Bad Zucchini Companion Plants You Shouldn't GrowJump to Recipe
Zucchini, also known as summer squash, is an easy to grow vegetable in the garden. If you properly take care of your zucchini plants you will have more zucchinis than you know what to do with.
Companion planting is a great way to make sure all of your plants thrive. By using the benefits of nearby plants to help other ones, you create an eco system in which all the plants do better.
When companion planting, you want to look for plants that will help soil fertility, repel harmful insects, and boost the soil nutrients so you can have thriving healthy plants.
Bad Companion Plants
Bad companions for squash plants are those that can negatively affect their growth or attract pests and diseases that can harm the plant. Here are a few examples:
- Potatoes: Zucchini and potatoes are both susceptible to the same diseases such as blight, which can quickly spread from one plant to another. Blight is when the leaves of your plants star to turn yellow with brown spots. It will slowly kill of the leaves and stems of the plants.
- Fennel: Fennel is known to stunt the growth of many plants, including zucchini. It secretes a chemical through the roots of the plant that can inhibit the growth of zucchinis. It can also attract pests like aphids and spider mites.
- Melons: Melons and zucchini are both heavy feeders and can compete for nutrients. It is best to plant these at a distance from one another so they both get the adequate nutrients they need.
- Dill: Like fennel, dill is also known to stunt the growth of many plants, including zucchini.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers and zucchini are both members of the same plant family and are susceptible to the same diseases and pests. Planting them together can increase the risk of fungal diseases and attract cucumber beetles, which can damage both plants.
- Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts have a longer growing season than zucchini and require cooler temperatures to thrive, while zucchini prefer warmer temperatures. Additionally, Brussels sprouts can be susceptible to some pests, such as aphids, cabbage moths and cabbage worms, which may also attack zucchini plants.
- Root Vegetables: Some root vegetables such as carrots and beets can be poor companions for zucchini. These plants prefer well-drained, loose soil while zucchini wants rich soil. Zucchini also prefer a lot of water while that can be problematic for some root vegetables.
Best Companion Plants
Some vegetable plants are great to grow next to your squash plants. Good companion plants can benefit zucchini growth and help protect them from pests and diseases. Here are a few examples of great companion plants:
- Beans: One of the best zucchini companion plants is, beans. You can plant bush beans or pole beans. Beans are nitrogen-fixing plants that can help to enrich the soil around zucchini and promote healthy growth. This provides a lot of nutrients for the zucchini and also the beans.
- Corn: Corn and zucchini have different growing habits so they pair well int he garden. Corn grows up with zucchini sprawls out. This really maximizes your growing space.
- Radishes: Since radishes grow down, they can help to break up compacted soil. Radish plants also repel pests like squash borers and cucumber beetles.
- Aromatic herb: Herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme are one of the best plants to grow with zucchini. These fragrant herbs can attract pollinators and repel pests with their strong scent.
- Tomatoes: Tomato plants are another great companion for zucchinis, as they have similar growing requirements and provide some shade to the zucchini plants.
Flowers to Plant with Zucchini
Beautiful flowers don’t only bring color to the garden, then also help your vegetables thrive. Here are a few flowers you might want to add to your garden to improve the health of your zucchini.
- Marigolds: Marigolds are known to repel pests such as aphids and spider mites. They also attract pollinators to your vegetable garden.
- Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are easy to grow and provide beautiful blooms in shades of orange, yellow, and red. They are also known to repel pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and cucumber beetles. I love growing nasturtiums because they are also an edible flower!
- Petunias: Petunias come in a wide range of colors and can be a great addition to a zucchini garden. They attract pollinators and are also known to repel some pests.
- Calendula: Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is an easy-to-grow flower that produces bright yellow or orange blooms. They attract beneficial insects and can also be used in cooking and medicinal applications.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers are not only beautiful but can also provide shade for zucchini plants that may be getting too much direct sunlight. They also attract pollinators and can be a great addition to a vegetable garden.
Zucchini can be susceptible to a variety of insect pests, and it's important to keep an eye out for them so that you can take action before they cause too much damage. Here are some harmful pests that you should watch out for when growing zucchini:
- Squash bugs: These are gray or brown bugs that can cause yellow spots on the leaves and suck the sap out of the plants. They can also transmit a disease called bacterial wilt. If you see these, try to remove the damaged areas so it does not spread to other plants.
- Cucumber beetles: These beetles are yellow-green with black spots or stripes and can transmit diseases like bacterial wilt and cucumber mosaic virus.
- Squash vine borers: These are the larvae of a type of moth that tunnel into the stems of zucchini plants, causing wilting and eventually killing the plant.
- Spider mites: These tiny pests can suck the sap out of the leaves and cause them to turn yellow and dry up.
- Aphids: These small insects can cluster on the undersides of the leaves and cause them to curl and distort. These should be able to be removed with a neem oil or other insect replent spray.
- Whiteflies: These tiny, white insects can feed on the leaves and transmit diseases like mosaic virus.
- Flea beetles: Flea beetles are small, shiny black or brown beetles that jump like fleas when disturbed. They feed on the leaves of zucchini plants and can cause damage by creating small holes and pits in the leaves. In severe cases, they can defoliate the plant and weaken it.
- Cabbage worms: Cabbage worms are the larvae of a type of moth and feed on the leaves of zucchini plants. They can cause significant damage if left untreated, as they can defoliate the plant and reduce its ability to produce fruits. Signs of cabbage worm infestation include holes in the leaves, droppings on the plant, and the presence of the green larvae.
Besides pests zucchini can also be effected by fungal disease. Make sure to keep your zucchini leaves dry and have some air flow around the plants to reduce the risk of a fungal infection.
To prevent pest infestations, it's important to keep your zucchini plants healthy and well-watered, as stressed plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases. You can also try using row covers or insecticidal soap to protect your plants from pests. Additionally, rotating your crops each year and keeping your garden clean and free of debris can help to reduce the risk of pest problems.
Beneficial Insects for Zucchinis
There are many insects that are beneficial to have in your garden as they can help control pest populations and promote plant growth. Here are some examples:
- Ladybugs: Ladybugs are a common beneficial insect that can eat aphids, mites, and other pests that can damage your plants.
- Lacewings: Lacewings are another insect that can eat aphids, as well as other soft-bodied pests like mealybugs and whiteflies.
- Praying mantises: Praying mantises are predators that can eat a variety of insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetles.
- Bees: Bees are important pollinators that can help to increase fruit and vegetable yields in your garden.
- Hoverflies: Hoverflies are another beneficial insect that can help pollinate plants and eat aphids.
- Ground beetles: Ground beetles are predators that can eat a variety of insects, including slugs, snails, and caterpillars.
- Parasitic wasps: Parasitic wasps are a type of wasp that lays their eggs on or in other insects, like caterpillars or aphids, which then hatch and eat the host from the inside out.
It's important to remember that not all insects are pests, and some can actually be beneficial to your garden. By encouraging beneficial insects to your garden, you can help to naturally control pest populations and promote a healthy ecosystem.
Successful Zucchini Plants
Zucchini are fairly easy to grow, so don’t overthink planting them. These are just some guidelines to get you started. If you want to know more about how to use zucchinis check out this post: A Guide to Zucchini.