your area hasn’t quite reached this temperature in early Spring, wait a few more weeks before planting.
Make sure to leave at least 4 inches from the edge of your plant and plant seeds at least 2.5cms deep with 5cm between them. Fellow gardeners recommend planting at least 2-3 seeds in the center of each pot as this will increase the chance of at least one seed germinating.
In 2-3 weeks, the seeds will have begun sprouting. If more than one seed has sprouted, now is the time to remove the weakest seedling or separate it into another pot. Zucchini plants require a lot of room to grow, even bush varieties still spread out and will compete with one another.
Over the summer as your zucchini plants grow, you need to check daily as to whether it requires any more water. Container plants not only dry out quickly, but zucchinis are also quite thirsty plants, hence need watering regularly. However, care is needed to ensure they do not become waterlogged.
Push your finger into the topsoil up to 2 inches deep. If it feels dry, you need to water your zucchinis. When watering your zucchinis, make sure to water at the base of the plant avoiding the leaves. This will help avoid diseases and fungal growth.
Once your zucchini plants begin to flower, you need to add fertilizer again as this is a critical stage for your zucchini plants.
You can also remove excess leaves from your plant to ensure your flowers and fruit gain access to as much light and fresh air flow as possible.
Your zucchini fruits will only take 4-8 days to produce from flowering. Zucchinis are fast-growing and mature within 45-55 days from planting the seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does zucchini grow well in pots?
Zucchini can grow well in pots and is a viable option for many gardeners as it saves space. However, depending upon the variety you choose, you may need to provide support such as a trellis for your zucchini plants to grow upwards. The pots also need to be an adequate size to allow enough depth and width for your plants to grow.
How many zucchinis can you grow in a pot?
As zucchini plants require a lot of space, it is best to grow only one zucchini plant per pot. When planting the seeds, plant 2-3 max and then transfer any extra seedlings that may have grown into a separate pot.
How often should you water zucchini?
When growing zucchinis in a pot, they require checking for water daily, especially during the summer months.
Containers lose more water than ground soil and zucchinis are thirsty plants. Check the topsoil each day. If it feels dry, add water to your containers.
Do zucchinis need full sun?
Yes, zucchinis thrive in full sunlight. They need a minimum of 6-8hours per day, however, 10-12 hours would be ideal.
Do you need to support zucchini plants?
When growing in pots, it is better to provide support to your zucchini plants. This helps improve airflow and provides your zucchini fruits with direct sunlight. Vining varieties will certainly require support such as a trellis. Depending upon the bush varieties you have planted, they may or may not overflow your container. If they do, also consider adding support to your pots.
For more growing tips on growing, taking care of, and using your squash plants, be sure to read these posts: