Zucchini Plant Growth Stages

Zucchini plants, also known as courgettes, have many different growth stages, from when you first plant the seeds until harvesting and then storing your zucchinis.

In this article I’ve listed the 7 stages of zucchini growth, along with some tips to help you to grow a successful crop of zucchinis in your vegetable garden.

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Stage 1 – Planting the seeds

There are some interesting varieties of zucchinis that you can plant in your garden including black beauty, golden and round zucchinis.

The seeds can be planted directly in the garden about two weeks after the last frost of the season.

Choose a spot in the garden that receives full sun and sow the seeds about 1/2 inch (1 cm) deep.

Leave at least 2 feet (60 cm) in between each seed to give the plants space to spread out as they grow.

You can also start zucchini seeds indoors if you have a short growing season.

Plant the seeds in a seed starting tray at the start of spring and transplant them outdoors when the risk of frost has passed.

Stage 2 – Germination

Zucchini seeds usually take about 7 to 10 days to germinate in warm weather but it may take longer if the temperature of the soil is still cool.

The seedling will emerge from the soil with the seed shell still attached to the tip of the seed leaves, which are also known as cotyledons.

After about a week the first true leaves of the plant will emerge.

zucchini seedlings

Stage 3 – Plant growth

Zucchini plants spread out from the base of the plant and grow rapidly.

The plants can reach 2 feet (60 cm) in height and 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) wide depending on the variety.

Some vining varieties can spread out 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 metres) wide.

Keep the soil moist but try to keep the leaves dry when you’re watering to avoid fungal infections like powdery mildew.

If the temperature is very hot you may need to water your zucchini plants every day.

Stage 4 – Flower development

Zucchini flowers will start to bloom about six weeks after planting.

The large flowers are bright yellow and look similar to pumpkin flowers.

The male flowers bloom first followed by the female flowers a few days later.

You can harvest a few of the male flowers to make delicious stuffed zucchini flowers, but make sure you leave enough of the male flowers on the vine for the bees to pollinate.

It’s a good idea to start feeding your plants with a liquid plant food at this stage for a bumper crop of zucchinis.

Stage 5 – Pollination

Zucchini flowers are highly attractive to bees because of their pollen and nectar.

After visiting the male flowers, the bees move on to the female flowers where some of the pollen is transferred and the process of pollination is completed.

If you don’t have many bees in your garden you can pollinate the flowers yourself using a small paintbrush to transfer some of the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.

After pollination is completed the plant will start producing fruit.

zucchini plant

Stage 6 – Fruit development

As the female flowers close, small green fruits will start growing at the base of the flower. 

Zucchinis grow very fast so you won’t have to wait long to harvest your crop of zucchinis. 

It only takes about a week for zucchinis to grow to full size after pollination is complete.

Stage 7 – Harvesting

Zucchinis are ready to harvest about 45 to 50 days after planting.

They can easily grow an inch or more each day so you’ll need to check the plants each day and pick them before they get too big.

It’s best to harvest zucchinis when they’re about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long for the best flavor and texture.

Large zucchinis are called marrows and they can easily grow 15 inches (38 cm) or longer but they have large seeds and a tougher texture than small zucchinis.

Use a sharp knife to cut the zucchinis from the vine, leaving at least 1/2 an inch (1 cm) of the stem attached to each zucchini.

harvesting zucchinis


Zucchinis will last for about a week after harvesting if they’re stored correctly.

Place the unwashed zucchinis in a paper bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator.

Try to keep them as dry as possible to prevent them from going moldy.

You can also slice or grate zucchini, place it in a Ziploc bag and freeze it or make zucchini relish or pickles.

Zucchini is delicious roasted, steamed or fried in frying pan with butter and herbs for an easy side dish.


So there are the different stages of zucchini growth that you’ll see when growing zucchinis in your garden. 

Watching the zucchini growth cycle is interesting and it’s very easy to grow zucchinis, even if you’re not an experienced gardener.

Have you tried growing zucchinis at home? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Vegetable Gardens and Gardening Tips that you may find helpful. You can also find me on Facebook.

zucchini growth stages

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Christine Steinmann

    I can’t find this addressed anywhere. First year growing zucchini and I’ve had a few ripened zucchini that do not drop their flowers. They hang-on by a fairly large circumference so I can’t just pluck them off without leaving a big section exposed. When I peel back the flower a little bit I see some bigger seeds. Are these ok to eat? Are they deformed? Can I just cut off that end and eat the rest? Thank you for your attention.

    1. Kelly Martin

      Hi Christine, I’ve had this happen in the past as well and I just cut off the end and ate the rest of the zucchini.

  2. Valerie

    Very helpful article, Kelly! Thank you! I’m new to any type of gardening. I moved to TN from TX three years ago and the climate here is more amenable to gardening. I’m growing my first zucchini now but had NO idea how big they could become! I have a small raised bed garden and the zucchini has taken over half of it! I have beets growing around it and I hope they can compete! Again, thanks for this great information.

    1. Kelly Martin

      Thanks Valerie, yes zucchini plants can grow very big. You can trim off a few of the lower leaves to give your other plants more space.

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