Zucchini: How Does It Grow?

Zucchini plants can grow in three different growth forms: compact bush varieties, standard bush varieties, and vining varieties. The type you want for your garden will depend on several factors, including the climate where you live, the space you have available, and the ways you want to use your zucchini once you harvest them.


Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of zucchini plants available, along with the pros and cons of each.

Compact Varieties

Many compact zucchini varieties can be grown in pots on your patio. Keep in mind, however, that smaller plants have smaller yields. Zucchini are heavy producers, but if you had plans for a huge crop, or wanted to harvest blossoms as well as fruits, you may need several plants.


  • Takes up little space
  • Can be grown in pots or in gardens
  • Many varieties are available
  • Potted plants may face less pest pressure


  • Smaller yields
  • Few heirloom varieties are compact
  • May have issues with fungal diseases
  • Potted plants may require more feeding than garden plants

Standard Bush Varieties

Like their compact counterparts, these grow in bushy clumps, but these definitely won’t fit in a pot! Bush type plants can be as large as four feet (1.2 meters) across. A wide range of different cultivars are available. Choose one that suits your needs for disease resistance, growing time, and yield as well as space.


  • Vigorous plants
  • Low maintenance
  • Many varieties are available
  • Disease resistant varieties exist


  • Require plenty of space
  • Fruits may be difficult to harvest
  • Dense plants may have issues with fungus

Vining or Sprawling Varieties

Sprawling varieties lack tendrils to grab onto supports and help the plant climb. Unlike bush varieties, sprawling zucchini can be easily trellised, but need to be tied into place. They can also be laid out along the ground; their prickly vines can deter deer, rabbits, and other garden pests.

Climbing vines exist, but most are not true zucchini. Since they have a similar taste and texture, they often go by the name anyway. These varieties must have a trellis or they’ll spread throughout your garden looking for something else to climb.


  • Less prone to fungus
  • Trellising makes harvesting easy
  • Vertical growing saves space


  • Fewer varieties available
  • Trellising is labor intensive
  • Sprawling plants take up extra space

With proper care and growing conditions, your zucchini should be gracing your plate in no time.

Text: Garden.eco