Zucchini is a prolific vegetable that grows well in most soil as long as it gets plenty of sunlight. The leaves of the zucchini plant are substantial in size and offer shade for the vegetables beneath. Zucchini vegetables themselves do not require direct sunlight. Direct sunlight on the zucchini vegetable can cause the skin to harden and mature too quickly. Pruning zucchini can be beneficial when garden space is an issue, to promote new growth, and for safety purposes when harvesting zucchini.
Using a sharp knife, cut away a few oversized leaves of the zucchini plant after it has started bearing zucchini.
Cut the leaves at the base of the zucchini plant.
Avoid pruning near flowering blossoms or new growth as it could reduce vegetable production.
Discard pruned leaves away from the zucchini plant to avoid squash aphids and other insects that could pose problems.
The best time to prune is during mild temperatures, such as late afternoon. This gives the plant an opportunity to "recover" during the cool of the night.
A long-sleeve shirt and gloves are recommended when pruning zucchini as the stems are very prickly and can cause skin irritation.