Zucchini Companion Plants: What Plants Grow Well With Zucchini

Zucchini is known to be a prolific grower. Try planting seeds today and in just 45 to 55 days, you’ll have an abundant harvest enough to feed you and even your whole family for months. They are relatively easy to grow, just requiring warmth and heat from the sun.  Zucchini is a summer squash plant, so it only thrives in warm climates.

Just because zucchinis are easy to grow doesn’t mean you can just bury their seeds in the ground and wait for them to provide you with their fruits. Practice companion planting for zucchinis and you can ensure the abundant harvest they promise. Let’s look at some great zucchini companion plants!

Why practice companion planting for zucchinis?

Companion planting greatly benefits any kind of plant. When you surround a plant with only friendly plants, you can expect that the plant will thrive the most. This is also true for zucchinis. Companion planting has the potential to address some issues commonly faced with growing zucchini, such as:

  • Squash vine borers are common pests of zucchinis. They lay eggs at the base of the plant, and then when these eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the stem and start to feed.
  • Zucchini requires full sun and moist soil to grow. The soil must be high in organic matter to provide the ample nutrients needed for zucchini to grow and bear fruit.
  • Some zucchinis are vining types, which means they need a trellis to sprawl.

Plants that do well with zucchini

Zucchini Companion Plants

The main idea of companion planting is to plant vegetables or flowers that have different growing habits near each other. This way, the plants don’t compete with each other for soil nutrients and sunlight. Some summer vegetables, when planted near zucchini, can help in ensuring that they grow well and produce healthy fruits. These companion plants can also benefit from the zucchini plant. So, what plants grow well with zucchini?

1. Beans

Beans are great companion plants for zucchinis because they pull nitrogen from the air and fixate it into the soil. Zucchinis are known to be heavy feeders, so a nitrogen-fixing plant can really help in keeping a stable supply of soil nutrients for the zucchinis to grow well. It’s the same case when you plant zucchini in close proximity to any legume, including peas. But pole beans are the best because they can grow up a trellis, thus saving you some space in your small yard.

2. Corn

Zucchini Companion Plants

In gardening, beans, corns, and squash are referred to as “the three sisters” because these three plants grow well with each other. You can never go wrong with this plant combination. Each of them provides benefits to one another and ensures that each grows without compromising the health of the other.

Corn and zucchini have the same moisture and soil fertility requirements. Zucchinis’ large leaves provide shade that can retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth. The combination of corn and zucchinis is also effective as a pest repellant because squash vine borers become disoriented when they encounter these two plants.

3. Radishes

Zucchini Companion Plants

Radishes are natural pest repellants for zucchinis. Aphids, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs can threaten the growth of your zucchini. Radishes are known to repel these pests, thus ensuring healthy and bountiful zucchini crops. Almost any variety of radish can be your zucchini’s natural repellant, such as Daikon radishes, Black Spanish radishes, white icicle radishes, and watermelon radishes.

4. Nasturtiums

Aside from the great “the three sisters” combination, there are also flowers and herbs that can help zucchini grow. Plant nasturtiums next to zucchini because they attract butterflies and bees, and they also act as a trap crop for aphids and whiteflies. A trap crop helps in diverting the attention of harmful pests from the zucchini. In this case, nasturtiums will attract the pests instead, so they won’t go and attack the zucchini.

Nasturtiums bloom with flowers in shades of red, yellow, and orange all season long. Cut back and throw away the infested parts of the nasturtiums to prevent the pests from spreading to your other crops.

5. Marigold

Marigold is another trap crop that can protect the zucchini from different pest infestations. Slugs and snails should be kept away from your seedlings. Marigolds are known to attract these pests, thus sparing your zucchini seedlings from dying.

Marigolds not only attract pollinator insects such as bees and butterflies, but they also draw in beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and wasps. These good insects will be the ones to deal with harmful insects planning to eat your zucchini. If you want to add some color to your garden, marigold can give you flowers of different colors, from yellow to red and orange.

Plants to never grow with zucchinis

If you plan to grow zucchini in a planting area that is already occupied with different plants, it is important that you know the bad companion plants for zucchini. This way, you avoid harmful relationships among your plants. There are plants that, when placed near zucchinis, can inhibit their growth. Never grow your zucchinis with these plants:

1. Potatoes

It is a big NO to plant vegetables that have the same growth habits close to each other. When you plant vegetables with the same growth habits next to each other, this will result in a strong competition that can even lead to the death of the weakest one.

Potatoes are also heavy feeders that require a lot of nutrients from the soil. Never plant potatoes near zucchinis because they tend to take all the nutrients, leaving the zucchinis struggling to find a source of food. Potatoes and zucchini share the same pests. Infestations will spread easily when you plant these two in close proximity.

2. Pumpkins

These plants are in the same family as zucchinis, so they share the same pests and the same growing habits. They will compete for resources and make it easier for pests to infest your crops. Pumpkins and zucchinis require plenty of space to spread out. But pumpkins are more aggressive than zucchini, so they’ll choke out zucchini just to have all the space by themselves.  Pumpkins take a bit longer to grow as well.

Zucchini Companion Plants: Conclusion

Practicing companion planting for zucchini can give you abundant harvests with a minimum amount of time spent on weeding, dealing with pests, and watering. If you want the perfect companion plants for zucchini, go with “the three sisters”.

Plant zucchini near beans and corn. Plant some edible flowers and herbs if you want a natural pest controller for the zucchini. Companion planting can sometimes be a trial and error process, but the ones mentioned above are already tested.

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