Does Zucchini Have Seeds?

Zucchinis do have seeds, about 300 per zucchini. In this article we will discuss all of that and more, and we hope you find it helpful and informative for better understanding of this garden favorite.

Zucchini plants have been a staple crop for farmers and home gardeners for hundreds of years, and yet there are often questions about this particular variety of squash that still need to be answered, such as whether or not zucchini has seeds, where the seeds are in a zucchini, and in what circumstances it might not have seeds.

Where Are the Seeds in a Zucchini?

Zucchini seeds are in the middle of the zucchini. They are pretty large seeds with a white/tan color and an oblong shape similar to pumpkin seeds.

On page 5 of this pdf you can see an illustration of a female zucchini flower and the bulge behind it. The bulge is the ovary and inside the ovary are the ovules that will grow into the seeds after they are pollinated and the zucchini starts to grow.

The simple answer to the question is yes, zucchini squash do have seeds (unless they are parthenocarpic, something we will discuss momentarily when we move on to the subject of when zucchini do not have seeds).

Zucchini have seeds because they, while considered a squash vegetable by most people, are categorized as a fruit from a botanical perspective and a fruit by definition is the mature ovary of a plant after fertilization, with the natural purpose of the fruit itself being to protect the seeds contained within it (this also means that botanically speaking, many produce items that we label as vegetables are in fact fruits).

Check out “Are Zucchinnis Fruits or Vegetables” for more on that.

Extrapolating from this, since the entire purpose of the zucchini squash is (from the plant’s perspective) to reproduce via the pollination of the squash flowers and subsequently the creation of viable seeds, it’s quite unusual for a zucchini to not have seeds.

That being said, sometimes they can be hard to spot which can lead people to ask “where are the seeds in a zucchini?”

In most cases, the seeds can be hard to see because most gardeners harvest zucchini squash when it is at its most tender and edible, a stage where coincidentally the seeds are still small and largely undeveloped.

But even so, as long as the zucchini squash has seeds they can be found in the central core of the fruit.

Why Are There No Seeds In My Zucchini?

There are varieties of parthenocarpic zucchini that do not have seeds. These types of zucchini do not require pollination. They have almost all female flowers which means you get more zucchini from a plant.

Most of the time there will still be visible seeds in the zucchini but they are very small and immature and they will not grow into zucchinis if planted.

Some gardeners prefer growing parthenocarpic varieties of zucchini because doing so eliminates the what-ifs that come from growing more traditional types of zucchini, specifically the possibility of wasting time and effort on a crop that does not get sufficiently pollinated and therefore does not produce a decent amount of fruit.

There are, of course, both benefits and drawbacks to growing parthenocarpic squash that should be considered before a gardener commits one way or the other.

Growing parthenocarpic zucchini is a good way to avoid the element of chance that comes from growing more traditional types of this squash (the pollen found in the flowers of zucchini plants is very sticky and can only be spread via pollinators like bees, which means that a successful crop is largely dependent upon attracting enough pollinators), but there is also the drawback of being unable to save and store zucchini seeds from your crop (because parthenocarpic zucchini don’t produce many viable seeds).

Can You Grow Zucchini From Seeds In Store Bought Zucchini?

You can grow zucchini from seeds in store bought zucchini but you’ll probably end up with mixed results. Most zucchini that is bought from the store are hybrid varieties meaning the seeds in them are a mixture of two different varieties.

Hybrid plants have a lot of vigor and produce well but the seeds inside them contain mixed genes. The plant will most likely grow but there’s a chance that it won’t produce zucchini or that the plant will not produce zucchini identical to itself.

Getting seeds from store-bought produce is a cheap and easy way to start a garden, but it’s only a successful course of action if you know which produce items can provide you with viable seeds that can be successfully planted in your garden.

Unfortunately, zucchini is not one of these options. Unlike tomatoes and certain other types of produce, store bought zucchini do not have seeds that can be grown in a garden.

This is because (as mentioned earlier) store-bought zucchini is picked when it is at its most edible (when the rind and flesh are both fairly tender), a stage when coincidentally the seeds are not fully developed.

Subsequently, store-bought zucchini will almost never be able to provide viable seeds for a garden; once zucchini squash is at a stage where the seeds are mature enough (and therefore viable for planting), the squash itself is no longer of sufficient quality for consumption (the rind is often too tough) and therefore you will not be able to grow zucchini seeds from store bought zucchini.

How To Save and Store Zucchini Seeds

To save zucchini seeds you want to harvest them from the middle of the zucchini and then wash them off with soap and water and run your fingers over them to make sure there is no pulp left on them.

Next put the seeds in a bowl of water. If any of the seeds are floating discard those seeds. Then lay the seeds on top of a newspaper spread out and find a nice warm dry area to let the zucchini seeds dry out.

This website does a good job explaining this procedure.

To store the zucchini seeds place them in an envelope and then inside a refrigerator.

Saving and storing seeds is a popular practice among at-home gardeners because it can help cut down on costs (instead of spending money on store-bought seed packets every season, you simply save and store your own seeds for later use).

In this section, we will tell you how to save and store zucchini seeds so that you too can take advantage of this tried and true practice.

The key to saving and storing zucchini seeds is to make sure the zucchini fruit itself is well-developed before picking it from the plant; young squash (the kind that are generally harvested for the purposes of consumption) have softer rinds that make them ideal for eating but also possess underdeveloped seeds that are virtually useless when it comes to viability.

Therefore it’s important to let the fruit naturally mature on the plant until the rind hardens; if harvested before then, the seeds might not be sufficiently developed (and saving them for further use might be pointless since seeds that are not fully developed have a low chance of successfully germinating).

Once the zucchini is of adequate maturity, the first step for saving the seeds is of course to harvest the fruit. The next step is to scoop out the seeds and the pulp that surrounds them, placing it all into a container. You then add water to this container and let it ferment at room temperature for a few days (it is also recommended that the mixture be stirred occasionally).

After this initial fermentation period, it’s advisable to add more water and stir it again; this stirring will allow both the pulp and the nonviable (and therefore unusable) seeds float to the surface of the water where they can then be easily removed and discarded.

The next step is to dry the viable seeds. First, you will need to remove the seeds from the water and spread them out on a surface that will help them to dry out; most at-home gardeners use paper towels, coffee filters, newspapers, or window screens.

Once the seeds are completely dry, they can be safely stored within a ziplock bag or a paper envelope (alternatively, some people even use small glass jars) and kept in a cool dry place until you are ready to use them.

You should try to be absolutely certain, however, that the seeds are entirely dry before storing them; if the seeds still contain too much moisture, there is a chance they could begin to mold or rot.

Additionally, one important thing remember when saving zucchini seeds is to make sure that the zucchini plants you’re saving your seeds from have not been cross-pollinated (the best way to ensure this is to not plant your zucchini in close proximity to anything that can cross-pollinate with it, although there is also the alternative of manually pollinating your plants yourself).

This is because cross-pollination can result in fruit with seeds that are abnormal compared to the mother fruit that produced it (a zucchini plant that is cross-pollinated with gourds or pumpkins, for example, will result seeds that in turn will grow up into plants that produce fruit that is noticeably different from ordinary squash fruit in regards flavor).

Conclusion

Ultimately, the important thing to remember is that unless zucchini is parthenocarpic, it does have seeds and that those seeds can be taken and stored for later planting (as long as the squash was allowed to grow long enough for the seeds to be sufficiently mature).

We hope that you’ve found this article helpful for understanding whether or not zucchini has seeds, where the seeds are in zucchini, and whether or not the seeds in zucchini can be stored for later use.

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