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Can I Prune a Squash Vine

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Is your squash vine growing larger than you expected? You can prune it, but keep in mind that once you begin snipping away at the vines, you might reduce your harvest. You have to weigh the pros and the cons and go from there. This advice applies to related plants like zucchini and pumpkins, too.


An option besides pruning is to redirect wayward stems by gently picking them up and positioning them in a better way. If they have began to root, gently loosen the roots from the soil before you try to move them. The vines may appear wilted once moved, but should recover in a few days. Some squash varieties also take well to training up an A-frame trellis or within a tomato cage, which will free up space on the ground. 

As for pruning squash vines, some suggest leaving at least 3 to 5 developing fruits to keep the vine flourishing while also ensuring you have enough squash to harvest. Snip vines with no development at the base or cut at one or two leaf nodes beyond the last fruit. Other gardeners recommend cutting a third of the plant back, up to once a month, by trimming them to the main stem. 

The right method is the one that works for you and your space. As long as you don’t crush the leaves or injure the main vine, your squash should be fine.

The decision to prune your squash vines is entirely your own. If pruned, you can allow for the desired space you want for the plant. Additionally, many believe that pruning will cause the plant to focus all of its energy on the remaining fruit—thus growing better though fewer squash. However, if you let your squash vines grow, you will have a larger amount of squash to harvest.

Thus, to prune or not to prune, that is the question. Whatever your decision, with the right amount of care your vine will still provide a bountiful and oh-so-delicious harvest.