Zucchini plants life span is limited to one growing season. These annuals are a great addition to your vegetable garden because they’re delicious and easy to take care of. However, Zucchini plants are seasonal and will die after one year.Lifespan of Zucchini Plants

Our team of gardeners will explain how to ensure they stay healthy and productive throughout the season, so continue reading.

What Is Zucchini Plants Life Span?

Zucchinis are annual plants lasting between 90 and 150 days, depending on your location and the plant’s variety. They’re sensitive to cold temperatures, so the plants will die when the first frost occurs. On average, most zucchini plants live for 120 days.

Zucchini or Cucurbita pepo is a popular summer squash that grows in various locations. You can harvest the vegetable at any time of its maturity cycle, but it tastes best when it’s young. Both types of vining and bush-type zucchinis are annual plants and will either end up as edible vegetables or as seeds that you can use to grow new plants. Cucurbita pepo can grow in USDA zones 2 to 11, thriving in sunny and warm weather.

Gardeners can sometimes save their plants from frost, especially in warmer climates. However, in general, zucchini plants grow as annuals, which is why they would grow and develop yearly.

– Life Stages

The plant is a fast-growing seasonal plant germinating within five to seven days in temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes, it may also take as many as 10 days, especially if it’s slightly cold.

You can induce germination by starting seeds indoors if it’s cold outside. You can also grow these plants under plastic grow tunnels. Nevertheless, it will be extremely challenging and even impossible for the seeds to germinate if it’s colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

First, two leaves will sprout, and your plant will grow rapidly. Then, the seedlings mature within 35 to 50 days, and your zucchinis bloom. During this period, you can collect the beautiful yellow zucchini flowers used for medicinal purposes because they’re rich in vitamin C.

Zucchini grows quickly, becoming about two feet wide and about two to three feet high. The male flowers appear before the female ones and look similar to the pumpkin flowers. These flowers attract bees to your garden, inducing the pollination process, and the female ones are open for a single day. However, you can still enjoy your zucchinis by growing your plants indoors. In this case, you can hand pollinate your plants using a paintbrush.

Once the pollination process is over, you’ll quickly notice the formation of the fruits. The female flowers close, and you’ll start seeing the zucchinis forming at the base. The fruits take about one week to be ready for harvest, just like other types of summer squash. Yet, some people choose to wait longer for bigger fruits.

The zucchini plant matures within 60 days, making it a short-season crop. The plant will be ready for harvest for a period between 10 and 15 weeks, and during this period, you can harvest twice per week, enjoying a good yield.

How To Extend Zucchini Plant Life Span?

To extend the zucchini plant life span, you must pick the right variety, and also select the right season to grow them, and decide on the right planting technique. You must guarantee that you place the right temperature, ensure that it would get pollinated, and lastly, try to avoid pests.Growing Zucchini Plants in Garden

Generally, you can get about 120 days of zucchinis growing in most climates; for this matter, in areas with long summers, your harvest can last for about 160 days. Moreover, a few factors affect the success of the growing season.

– Pick the Zucchini Variety

There are tens of zucchini types that you grow in your garden. Although they have similar growing requirements and traits, some will have a longer or shorter growing season.

The black beauty variety is popular because it produces a significant summer yield. The Nero de Milano, or Black of Milan, is an Italian variety characterized by dark skin that looks almost black. It’s popular because the more fruits you pick, the more your plant will grow.

The tromboncino variety looks like the trombone, and it grows to reach a length of three feet. It’s usually pale green and can even be almost creamy when it matures. The gourmet gold variety is yellow-golden but tastes like regular zucchinis as they will last longer.

– Pick the Right Growing Season

Make sure you are planting the crops in the right season because if they are not planted from May to June, the crops will not develop and grow correctly. For this reason, you must know that this is the time when they will have a better and extended life.

At the end of the growth season, your plants will die and won’t be able to produce any fruits. This is why you must pull them out of the soil and toss them away. They’ll make a valuable addition to your compost pile. As long as it’s warm and there’s no risk of frost, your zucchini will thrive.

Ideally, this plant won’t germinate unless air and soil temperatures measure more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, once the temperature drops, the plant will start wilting until it eventually dies.

– Choose the Planting Technique

You can plant zucchini squash in rows, but hilling is better because hills of soil warm up faster, so they’ll promote better and faster growth and sustainabilty. This will help extend the growing season, as you can sow the zucchini seeds right after the last frost. Moreover, hilling allows you to dig compost into the soil as this plant thrives in fertile soil.Planting Zucchini Squash

Succession planting is another technique that you can follow to enjoy a bigger harvest. Because this is a short-season plant, it starts to produce fewer fruits as it approaches its end of life. So instead, focus on succession planting to enjoy two or three harvests during the same season. Plants planted later in the season grow faster, so you would try to give it a longer life.

– Guarantee an Adequate Temperature

You shouldn’t grow zucchinis too early because they won’t mature. Even if the fruits form, they’ll have pitted skin because these plants can’t tolerate cold temperatures. So, you must wait until the last frost has passed to sow the seeds. This is usually by mid-spring in most climates.

The seeds won’t germinate unless the temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops at night, or you inhabitate in a colder climate, you can use some mulch to cover and protect the seedlings and radiating humidity. You can also use row covers or mulch to protect the plants in the fall to extend their growing season.

– Ensure Successful Pollination

Each plant first grows male flowers and then starts growing female flowers for pollination. So, unless you’re growing your plants outside, you must do the pollination yourself. Since male flowers mature before the female ones, you can also brush male flowers on the female ones or use a brush to facilitate pollination.Pollination of Zucchini Flowers

Zucchinis take between four and eight days to grow after flowering. However, this is a fast-growing vegetable so that the zucchinis will appear a few days after pollination. After 45 to 55 days of planting, your zucchinis will be ready for harvest. Most zucchinis are ready for harvest by the time they are about six inches long, but the color depends on the variety.

– Avoid Pests

Squash vine borers emerge from the soil when the temperature increases, laying their eggs at the base of different squash plants, including zucchinis. The larvae quickly damage the plants by cutting off the watering needs and nutrients, and as they grow, they would damage the crops.Controling Pests on Zucchini

Squash bugs and borers usually attack zucchinis and make the foliage wilt. Blossom-end rot and powdery mildew are two common diseases but can be controlled by maintaining ideal growth conditions.

You can avoid these pests by growing your plants in mid-July when they mate and lay their eggs. However, this means that you won’t enjoy a long harvesting season. In some cases, skipping planting for one year to prevent these pests from reproducing as the larvae won’t have food. Now, you can use row covers to protect your plants, yet, in this case, you’ll have to pollinate your plants yourself.


Zucchinis are annual plants and will die by the end of the season. They thrive in the warm season and require little maintenance, so in short:

  • Zucchini varieties live for about 120 days, but some can live up to 150 days.
  • Zucchinis aren’t tolerant of frost, so you should sow the seeds after the last frost.
  • You can enjoy several harvests in the same season. However, in this case, you should leave at least one square foot of space between plants.
  • The seeds germinate quickly, and the fruits mature four to eight days after flowering.

With this valuable information, you can enjoy a fruitful season of zucchinis, with all ease and a great harvest.

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