Growing courgettes in pots: tips & tricks

Jelka
Jelka
Jelka
Jelka

I study biology and live in a small jungle in my flat! In my free time, I love taking long walks in nature with my dog while finding and identifying various plants. In spring, I plant all kinds of edible plants on my balcony so that I can use fresh ingredients in my cooking.

Favourite fruit: every kind of berry
Favourite vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes

Courgette plants grow just as well in pots or containers as they do in the ground. However, certain varieties are far more suited to container growing. Learn about growing courgettes in pots and how to care for them.

Courgette growing in a pot
Compact courgette varieties are most suited to growing in pots [Photo: AngieC333/ Shutterstock.com]

Courgettes (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo), also known as zucchinis, are fruiting plants that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. Just two or three plants is often enough for a household because these plants are prolific croppers all season long and also take up a lot of growing space. Read on to find out which courgette varieties are best suited to container growing and how to care for them to get the most fruits.

Best courgette varieties to grow in pots

If outdoor space is limited, growing courgettes in containers or pots can be a great way of cultivating this versatile fruit. Some courgette varieties can grow impressively large and tend to sprawl making them unsuitable for container growing, so it is advisable to choose one of the more compact cultivars or those that can be encouraged to climb. Here are some courgette varieties that are suited to growing in pots:

  • ‘Astia’: compact form, green fruits, heavy cropping, fruits can be allowed to mature into marrows.
  • ‘Black Beauty’: compact habit, dark green fruits, smooth skinned, heavy cropping, long harvest season.
  • ‘Black Forest’: climbing habit, dark green fruits, impressive harvests over a long period.
  • ‘Defender’ F1: open bush habit, suitable for large containers, prolific mid-green fruits. Good resistance to cucumber mosaic virus.
  • ‘Midnight’ F1: compact form, dark green fruits, almost spineless, British cultivar.
  • ‘Shooting star’ F1: climbing habit, newly introduced British cultivar, slender yellow fruits, heavy yields.
  • ‘Venus’: compact habit, uniform dark green fruits with a glossy skin, long fruiting season.
Courgette growing up a support
Some courgettes can be encouraged to climb [Photo: GC Photographer/ Shutterstock.com]

Growing courgettes in pots

If you are wondering how to grow courgettes in pots, they can easily be grown from seed or can be readily purchased as young plants in early summer to plant out once all risk of frost has passed.

What soil to use?

Courgettes are hungry plants that require a high-nutrient compost to support their vigorous growth and crop production when planted in pots. Our Plantura Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost is ideal as it contains high levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to promote plant health and prolific fruiting.

Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables such as chillies, courgettes & more
  • For strong & healthy plant growth as well as an abundant vegetable harvest
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

What size container or pot?

Choose a pot with drainage holes as courgettes prefer a moist but well-drained soil. Each plant will need a pot that is at least 45 cm high and 45 cm wide to thrive. Smaller containers can be used, but the plant may not reach its full potential and produce fewer harvestable fruits.

Potted courgette on a balcony
Courgettes planted in containers can be grown on a balcony or patio [Photo: EQRoy/ Shutterstock.com]

Can courgettes be grown in grow bags?

Like tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), courgettes can also be grown in pre-filled grow bags. Grow bags are often filled with rich and fertile multi-purpose compost that is ideal for growing courgettes. You may need to make some drainage holes to allow any excess water to drain away freely. If growing courgettes in grow bags, plant a maximum of two to three plants per large bag to give them enough room and nutrients.

Where to place your courgette pot?

Courgettes, whether grown in pots or directly in the ground, prefer full sun and a sheltered spot. A south or west facing corner is perfect.

Potted courgette in the sun
Courgettes prefer a sheltered spot in full sun [Photo: Chiara Zeni Photography/ Shutterstock.com]

Tip: Large pots and containers can be tricky to move once filled with soil or compost. To avoid having to move heavy pots, fill and plant up your courgette container in its final position.

Courgettes in pots: aftercare

Pot-grown courgettes require more frequent watering than those grown directly in the ground as the soil tends to dry out more quickly. When watering courgette in pots, keep the soil moist but not wet; water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage. Watering like this will reduce the risks of mildew and other fungal infections.

Mulch around the base of the plant when planting, as the mulch will help reduce moisture loss over the summer months and even suppress weeds.

Courgette climbing up plastic trellis
With the right care, courgette plants can produce prolific fruits [Photo: Maljalen/ Shutterstock.com]

All courgettes benefit from being fertilised with a high potash mix, such as a tomato feed, every 10 to 14 days. Our Plantura Liquid Tomato Food will encourage healthy plant growth and an abundant harvest, and it is easy to apply. Simply add it your watering can and water as per usual.

Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables
  • Liquid fertiliser for healthy plant growth & an abundant harvest
  • Quick & easy application - child & pet friendly

Tip: Feed courgette plants every 10 – 14 days with a high potash fertiliser once the first flowers begin to show.

If you are growing a courgette with a climbing habit, you must give it a support and tie in the stems at regular intervals as courgettes are not self-clinging plants. A trellis is ideal for courgettes to climb up or more simply, a lattice of string strung between two wooden stakes can suffice. However, just make sure that any climbing supports are securely installed because the plant will be quite heavy and vulnerable to toppling over when it is heavily laden with fruits.

Check out feature article for more tips on how to care for your courgette plants.

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