Zucchini is technically considered a fruit when growing on a plant, but it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. They are also known as courgettes or summer squash. These warm-season plants can be grown in almost any climate with mild summers, and there are so many different varieties to try out. Keep zucchini plants in moist and well-draining soil, and give them the sunniest spot in your garden. You could also try to cook the beautiful yellow flowers of the zucchini plant, as these blooms are edible and are considered a delicacy in many places.
|Scientific Name||Cucurbita pepo|
|Mature Size||Up to 3 feet tall|
|USDA Hardiness Zone||2-11|
|Water||Maintain moist soil|
1. All Green Bush Zucchini
This is a reliable zucchini plant that produces a large crop of fruits each year. It has a vigorous growth habit and will yield zucchini all summer long. The fruits of this plant, as the name suggests, are all green, and the plant itself takes a bushy shape. The zucchini’s on this plant can grow up to 8 inches long, but they are actually best harvested when they are around half this size, as baby zucchini at around 4 inches in length. This is because they are most flavorsome at this point in their growth. The skins of these zucchini are thin and tender, so the baby zucchini’s are excellent when cooked and enjoyed whole.
2. Cocozelle Zucchini
This plant produces beautiful zucchini with striped skins. The base color of the skin is dark green, and creamy-green narrow stripes span the lengths of the fruits. This type of Italian zucchini is known for having excellent flavor, with a mild nutty taste. It is a wildly popular variety of zucchini amongst home growers and is the parent of many zucchini hybrids. The fruits of this plant are ready to harvest at 55 days when they will measure between 8 and 10 inches long, however, in its native home of Italy, it is quite common for these types of zucchini to be harvested when they are much younger, and enjoyed as baby zucchini.
3. Tondo di Nizza Zucchini
This plant produces perfectly round zucchini’s, and in fact, the Italian name of ‘Tondo di Nizza’ translates in English to ‘Round of Nice.’ These fruits have a pale creamy-green, smooth and glossy skin. The skin is especially thin, so they must be handled carefully to avoid damage. The fruits are ready to harvest at around day 55 and should be picked from the plant when they are about the size of a baseball. If you let them grow much bigger, their skin will become darker, and they won’t be as flavorsome.
4. Black Beauty Zucchini
This zucchini plant is famous for its ability to continually produce high yields of fruit. The zucchini will be long and slender, with dark green skin that is smooth and shiny. The flavor of these zucchini is excellent when they are picked at any size, whether as baby zucchini or full-size fruits, so they can be enjoyed whenever you need them throughout the summer.
5. Clarion F1 Zucchini
These plants produce pale green mottled fruits that have an elongated bulb shape, with one end being more bulbous than the end adjoining the plant. They are a Lebanese variety that is popularly cultivated in Meditteranean countries. Seeds can be sown in April or May, ready for planting outdoors 4 weeks later. This is an early fruiting variety, which will be ready for harvesting as early as June. The fruits can be harvested once they reach 5 to 6 inches in length. These fruits work well when grilled or used in stir-fries, and their shape also lends them perfectly for use as stuffed vegetables. They could be stuffed with rice or couscous, and then baked. Unlike most zucchini’s, which grow on bushy plants, this plant has more of an open habit and may require more space in the garden.
6. Ambassador F1 Zucchini
This is a popular zucchini hybrid that produces deep, dark green fruits. The zucchinis have glossy, waxy skin and crisp white flesh. They typically measure between 4 and 8 inches long. This variety of zucchini is popularly cultivated by home gardeners and is also commercially cultivated. It is an early fruiting variety, which is ready to harvest at around day 50 after sowing. After this, the plant will continue to produce an impressive yield for the remainder of the summer. A handful of these plants will be more than enough to keep a large family topped up with plenty of zucchinis to feast on throughout the season. These plants have good resistance to powdery mildew, which commonly affects many zucchini plants.
7. Nero de Milano Zucchini
This is a popular variety of zucchini plant that is originally from the region of Lombardy in Italy. It produces fruits measuring around 8 inches long and is an open-pollinated type of zucchini plant, which has long been a favorite of home growers. It produces traditional-looking fruits with dark green, glossy skins. In fact, the skins of these zucchinis are so dark that they look black in some light, which is where they get their name of ‘Nero de Milano’ from, which translates in English to ‘Black of Milan.’ This plant likes to have its fruits picked as soon as they are mature, and more picking will encourage the plant to produce more fruits.
8. Floridor F1 Zucchini
These zucchini plants produce perfectly spherical fruits in a bright, mustard yellow color. They have smooth and glossy skin, and look like large, shining gems, dangling from the bushy plant in late summer through to fall. This plant is known for being very productive, and will reliably produce an abundance of zucchini. This is an exceptionally easy plant to grow, with a prolific growth habit. It can be grown in the garden or in a greenhouse, but it also does well when grown in a container. These zucchini have excellent flavor and are versatile when it comes to cooking. They can be sliced and grilled, added to stir-fries, or they can work well when stuffed with mince, rice, or other roasted vegetables. Keep this plant well watered, in consistently moist soil, and pick fruits as soon as they are ripe to encourage further zucchini production.
9. Early Gem F1 Zucchini
These plants are known for their zucchini that are ready to harvest early in the season. If you want to enjoy a long season of fresh zucchini, plant this variety along with a late harvest variety, and you can have access to zucchini from early summer right through to fall. The zucchini’s this plant produces are long and slender, with dark green skins that are sometimes flushed with accents of pale green. They have a crisp, white flesh, and are ideal for a variety of culinary uses, including frying, grilling, roasting, and using raw in salads or as crudites. This is a popular zucchini variety that has won several awards.
10. Defender F1 Zucchini
This plant has an open habit, which makes for easy picking when the zucchini is ready to harvest. This is an award-winning type of zucchini, which has been the recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. It is renowned for its high yielding habit and is able to produce around double the amount of zucchini’s each season compared to other average yield zucchini plants. The plant itself will typically grow to around 1.5 feet tall and spread up to 3 feet wide. It has good resistance to cucumber mosaic virus, which is a big problem for many other types of zucchini plants.
11. Bianco di Trieste Zucchini
This plant produces very pale green fruits with smooth and glossy skin. These zucchini are shorter than most zucchini’s, and so they are also sometimes known by the name of ‘Half long white,’ referencing both their short size and creamy-green coloring. These zucchini are slightly swollen at one end, making them great for stuffing. They are ready to harvest early in the season, taking just 46 days from seed-sowing to maturity. The plant produces very flavorsome fruits, which look great when served alongside darker slices of zucchini for good contrast on the plate.
12. Partenon F1 Zucchini
This plant is named after the fact that it is parthenocarpic. This means that it is able to produce fruits without pollination, which is great if you want to grow the plant under glass, or if you experience a season where pollinating insects are not very active. This unique ability to set fruit without pollination also means that it will be ready to harvest early in the season or during cool weather, as it is not reliant on warmer weather that brings with it pollinating insects. To ensure a good yield of zucchini, you should remove fruits from the plant at least 3 times a week when they are at a harvestable size. This will encourage the plant to continue to produce more new fruits. The zucchini produced by this plant have a good flavor and work well in a variety of recipes.
13. Tromboncino Zucchini
These zucchini plants are actually from a cultivar of a different species than most zucchini’s. They belong to Cucurbita moschata, which typically includes types of squash and pumpkins, rather than Cucurbita pepo, which most other zucchini plants are cultivars of. The tromboncino zucchini is also known as a zucchetta, or ‘little trumpet,’ which is the English translation of its Italian name. This plant is native to Italy and is not widely known outside of its native home. The fruits produced are long and slender, and sometimes curl around at the end to give them a very curious look. These fruits are a fresh shade of pale, creamy-green, though they develop to beige when allowed to mature into a squash. They can be harvested when small or left to grow for longer on the plant until they reach lengths of up to 3 feet. These plants have a climbing habit, unlike most zucchini plants that are bushy. This makes them ideal if you want to grow zucchini plants but have limited space, as these can be trained to grow up a trellis and therefore take up little floor space. The taste of these fruits is said to be superior to regular zucchini’s, with a flavor that is much sweeter. Due to their long shape, they are perfect for spiralizing to create a healthy type of noodle or spaghetti.
14. Midnight F1 Zucchini
These are compact zucchini plants that have been specifically created for growing in containers, or in smaller vegetable gardens where space is limited. These plants have a tight bushy habit and will not sprawl across the ground to take up too much space. They produce dark green fruits, which, as you may expect from the name of this variety, can look black in low light. They have light green specks that are dotted all over their shiny skin. This is a spineless variety of zucchini, which makes picking the fruits a much easier and more pleasant process. Fruits will be ready to harvest from July through to September or October, depending on your climate and should be picked several times each week whether you require them for recipes or not, as this will ensure the best growth on the plant.
15. Atena Polka F1 Zucchini
This plant produces stunning vibrant yellow-skinned zucchini’s, which can take on an orange hue when mature. They are long and slender and are at their most flavorsome when they are removed from the plant at between 8 and 10 inches long. These zucchini have white flesh that tastes almost identical to common green varieties of zucchini. These plants have an open growth habit, and they are spineless, both of which make for easier picking when the fruits are ready to harvest.