Growing Cucumbers

growing cucumbers up a cattle panel trellis

Cucumbers grown on a trellis are clean and easy to pick. Use a trellis slender enough for tendrils to grab. Cattle panels work beautifully for this purpose.

A tropical vegetable, cucumbers thrive when the weather is hot and water is plentiful. Growing cucumbers is for warmer weather: Plants are so frost-tender that they shouldn’t be set into the garden until soil temperatures are reliably in the 70-degree range (no less than 2 weeks after the last frost date).

Cucumber plants grow in two forms: vining and bush. Vines scramble along the ground or clamber up trellises, while bush types, such as Burpless Bush Hybrid, form a more compact plant. Generally, vining cucumbers yield more fruit throughout the growing season. Bush selections are especially suited to containers and small gardens. You can increase the season’s yield of bush varieties by planting several crops in succession 2 weeks apart.

Whether you want a cucumber for slicing or pickling, there’s a variety to suit your taste. Lemon cucumber offers smaller fruits perfect for a single serving, while Boston Pickling boasts classic heirloom taste. The long Armenian cucumber is a specialty ethnic cucumber prized for taste and the fact that a single cucumber yields so many slices.

Soil, Planting, and Care

Cucumber transplants planted around a trellis in a garden with pine straw mulch

Set cucumber plants at the base of your trellis and mulch after planting unless the soil could use a little more warming.

Cucumbers need warm, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, although they will tolerate a bit more alkaline soil to 7.6. Work compost or composted manure into soil. Plant seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart, depending on variety (check the stick tag). For vines trained on a trellis, space plants 1 foot apart.

In areas where spring is long and cool, you can warm the soil 3 to 4 degrees by covering the hill or row with black plastic.If you do not plant in black plastic, then mulch with pine straw, wheat straw, chopped leaves, or your favorite organic mulch shortly after planting. If the weather is unseasonably cool, you can wait a while to mulch until the ground is warmed by the sun. Mulch is especially important to keep the fruit clean for bush types and vines not growing on a trellis. Straw mulch is also thought to be uncomfortable for slugs and creates an uneasy footing for cucumber beetles, helping to keep them at bay.

If you can, trellis your vines. This keeps the fruit clean and saves space. A 12- to 18-inch diameter cage made from 4- or 5-foot welded wire fencing or hog wire will support 2 or 3 vines. Wire is easy for the tendrils of climbing cucumbers to grab as the plant grows.

Cucumbers grow fast and don’t demand a lot of care. Just keep the soil consistently moist with an inch of water per week (more if temperatures sizzle and rain is scarce). Inadequate or inconsistent moisture causes oddly shaped or poor-tasting fruit. If possible, water your cucumbers with a soaker hose or drip irrigation to keep the foliage dry. This helps prevent leaf diseases that can ruin the plant.

You can fertilize with a liquid food, such as Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, every 2 weeks, applying it directly to soil around plant stems. Or you can use a granular, slow-release fertilizer worked into the soil when you plant or sprinkled around the plants later.

Troubleshooting

A baby cucumber grows from the female flowers of a cucumber plant.

Cucumbers bear male and female flowers. Female blooms have a small swelling at the base, the makings of a fruit.

If vines bloom but don’t fruit, something is probably interfering with pollination. First, make sure that you see both male and female blooms. Male blooms usually appear first and then drop off, so don’t be alarmed if this happens. Within a week or two, female flowers will also appear; each one has a small cucumber-shaped swelling at the base that will become a cucumber.

Several pests bother cucumbers. Squash bugs may attack seedlings. Slugs like ripening fruit. Aphids can colonize leaves and buds. Straw mulch helps keep slugs at bay, as can trellising vines to get the fruit off the ground. Vines are also bothered by cucumber beetles, which chew holes in leaves and flowers and scar stems and fruits, but worse than that, they spread a disease that causes the plants to wilt and die. Powdery mildew is a disease that leaves white, mildew-like patches on the leaves. Apply fungicides at the first sign of its presence. To minimize disease spread, avoid harvesting or handling vines when leaves are wet.

Harvest and Storage

You can pick cucumbers whenever they’re big enough to use. Check vines daily as the fruit starts to appear because they enlarge quickly. Vines produce more fruit the more you harvest. To remove the fruit, use a knife or clippers, cutting the stem above the fruit. Pulling them may damage the vine. Don’t let the cucumbers get oversized or they will be bitter, and will also keep the vine from producing more. Yellowing at the bottom (blossom end) of a cucumber signals overripeness; remove the fruit immediately. Harvest lemon cucumbers just before they begin turning yellow. Although they are called lemon cucumber because the little oblong or round fruits turn yellow and look like a lemon, by the time the fruit turns yellow it may be a little too seedy for most tastes.

You can keep harvested cucumbers in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, but use them as soon as possible after picking for best flaor. If you don’t eat a slicing cucumber all at once, cover the unused portion in plastic wrap to prevent dehydration in the refrigerator. In fact, it’s a good idea to wrap your whole cucumbers in plastic or store them in a zipper bag in the fridge to keep them crisp.

FAQs

I read that cucumbers can be planted in hills. How do I do this?

Make a hill before planting the cucumber. Just a small rise in the ground is adequate. Build the hill, or mound, about a foot in diameter and about three inches high; this is to drain water from around the stem. Plant the cucumber in the mound.

Should you stake cucumbers?

Stakes or cages hold plants up from the ground. Cucumber vines have little tendrils that will grab a string or wire and climb up a wire cage or trellis. Staking makes it easier to pick the cucumbers and keeps them cleaner than if they are on the ground.

Which varieties of cucumbers can be grown in containers?

Use our bush-type cucumber because it is more compact and is bred for containers and small gardens. The vines do not grow as long as standard types.

My cucumbers bloomed but failed to set fruit. Why does this happen?

This is a pollination problem. The flowers must be pollinated to set fruit. Did you use a pesticide that might have killed bees that pollinate the flowers? Look to see if any bees are visiting your plants in the morning. This is when they are most active.

Why do my cucumbers taste bitter?

This is a common problem caused by high temperatures, dry soil, low fertility, or disease. Unhealthy plants produce poor-quality fruit. Once a plant produces a bitter cucumber, it must be removed because all subsequent cucumbers will be affected the same way.

It is cold in the spring where I live. How do I protect my cucumbers from the chill?

Cucumbers are sensitive to frost. Plant at least two weeks after all danger of frost has passed. You can use plastic sheeting on the ground to help retain the earth’s heat. You can also cover plants with a row cover until they start blooming, if needed. After flowers appear you have to uncover them for the bees.

How often should I water my cucumbers?

Water often enough to keep the soil slightly moist all the time. Cucumbers will be small and can taste bitter if they get stressed for water. Mulch the soil around the plants to keep in moisture. It also keeps the fruit clean.

When should I harvest pickling type cucumbers?

Pickling cucumbers should be harvested when the fruit reaches 3 to 4 inches in length; for big pickles let them get 6 to 7 inches long if they are still tender.

267 Comments

Rich l

Hi I plant several cucumber seed along a fence in Davenport Fl 33837 got a lot of flowers but only 3 six in. long cucumbers don’t see bees around here.

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Rich,
If you are not seeing bees flying around, your female flowers may not be getting pollinated. Here are tips on identifying the male and female flowers as well as hand pollianation. Try planting beneficial flowers and herbs in your garden to help attract beneficial insects! – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Patty

I plant a cucumber, do not know what kind, it grows well, lots of tiny fruits which turn yellow and fall off the vine never mature enough to be used. What is the problem.

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Patty,
If the fruit yellow while still small, the cucumbers may not be getting pollinated well. Cucumbers and other members of the cucumber family rely on bees to polliante the female flowers. Here are tips from the Bonnie Plants library on bees in the garden and hand pollination. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Brendan

Hi,
I am growing some straight 8 cucumbers from seed. They are doing great and are taking on about 1/2 or more inches each day. I am going to transplant them into some 5 gallon buckets when they reach 7 inches or so. In the buckets, can I use tomato cages for a trellis? Also, would I get a better yield if I did the same with Bonnie’s Burpless Bush Hybrids (which I heard grow very well in containers).
P.S. Will a 10-10-10 fertilizer work for cucumbers?
Thanks,
Brendan

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Brendan,
You could most certainly train them to a tomato cage – good idea. You can get a great yield from the Burpless Hybrid Cucumber in containers as well. The vines on that cucumber grow only about 2 feet. A balanced fertilizer will work well for containers that usually containa soil mix with few nutrients. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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anitra clark

I planted my tomato plants in march, I live in Houston. I have a ton of young tomatoes on plant, but flowers are done due to already 90 degree weather. Will my young tonatoes continue to grow and mature, or has that process stopped also?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Anitra,
Your young, green tomatoes will continue to ripen. I plant a variety of tomato plants – and make sure and include some that are heat tolerant. There is a list of heat tolerant varieties on the Bonnie Plants tomato chooser! – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Jon

I noticed this morning about ten or so small brown bugs crawling around the raised bed I built for my cucumbers. One of the leaves has yellowed and there are a bunch of holes in the leaf now. I am assuming this is due to the bugs -how can I get rid of them?

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Jon,
Unfortunately, pesticides are somewhat specific about the insects they control – which means there really is no way to recommend a pesticide without an insect ID. Now for the good news – we are going to figure out what type of insect is chomping on your cucumbers. Several pests bother cucumbers. Squash bugs, slugs like ripening fruit, aphids can colonize leaves (buds and stems, and cucumber beetles (both striped and spotted) can wreak havoc. You can find colored pictures of all the insects here along with control (organic and synthetic) recommendations from Clemson Univeristy Exension. Let me know how it goes. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Shannon Dobbertin

I purchased a Lemon Cucumber plant today. My plan is to plant it in a 17 gallon plastic tub. Can I plant more than one of these plants in that tub? Thanks. Shannon

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Shannon,
Yes, you can. Lemon cucumbers are climbers – so give the vines something to run on! They can run along the ground, but it is better for the fruit if it is not laying on the ground. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Travis

I planted lemon cucumbers for the first time last year. I just planted them in the garden but they almost took over! I agree give them something to climb on and with the smaller fruits they will probably ripen better than mine did. They are great to eat though I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. They have a nice fresh light taste. I would not plant too many plants in one tub due to the fact that they are very productive and get big. Good luck!

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Sarah in SE Michigan

We have had decent success with cucumbers in the past in a very sunny backyard garden with very foamy soil. We moved recently and are starting our garden over. Now we have a lot of clay in our soil and a lot more shade. Any recommendations to have a successful cucumber crop?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Sarah,
Great question! Good vegetables start with good soils. That means amending with organic matter, building a healthy soil! This link should really help you to understand the basics of improving soils. As for the sun – if there is any way to cut some branches back to allow more sun in, it would really help. Cucumbers do best in full sun. Good Luck on the new garden spot! – danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Matt

My cucumbers blooming but some of the small fruit are turning brown. This happened last year as well.
What can I do? My wife loves cucumbers.

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hello Matt,
If the fruit comes out and grows only and inch or two before starting to turn brown or rot, the female flowers of the cucumber plant may not be getting pollinated. This detailed article in the Bonnie Plants library will explain pollination (or lack of) and remedies. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

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RALU

Implanted 4 cucumber plants, all of them have their first set of leaves and all the leaves on all the cucumber plants have turned yellow and have not grown any new leaves, what is happening? I also have bush beans in the same bed and their leaves are all yellow as well

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Ralu,
Leaves turn yellow for a variety of reasons. Leaves turn yellow when they need fertilizer. Did you incorporate fertilizer into the bed before you planted? Beans usually only need an initial application of fertilizer while other heavy feeders will need additional application throughout the growing season. Overwatering also leaches the soil quickly of nutrients and can also be attributed to yellow leaves – especially with beans. The soil should be moist, but plant roots need to breathe, so it should not be kept soggy. The soil needs to drain well. Watering basics are detailed here. Watch for annual insects and diseases as well. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

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richard sonnier

i planted my cucumbers with organic pot.they had pretty leaves already. the next day the leaves all withered layed over and now i see nothing. what to do?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Richard,
First of all, keep the plants watered. Were the cucumbers planted with the peat pots? It is best to remove the bottom of the peat pot before planting to ensure good root to soil contact. It is very important to remove the top of the pot…if a portion of the pot is left sticking above ground – it can actually wick moisture away from the plant. The seedling will dry out very quickly. Here is a quick video on how to plant the peat pots. Make sure the new seedlings get water daily as their roots begin to establish into your garden soil. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Cheryl

I live in zone 5. There was a scattered frost forecast last night so I covered my cucumbers & tomatoes with sheets. I felt that the tomatoes weren’t covered as well as the cucumbers because of the cages (I did weave the sheets between them to get the sheets closer to the plant) but it looks like the cucumbers leaves are white. Are they ruined? I just planted them 2 days ago….

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Cheryl,
They are not ruined. They may be set back. My squash leaves turned white … a couple of frosts after they were planted. New growth should be green and healthy. I wouldn’t give up on the plants just yet. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kelly

i planted 2 cucumber plants and there leaves have turned white and dried out a little bit. i gave them nutrients and water. they have been this way for about 2 weeks. do i need to replant?
Kelly

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Kelly,
Two different things cause white leaves on cucurbits. One is cold and wind damage. Did the nighttime temperatures dip while they have been planted? If so, new leaves should be green if temperatures are right. Another cause is powdery mildew. This is a fungal disease of cucurbits. You may see white spotting on the leaves that resembles baby powder. I have included two links for you to compare. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Dana

Whoops. I just sprung up in bed realizing that I didn’t remove the bottoms from the pots of cucumbers I planted today. They were watered deeply… Will the pot dissolve or should I dig them up tomorrow?

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Dana,
Oh my…you do that too! If they were just planted, you can dig them up carefully. Saturate the peat pot well so it ‘just comes off’. Be careful so that the roots of the cucumber are not greatly disturbed. If the peat pot was sufficiently wet when planted (and you saw some roots already poking through) it will be ok. Do not let the pot stick up above ground – that will wick moisture from the plant itself. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Deana

Hi, I have 2 burpless cucumber plants, in a raised bed, that look very happy. I am planning to trellis them. What is the optimum height for this? In the past I have let them grow on the fence that shares our neighbor’s yard, but he doesn’t live there anymore. On the fence, they would travel down quite a ways…so I imagine I need a pretty tall trellis. Is that correct?

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Deana,
Not necessarily – You could make a cucumber tent trellis like the one shown here. You could get by with a 4 foot high fence style trellis and run the vines up and down if you didn’t want to make it any higher. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
swinny

Hello… This was the most helpful article I found on the net for growing cucumbers. Especially the picture of the trellis. Just what I needed. I got ya bookmarked for future reference. Now I’m off to plant the first my first ever cucumbers with confidence!! Thanks!

Reply
Judy Mays

I have a cucumber plant and there is actually a cucumber on it, but the cucumber is yellow. What did I do wrong?

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Judy,
How big is the cucumber? If you let it go without picking it – a green cucumber will yellow after it is mature – so you have to watch for them everyday. If the cucumber is small and yellow, the plant may be stressed. This can happen if the plant is receiving too much / not enough water / high temperatures / or even if the plant has not been fertilized correctly. If this is the case, identifying and correcting the stress will help you with your cucumbers. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

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David

My dog ate the dirt around the plant when you first buy it and i just wanted to know if it is harmful to them

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Danielle Carroll

Hi David,
Their is nothing in the soil around the plant that would be harmful to your dog. Glad to hear you have a gardening partner! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Brian

I am so happy to find Japanese cucumber at Home Depot since I was looking for it for a while. But the plant did not survive after I planted them to the ground. The two pieces little leaf are down to the ground. What did I do mistakenly. Maybe the weather is too hot? Or too windy those two days. I read the instruction on the container . I am in Sacramento, California area. What suggestion do you have. I will try one more time.

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hello Brian,
Sorry to hear you are having problems planting your cucumbers. Cucumbers like other cucurbits have fragile roots, so be very careful not to disturb them when you are planting. Cucumbers grow best in a well draining soil so amend the soil if you need to. Not sure what your weather is, but cucumbers are a warm season vegetable, but will need plenty of water when first transplanted into the ground. Keep the soil evenly moist until the cucumber plant becomes established. Good Luck! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Justin

I’ve got a bunch of questions.

I bought your burpless bush hybrid cucumbers, do these being bush cucumbers still need to be trellised?

Do you recommend growing them on the perimeter of a fence rather than in a corner of the garden?

My tomato plants, have been getting blight for the past few years. I have been applying chlorthalonil after symptoms appear with little success. Being carcinogenic, I decided to by neem oil concentrate to use as a fungicide. Do you have any tips on how to use it and how to prevent blight in my tomato plants?

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hello Justin,
You do not have to trellis the bush cucumbers. If you need the space, though, you can trellis the plants – the vines grow about 2 feet. Using a preexisting fence is a great way to save space in the garden.
A note about fungicides – they are preventatives. Once fungus and/or bacteria become a garden pest, it’s not too late to apply fungicides, but they are more effective as a preventative. If you use them after the fact, remove any unhealthy leaves then spray. Rotating crops, mulching, an avoiding overhead irrigation certainly helps. While these sustainable practices can not prevent annual fungal/bacterial diseases, they can help slow down the spread. -Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Sarah

I am growing cucumbers, and a few other veggies, in smart pots. I used Viagro soil which claims to feed the plants for 6 months. I also purchased fish fertilizer and I did research about compost and egg shells. Should I use these fertilizers on my plants or should I trust the soil I have to feed them for a full 6 months? I don’t want to over or under feed them.

Thank you so much, I found lot of helpful information here so far!

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Sarah,

I would trust the soil to feed the plants for a good length of time. If the heat turns up and the container is watered a lot, the fertilizer will not last as long since the all the water will leach the nutrients from the soil. Keep an eye on your plants – you may find that once they start producing they need some nutrients to keep them going. Caring for Vegetables in Pots is a great section in the Bonnie Plants library! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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RANDELL TEDFORD

I HAVE A GREEN HOUSE BUT AFTER READING YOUR COMENTS ABOUT HOW FRAGILE THEIR ROOT SYSTEMS ARE WOULD I BE BETTER TO PLANT THE SEEDS IN THE GROUND? IN HOUSTON TEXAS LAST YEAR OUR DROUGHT CAUSED MY CUCUMBERS TO GROW ODD SIZES AND WERE BITTER,DON’T WANT THE SAME THIS YEAR. THANK YOU RANDELL

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Randell,
If you are starting from seed indoors or in a greenhouse, start the seed about 6 weeks or so before you would like to plant them outside for the earlier harvest. You can wait later when the weather is warm if you want to direct seed. A lot of veggies have fragile root systems, best the plant them all with care :) Hope you have plentiful rain this gardening season. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Shirley

Hello, I just planted my Japanese cukes a couple weeks ago, here in far west AZ it’s already 100 degrees during he day, so I have my plants shaded most of the day.but they do get the morning sun. I’ve got the cukes, tomatoes, zucchini and strawberries. They are potted bc we have these terrible ground squirrels that destroy everything. I water them, every evening, but they don’t seem to be happy plants. The leaves all have yellow spots on them, like they were being burned, but since moving out of direct sun, they still haven’t seemed to pop back, still a little droopy and sad looking. Should I be adding plant food? Water more or less? More drainage? Anything I can do to help?

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Shirley,
Veggies grown in containers will regular fertilizer added for healthy growth. The amount of watering needed for containers flushed out the nutrients quickly. Water containers when the top of the soil starts to dry – which will be often in those temperatures! If your container has plenty of drainage, the water will run out of the drainage holes instead of pooling in the bottom. Also keep an eye out for insects and disease which will show up as spot on plants. University of Arizona extension has great resources here that may help you with insects and disease in home veggie gardens. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Molly

I have never grown cucumbers before. Can I grow them next to tomatoes or bell peppers? I have raised garden beds.

Thanks!

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Molly,
You sure can. In fact, some of the Bonnie Plants raised bed gardening plans have tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers planted together. You may want to trellis the cucumbers or let them trail over the edge. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Amanda

I was given three free cucumber plants at a local festival last weekend. They are relatively small. How can I determine which kind of cucumber plant they are, so I am able to plant and care for them properly?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Amanda,
You may have to wait until the cucumbers are born on the plant to guess which kind it is. You may not know if they are bush or climbing cucumbers, but if you see them starting to vine, think about a trellis to keep the fruit off the ground. Other than that, care is the same. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Frankie

The leaves have turned white from the cool weather. Will the plants grow or will I need to replant new seeds.

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Frankie,
Keep the plants and healthy, and you will see new green leaves soon! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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barbra kilgore

my roma tomatoes are growing in a big pot and outside the top gets dry quick cause its 89 to 96 degrees in cali i water a little every morning is that ok

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Barbra,
Water pots when the top of the soil starts to dry. Your container needs to have plenty of drainage holes so you can water the pot thoroughly without water pooling at the bottom. I love to grow in containers, but you do have to keep an eye out on the soil moisture. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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barbra kilgore

i am growing lettuce and the red romaine has a long stem and then the leaves topple over it says full sun so its 80.00 degrees plus in cali right now 60 in the morning they seem to grow better in the house in a sunny window but the still grow long stems and the leaves then come out and the plant topples over.
also in the house they draw nats and i have to use a citronella candle or i bought some spectride triazicisssssssssssssssssssssde insect killer which i spray around the plants outside and around the window inside and i bought take down garden spray-rtu from the nursery which says spray on the plants the nats reduce but i am still not sure if th should use on the plants i got two dif answers from the nursery help when buying for the nats
also in the house i find holes in my collard leaves where is that from if they in the house it looks like some one took a cigarette and burned a hole in the middle of the leaf why

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Barbara,
It may get a little warm for your lettuce soon. Lettuce grows best within a temperature range from 45 to about 80 degrees. It really thrives in those cooler nights. Are you starting the lettuce from transplants or from seeds indoors? You may have fungal gnats. Fungal gnats reproduce in potting soils rich in organic matter, and are common in potted plants in greenhouses and houses where the temperature is kept nice and cozy for them. You can read more about them and their control here. Letting the soil dry out helps break the cycle. Make sure any pesticides you use are labeled both for the plant and safe to use indoors. There are plenty of pests that attack plants indoors – your best bet is check the collard plants daily to look for any pests that may be on the prowl. -Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Sue Bullard

Some of my cucumber plant leaves are turning white but still have some green leaves……Don’t know if they will survive….should I just get new plants…or do you think they will pull thru and produce cukes?

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Sue,
Have you had cold weather? If the leaves are turning white it could be cold damage and new leaves will grow. There is also a fungal disease called powdery mildew – like the name it is a white powder on the leave that will rub off. I have cold damage on some of my cucurbits now, but new leaves are coming out pretty and green. I am attaching this publication with pictures of powdery mildew for you to compare! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Giselle

Hi, I listened to the groundhog and expected and earlier spring. I started my cucumbers inside with a grow light and this worked well. A bit too well it turns out as the cucumbers are flowering…indoors! I’m in NYC and the temps are barely staying over 65. Can I move them outside?

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hello Giselle,
Silly groundhog! Cucumbers are sensitive to cold weather so just cover if you think a cold night is in store. You will need to harden these plants off…place them outside for a couple of hours a day to get them used to the bright, outdoor lights. Gradually expose them to longer time outside for a few days and give them their new home. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Sherri

I am planting cucumber this year, but I notice it say plant on a hill? Is that some saying that I am not aware of or do you literally mean on a hill. I have just a box garden outside. Do not have a hill to plant them on. Thanks!

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Sherri,
Hills are small mounds built so the soil will drain better around the cucubmers. Usually a couple of plants are planted per hill. Since you have a raised bed, you do not have to create the hills since you have a well drained soil already! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Howard

I planted Bonnie’s Burpless Bush Hybrid Cucumber, The leaves grow alright then loose thier color. We have had some extra cool nights, could that be my problem? Best Regaeds,Howard

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Howard,
You are correct – the leaves of cucumbers will quickly turn whitish when they have been subjected to temperatures lower than they like! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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chris

I started squash and cucumbers from seeds this year Ive done in the past.. however I forget when transplanting how far into the soil to transplant them thy are starting to how their first leaves after the seed leaves and about 5 inches long how deep do i plant them? thank you…chris

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Chris,
Cucurbits like cucumbers and squash should not be planted deep like tomatoes. Plant them only as deep as the soil they are growing in. Be careful with the transplants, cucurbits have tender roots. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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chantiel

it never actually says if they like full sun or not? and is there a way to test the soil ph in my garden? love this website, now its in bookmarks. thanks for helping us have happy growing seasons.

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Chantiel,
Cucumbers will grow well in the full sun :) You can measure the pH of your soil with a quick test kit sold at garden centers, or you can get a soil test kit from your Extension office for a nominal fee. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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C

Could I grow my Japanese cucumber in a pot with basil? I live in an apartment so I don’t have much room. Worse comes to worse, I will try transplanting my basil to another container so my cucumber could get more space to grow

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Danielle Carroll

Japanese cucumbers are long vines. They will need a little leg room. If you have a place to trellis them, that would be great. A 14 inch pot is recommended for basil, so you would need a pot at least 2 to 3 times that size to grow both. Good Luck!! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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KAC

Can I plant cucumbers in a meadow garden with wildflowers? I live in northeast and will start planting cucumber seeds in the ground in the next few weeks, mid May. I was thinking the flowers, and their bees, would be beneficial to the cucumber growth, but I can not find confirmation of this anywhere. I’ve also planted dill in the meadow garden.

Reply
Mary Beth

Sure, the bees would be great for pollination. You understand what we’ve already demonstrated in this article on cucumber pollination. However, you might want to ensure a trellis or support system so that the fruit is not touching the ground. And, make sure you have an irrigation or water source if that is a concern. It sounds pretty! ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Bill

I will be planting my first attempt at cucumbers this season. I live in the north east (NY) and was wondering how often I should water them. From what I read it says keep moist so I assume water daily, however I was wondering how LONG do I water them for?

Reply
Danielle Carroll

Hi Bill,
Veggies need about an inch of water per week (more depending on soil and temperatures). Once established, most veggies benefit from being watered deeply 2 – 3 times per week . Keep the soaker hose or watering system going until the soil is wet about 5 – 6 inches down. Mulch well to hold the moisture in! Watering deeply encourages deep roots. Use a rain gauge to measure rainfall so you do not overwater. – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kim

I am on my third year of gardening, and we usually have trouble with our cukes (the leaves look diseased and the cukes don’t taste really good even though the rest of the garden is booming). We are trying to train our plants onto a metal trellis this year (no trellis first year, web box shaped off the ground) to see if we get better results.
We planted two bonnie burpless hybrids Easter weekend, and they have already died. I have purchased 2 boston pickling, a burpless hybrid and a straight and I am trying to diagnose the problem before I replant.
I watered every day (except when it rained) about a half a can. It did get a little cold a few days, but all my other plants are doing fine – herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, zucchini. They didn’t turn yellow. They turn almost white. We did add new soil mix this year (cow manure, soil, woodstuff) and worked it into the current soil. Can I train the burpless and the strait to the trellis?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Kim,
I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your cucumber plants. Cucumbers are in family of plants called cucurbits – and they all have very tender roots. When transplanting be careful not to disturb those roots. If the cucumbers turned whitish in color they may have been bitten by the cold weather. There is a picture here on the Utah State Extension page for you to look at. Cold injury can occur below 40 degrees. Watering often to get established is a good idea, but once established, water deeply but infrequently. You can train them both to the trellis. Trellising a good idea, it keeps the fruit and leaves off the ground! – Danelle, Bonnie Plants

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Tony Witczak

I am having trouble over the last few years with cucumber plants. They start out looking promising and then turn yellow and die. I have tried them in various parts of the garden woth leaving them “run” along the ground and some climb a fence. They is plenty of sunlilght . I spade in my plants in fall and rotter tile the spring. Open to suggestions. I have not had my soil tested so I do not know the Ph level.

Thank you,

Tony

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Tony,
Are you having problems with any other veggies? Cucumbers are bothered by several pests – insects and disease. Fungal diseases like powdery mildew, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs to name a few. Check out the troubleshooting in this article for more description. Keeping an eye out for the first sign of one of these ‘bad guys’ is key to controlling the problem. When fall comes, it is to remove all the plant debris (spent plants) from the garden. Insects and diseases can both overwinter on old plants. I hope this helps! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Bonnie,
Growing veggies can be hard work, but good soil preparation and gardening habits can make it lot easier! Read here for the gardening basics that may help.
-Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Robert Robert

Dear Sir or Madam:

The type of cucumber you named it Armanian Cucumber is wrong, that type of cucumber it has been known as Persian Cucumber and its been in the Market all over the world since 1945. Refere to 1995 Tokyo Anual garden fair reports .

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Danielle Carroll

Hi,
Sure is a long lineage in the cucumber family! Armenian cucumbers are cloesly related to the muskmelons even though they are eaten like cucumbers and commonly called by many common names such as yard long cucumbers. I, personally like them all!
-Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Edmund

My cucumbers are growing its first flower but there’s only two surviving leaves and a small leaf about 2 mm not growing big and three other leaves died too, is that normal?

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Danielle Carroll

Hello Edmund,
Leaves dying does not sound normal, although on older cucumber vines, older leaves will start to yellow before they fall. Be sure and keep the soil evenly moist with infrequent, deep watering several times each week. How long has the cucumber been planted? Any fertilizer used? You may consider posting a picture to our Ask an Expert service with details of when you transplanted. We can help with a little more information.
-Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Danielle Carroll

Hi Beth,

You can harvest a cucumber whenever it is big enough to use. Different cucumber varieties mature at different sizes. For instance, the Boston Pickling Cucumber is usually harvested around 3 to 7 inches long. The Straight Eight cucumber may grow to 8 inches long before it is harvested. I like to harvest at the smaller sizes, if left on too long, they become bitter tasting with hard seeds.
-Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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Sandy

I’m trying to grow cucumbers in a flower pot in my bathroom, ( I know weird place) I have a skylight in there and also a grow spot light. It is growing up the tomato cage but I get flowers but none turn into cucumbers, what am I doing wrong ( other than trying to grow them here in Chicago in the winter)? I also just started some tomato seeds any info would be greatly appreciated by both my rabbit & myself.

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Mary Beth

Hi Sandy,
No judgement here — we would plant anything in every square inch possible. :) Your cucumber blossoms are not becoming cucumbers because they need to be pollinated. Unless you have bees and beneficial insects in that bathroom with the rabbit, you’ll have to crack a window or do the handiwork yourself. Our popular article, Give Hand Pollination a Try, gives you the step by step on how to do it. We sell tomato plants at these locations: find.bonnieplants.com. Many first time gardeners find it hard to start seeds due to space and lighting requirements, so our plants can give you a healthy head start if you don’t have the time. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Abbey Swarbrick

Hello,
I have a few questions so please sit tight :)

Q1. My cucumbers have green bubbles growing on them, is this a disease forming, is it just normal or is it them spike things?

Q2. My cucumbers plants are growing in about a 55x20cm rectangular pot with other plants such as chives, thyme and parsley which are about 15cm away so will the roots eventually interfere with each other?

Q3. The cucumbers are growing in the edge of the rectangular pot and are growing out the side where there is a fence made of wired mesh and the vines are wrapping around it, is that ok?

Q4. I have one last question… One of my cucumber has grown pretty big but the top of it is skinny,yellow and small but the bottom of the cucumber is massive and green and look healthy it is sort of half half So please help!

Thank you so much for your time and help.
Kind Regards, Abbey.

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Mary Beth

Hi Abbey,
It is perfectly find to underplant your cucumber with other herbs and lower-growing plants. You will want to allow enough room for them all to root in for optimal spacing, so count on at least a 24″ diameter pot for the collection you mention. If you plant tighter than that, it should be fine as long as you water and fertilize appropriately. Yours sounds great. The cucumber is vining as it should and you did the right thing in supporting it. It will not hurt the wire and vice versa. Structures like this ensure your cucumbers can hang freely as they develop. The funky shaped cucumber was not fully pollinated when in flower. If you’re curious about pollination of cucurbits, read this article. As for the bubbles, I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean the tiny, teeny bumps from which tiny prickles grow all over the cucumber, that is natural. If you mean something on the leaves or fruit that sounds different, consult this guide on the diseases that affect cucumbers. Happy growing. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Mary Beth

Hi Floyd,
Make sure you read the tab above entitled “Harvesting.” We give you tips on what to look for (and what to avoid, such as waiting too late and letting the green cucumbers turn yellow and bitter). Younger is better with cukes! Also, read the variety description for what type you planted under our “Vegetables” button in the menu. You’ll see approximate mature sizes to help you gauge when it’s the right size, though that isn’t an absolute. Happy growing. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
emma

Hello,
My cucumber plant is turning brown and crumbling. The leaves are turning white. I also have a Bill Pepper plant with drooping leaves. If you know the cause of any of these problems please let me know.
Thanks

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Emma,
It could be any number of things, but this time of year it could simply be the weather. Is is cold where you live? Cucumbers and bell peppers do not enjoy temperatures below 50 degree range, and will die back upon freezing weather (after droopy leaves, then brown leaves, the plant blackens and dies). The plants are annuals, to be replanted each year. If that is not it and it is warm where you live, consider sending photos and descriptions to our Ask An Expert service. Thanks for writing. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Steve

Do you carry any beit alpha parthenocarpic varieties. I have grown these from seed, but would like to see some in your peat pots, or better yet, in 9 cell packs.

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Mary Beth

Hi Steve,
Thanks for writing us. You can find a full listing of the cucumber varieties we carry here. If you are seeking a burpless cucumber, try the Burpee Burpless. We do not carry the Beit Alpha Parthenocarpic varieties sometimes referred to in the news as Persian. I hope that helps! I’ll also pass along your inquiry to our production department. Happy growing, Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Marina Veiler

Hi again,
First of all, thank you for your plant and this great blog. I have a Boston Pickling plant that took over almost all of my tiny garden in front of my apartment and is climbing to the second floor already. It produces very well and attracts lots of bees.
But there is a problem – the leaves started getting some white stuff on them which looks like mold. It doesn’t come off though if you rub the leaf. This “mold” spreads over the whole plant, and although it is still producing it looks like it is affecting the vines too. What could that be and how to get rid of it?

Thank you,
Marina

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Mary Beth

Hi Marina,
Sounds like it’s doing well, yet may have the beginning stages of powdery mildew. Read more about this in the “Troubleshooting” tab on this page. You should apply a fungicide and avoid handling the leaves when they are wet after rain or watering. If not stopped, it will put your productive cucumber in decline. Let us know how it grows. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Loris

Thanks for the info on here!
I have been trying to figure out what is happening to my cucumbers. They grow hooked, and deformed. From reading here, I have come to the realization that I am getting poor pollination.

Thanks for a great service!

Reply
Alena

I planted few Cucumbers, gave a lot of water, and sun (CA, Temecula), they gave me small fruit and did not develop it,’
but dry out.
I don’t see why?

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Alena, It could be that fruit didn’t develop because of poor pollination. Read our blog post on this topic to see if this sounds right. You could try pollinating by hand next time, and also be sure to create a pollinator-friendly garden by planting flowering plants and limiting pesticide use. Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Vikki

My cucumber plants have huge green leaves with lots of flowers but don’t seem to be producing mnay cucumbers. I’m assuming they are not getting pollunated. Anything I can do to help?

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Renae

This is my first year of actually being able to have a garden and so far I think its doing grea! I have Tamatoes, bell peppers, onions, wattermellons, and cucumbers. This morning after looking over all my plants at the base of them I noticed that I have, little i want to say knats, but im not sure they are all over the base of the plants, while my plants still look healthy I was wounding is there something out there that I can spray on them that arent going to harm my plants so that we can still eat them. Can you please help me thank you.

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Mary Beth

Hi Renae,
It’s hard to diagnose treatment or I.D. a pest without a photo. Sounds like aphids, but let’s be sure before you apply anything. Can you send a photo with details to our Ask An Expert service? ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Sue

This is my first try at growing cucumbers. I planted a Boston Pickling Cucumber. I have a couple of fairly large cucumbers, the largest is quite yellow. and there are several smaller green ones. Does the yellow color mean they aren’t ready to pick?

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Sue,

Yellowing can happen for a variety of reasons, from too much water to too few nutrients. If your Boston Pickling cucumber is 3 to 7 inches long, you should go ahead and pick it. Removing the yellow one will allow more energy for the other developing cucumbers. You might need to feed your plants with a vegetable fertilizer to perk them up and keep the cukes coming. Pick these cucumbers often, at as little as 3 inches long, to get more yield from your plant. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Curtis

Hello,
This is my first year growing cucumbers and I’m having some difficulty. Some of the cucumbers are growing to about 2 inches and then they become soft and shrivel up. Some of the leaves on the plant are limp and wilted. I water every day so I don’t know what is causing this. I planted Boston picklikng and Strait 8’s. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Curtis,

This sounds like poor pollination. When proper pollination doesn’t occur, immature fruit just falls off the vine. You can read more about this in our blog post about pollination. As for the limp leaves, this may just be a reaction to the mid-day heat. If plants perk back up at night and in the morning after you water, I don’t think you should worry. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Terre Lusby

My cucumber bush is huge with one very large yellow cucumber. It is well shaped and looks like it should be picked. I keep waiting for it to get green???? Why is it mature and still yellow?? We have several small cucumbers that look like they might take off. Very hot summer here, might be the cause…..

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Terre,

The yellowing could be for variety of reasons, from too much water to not enough, but I think you should go ahead and harvest this one since it’s full-size, then let your others grow. You should also give your plants a boost by fertilizing with a plant food labeled for vegetables. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Elaine

Hi I planted the Burpless Bush Cucumbers and have noticed that some are misshaped and all of them so far have spots on them. It almost appears that something has been scraping away at the outside. What can this be, and are they safe to eat?

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Mary Beth

Hi Elaine,
To be sure, I shared your woes with the Ask an Expert service. They say: The shape is probably a pollination problem. Cucumbers have separate male and female blooms on the same plant. For proper fruit set, the pollen must be transferred from the male to the female blooms. This is usually done by pollinating insects, primarily honeybees. Cucumber male flowers appear first, followed later by the fruit-producing female flowers. Caution must be taken NOT to spray with insecticides in early morning hours when pollinating insects are working. If pollen transfer does not take place, fruit will not set. If the pollination is incomplete, a cucumber will form, but may be odd shaped and small.

The spots could be entry holes from pickleworms. Here’s a link on them from the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service. They do make the fruit inedible.

Another possibility is cucumber mosaic virus, but it is accompanied by leaf symptoms. Here’s a link from the Texas A & M Extension Service on it.

Do either of these sound like what you’re seeing? ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Taryn

Hi,
This is my first year at growing my own garden and I have the straight 8 cucumbers. They where doing really good and they do have really small cucumbers forming, but recently we had about 6- 9 inches of rain and now the leaves are turning yellow and dying. Is there any way to save my plants?
Thanks,
Taryn

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Mary Beth

Hi Taryn,
That’s an incredible amount of rain in a short time. Are the plants sitting in water? If it is allowed to drain off and is not continually watered/rained upon, your plants may recover. Yellowing leaves are certainly a symptom of over-watering. However, it can also mean other things. Be sure to check your plant over carefully and look for other clues that may infer pest or disease causes. If you experience further issues, take a photo and send it to our Ask An Expert service for a closer look. Hope it resurges! ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Josh D

Hi, I’m growing some cucumbers, and today I spotted some cucumbers growing, but only on my smaller plants (the younger plants). I read up on how female blossoms are supposed to appear, and on all 3 of my larger plants, only male blossoms appear. They just keep coming in and the vine gets ever longer. What should I do to get cucumbers to grow on these plants. Plenty of bees are pollinating the plants, but no female sprouts. Please help, Josh.

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Josh,

It’s unlikely that your plants aren’t producing any female flowers, but they will definitely be producing far more male flowers than female flowers (usually 10 times more males than females). Maybe look again and see if you can find those few females? They might be hidden among the vines since you have a few. If you do, you might try hand-pollination for these plants. It’s great that you have bees around, but sometimes they will choose to pollinate one plant over another, as you’re seeing. No real reason why. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Leeburg,

Yes, you can insert a tomato trellis around vines at planting. See this practice in the second picture from top above in this article. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Carol

I live in the West Palm Beach area. I had tried growing cucumbers before, but they had always died of disease. This year I thought it would be different when I saw tons of yellow flowers covering my healthy, green plants. On closer inspection, I realized they were all male. I had read that female flowers come after male flowers, so I waited to see a female bud. It never happened. A couple days later I checked on my plants, and it looked like they had started to wither – the leaves were sort of speckled with yellow. I didn’t think much of it and just thought they were dry, so I watered them and left them alone. Three days later, when I checked them again, the leaves were completely yellow and brown and the vine was yellow, too! The leaves were paper thin and it looked like they had holes in them…I had no choice but to remove them. I decided not to compost them in case they had a disease. What do you think could keep happening to my cukes?!? And, how can I prevent this from happening again??

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Mary Beth

Hi Carol,
I shared your question with the Ask An Expert service for a complete diagnosis, given your description. They think it sounds like it may be Anthracnose. Here’s a link from the Clemson Cooperative Extension that describes it and other cucurbit diseases and their control. Let us know if you think this is what you’ve seen and if it’s helpful. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Joe,

Cucumber beetles are a problem not only because they damage plants but because they carry a disease called bacterial wilt that can cause even more damage. You can spray with insecticidal soap or a product that contains pyrethrin. As with all insecticides, spray only as directed on the product label. Hope this helps with your cucumbers!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Pete

I plant my sweet burpless cukes on 6 ft.tall redwood landscape ties 2 rows about 30 ft. long and bailing twine for the tendrils to grab onto and plenty of straw mulch .When they get about 3 ft. high I start thinning the lower vines.Here in Southern Az.it doesn’t rain much so I use 1/2 inch PVC pipe along each row with a tiny hole at each plant,very efficient.I attach my hose feeder onto the supply side and give them a drink of compost tea.The result is 6 ft. high plants and cukes coming out my ears! Also I feed my tomatoes once a week with a drink of instant milk because their such high calcium lovers,the result?,well you,d have to see it to believe it.

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Pete,

Sounds like a great garden and very inventive! We’d love to see pictures! If you “Like” us on Facebook, you can shares photos with us and the rest of the Bonnie community. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Pete

Its will usually slow it way down or stop it all together.Because tomatoes are heavy calcium feeders it acts like a vitamin supplement. Milk is high in calcium.Whole milk is better but that can get expensive so that’s why I use a heavy concentration of instant milk,its cheaper.If you know a farmer close by that’s willing to trade veggies for milk then that’s a win/win situation.

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Deborah R.

In the past, I’ve planted cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. I’ve given up because after a few weeks of harvesting, some type of worm gets into the vine and kills the plant. Any suggestions? The worms don’t bother my tomatoes, eggplant, and green peppers.

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Deborah,

I feel your pain. This sounds like the squash vine borer, which is hard to get rid of and will destroy a squash plant in no time. You can read more about it in our article about surgery for squash vine borers, which is one last-ditch method of removing them from a plant. They overwinter in the soil, so you might try growing your squash in pots next year and see if that helps. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Amy

Hi, I am a college student and will soon be living on my own. I’d like to grow some vegetables, like cucumbers to save on some money, adn they’re delicious. I only have a few weeks before I move into my house. Is it too alte, or can I plant seeds now? Also, can I grow them in a pot for 2 weeks and then plant them? Thank you!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Amy,

I’m so excited that you want to grow some of your own vegetables! You should definitely start out by reading some of the articles in our Gardening Basics section, including this article specifically for new gardeners, as well as our Gardening to Save Money section.

One thing you might try is planting from transplants, which are what Bonnie Plants sells, in addition to seed. Transplants jumpstart your harvest and can take some guesswork out of seed-starting. That being said, it’s still too late for cucumbers, unless you live in the far south. They’re a summer-harvest crop that should be put in the ground in late spring. However, you could start some lettuce and greens, such as arugula and kale, in late summer for harvest through fall and winter. This would be a great first start and get you excited to plant cucumbers, tomatoes, and other warm-season plants for next year!

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more helpful info and to “Like” us on Facebook. You can use our Find Our Plants page to locate retailers near you who carry Bonnie Plants. I hope you enjoy your first try at gardening! I know you’ll be hooked. Let us know how it grows.

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Marina Veiler

Dear Bonnie, please help! I’m a first time gardener. I bought a little Boston Pickling plant a little over two weeks ago and oh boy, I had no idea how big it would grow! I have a tiny garden spot with many other plants, so I put some long wooden sticks for the ‘baby’ to climb up. In these two weeks it grew about 4′ tall already! The vines grow a few inches every day and they grab on everything with their little ‘hands’… There are 5 vines and they climb up like crazy – I had to get some longer sticks from my local lumber.
My question is – how tall can the vine grow?? Would it stop at some point or I need to get 10′ support for it? At this point I don’t know what to do… And it haven’t even flowered yet – just having little buds all over… Thank you very much!

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Marina,
We are so glad to hear that you’ve started gardening! Welcome to our website. You might also like to review the section for beginning gardeners, and to sign up for our e-newsletter for regular tips and advice. If you would like to see more photos beyond this page of how cucumbers appear mid-stage, check out this actual photo of our Summer 4×4 Planting Plan. If you can provide the cucumbers a place to sprawl out and away (as it trails over the bed in the photo), or a tall support like a cattle panel, concrete-reinforcing wire or chain link fence, it will vine and cling freely. Boston Pickling cucumbers grow long vines! Good luck. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Patricia

i I have a questions. Do all cucumbers are green?. i mean they all have green skin?. I plant cucumbers but the cucumbers that grow some are green with white skin and others are orange like papaya or pumpkin and they are not thin they are a little thick. What kind of cucumbers are these ones?.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Patricia,

Well, most cucumbers are green. Lemon cucumbers have a yellower skin but they are shaped like lemons, so you’d know if you had those. Sometimes, if cucumber plants get too much water, the skin can look lighter green or almost white. That might be the case with those of yours that appear green and white. I have another theory on the orange ones since you describe orange flesh and thick skin. Do they look like kind of this butternut squash? If so, the plant tags may have been switched out on accident, either at the greenhouse or the store where you bought the plants. If so, you’re in for a great surprise with butternut squash. (It’s one of my favorite vegetables!) Let me know if you think my theory is right.

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
William

I purchased and planted a Straight 8 plant this year and the vines are growing well. There have been lots of blooms but little fruit. I moved the trellis last week and found two that were about 8-10″ and 2″ in width covered by the leaves. They are whitish with some light green and haven’t changed in color over the last week. I am tempted to pick them to taste because I’m pretty sure they are bad. Any tips to help pollination? My egglants and tomatoes are not having any issues there.

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi William,
Yes, those cucumbers will hide from you! You have to keep the plant picked constantly; it will curb future production if you do not. The plant will put energy into setting seed with that large cucumber instead of putting energy into blooming and creating many more Straight 8s for you. That’s a long time to keep it on the vine but at that size, I suspect it will taste “okay”! The seeds get to be very large as the cucumbers age; if you find that to be the case, slice it in half and scoop those seeds out of the middle before eating. And then keep up with the harvest so it will keep up production. Here’s a recent post on pollination, too. Happy growing. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Mike W

I can see cukes starting on my vines, however slugs have had their way with some of the flowers. If a cuke has started to grow and the flower gets munched on, will it stop growing?

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Mary Beth

Hi Mike,
If the cucumber has already started to grow and is larger than an inch or two, the flower has served it’s purpose. It needs the flower in the earliest stage to become pollinated and form the fruit. If your hungry slugs are simply eating the deteriorating bloom off of the end of the formed cucumber, you are fine. However, you may want to get rid of the slugs, as they can cause damage to many of your plants. Try putting a shallow saucer of beer in the garden soil, if you can stomach the aftermath! Here’s a great overview of slugs and how to rid your garden of them, published by Ohio State University. Let us know how it grows! Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

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Amy

I bought the burpless cucumbers and though my plants have taken OVER my garden and had a ton of flowers, i’ve had little to know cucumbers. Probably a total of 8 so far this season. Also i have a situation very similar to one of the posters above and found that sometimes they can be quite bitter.. any tips? I”m super excited as the plants are monsters and taken over, now i just need fruit! Thanks!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Amy,

There are several possible reasons for bitterness and it’s hard to pinpoint one for a particular plant. The chemical that causes bitterness in cucumbers is called cucurbitacin. It’s naturally occurring, and so bitterness to some extent is to be expected when growing cucumbers. This article from the University of Oregon Extension explains a little about bitterness in cukes. Your plant might be having trouble with pollination, which would explain the abundance of flowers but low yields of fruit. Read our blog post about cucurbit pollination, including photos and instructions for how to hand-pollinate cucumbers. I hope this helps, and happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Tina

Hi, I have two green pepper plants “growing”… Thses plants have gotten maye twice as bis theywhen I first bought them, which they were pretty small. Each plant has one white flower on them and that’s all. I’ve had these plants for about 2 or 3 months. What’s going on!?

Reply
Tina

Oops, that was supposed to be posted where the green peppers page is…if theres one.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Tina, Yes, we have a Growing Peppers page. What variety of pepper is this? Pepper plants grow to various sizes, so this could be a smaller variety. The lack of production could be due to hot weather, which can cause a pause in pollination. You can read more about this in our blog post about tomatoes not setting fruit, though it’s true for peppers and other plants, too. Also, have you fertilized your plants? If not, that should help jumpstart them. We recommend our Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food. I hope your plants start to produce soon!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Tina

Hi, I have slicing cucumbers and this is my first time with cucumbers. I dont know if I should pick them. Some are small and some are over 7″ I just picked one and it looks good. I also have some that are just starting to grow… How long will it be until the little one’s are ready to pick?

Reply
Jackie

Hi,every year my cucumbers look really good until i start cutting them off the vine.
After the first or second cutting the smaller cucumbers that are left start to turn yellow and shrivel up and die please can you help me?

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Frederick,
This is caused by poor pollination. If the pollination is incomplete, a cucumber will form, but may be odd shaped and small. This does not affect their taste though, so eat up! Here’s a link that discusses pollination of cucurbits. Let us know how it goes. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Eric

I have some vine cucumbers growing.they are about 6 ft tall and I have male and female flowers but no mature cucumbers as of yet should I be worried?

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Judy

I planted burp less cucumbers just got my first one. My problem is the skin is very very bitter. Did I pick it to soon? It was about 12-13″ long.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Judy,

Sorry about your bitter cucumbers! We recommend harvesting Burpless Hybrid cucumber at about 10 inches long, so harvesting them a little later could be the cause of the bitterness, though this variety was actually bred to be free of bitterness. I am not really sure why your cukes are coming out bitter. Have you had a cool, slow growing season? This article from the Washington State University Extension discusses bitterness in cucumbers and suggests that could be a factor. Make sure your plants are getting plenty of sun, even moisture, and nutrients. Also try harvesting them sooner at a smaller size and see if that helps. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
carol

I planted a garden with my Mom this year. Our tomato plants, peas, beans, salad blend, and radishes all seem to be doing alright, aside from some which got pretty burned up from the heat and sun. We have picked some of everything in the garden, with the exception of the tomatoes, cause they are in the flowering stage. But our cucumber vines will not flower. The vines are everywhere, lots of leaves, but absolutely no flowering is taking place. It’s very strange. My Mom seems to think that we either have all male or all female and that is the issue. What are your thoughts?

Thank you.

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Carol,
Were all of your plants planted at the same time? (Trying to see how old the cucumber vines are here). Also, do you know what variety of cucumber you have? Some varieties take longer than others. I personally know that I planted cucumbers too closely together one season and the vines took twice as long to build a healthy root base and “take off” before setting fruit. So, consider proper plant spacing and fertilizing. (If you overfertilize, the energy goes into leaves and vines and less blooms/fruits.) If you have more clues, we’ll help you and your mom get to the bottom of it. It may be that we just need a little time? ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Jennifer

My cucumber vine broke at the base of plant will it die??? Is there any thing I can do?

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Jennifer,
Are there any leaves remaining? The plant may attempt to recover if there are any leaves available for it to photosynthesize energy. If not, it sounds like a detrimental wound. If the vine was just slightly bent or not broken off entirely, it has a good chance of healing over. Has there been any change since you posted this question? ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Jamie

I am growing Burpless hybrid cucumbers for the second time and this year the cucumbers seem to look a little funny. They are very skinny on the top but a nice green color, but as they grow down they are more of a grey/green color and some have strange white stripes on them. They are also growing in strange shapes- almost like “j” and “c” I am not sure if I should cut them to help produce better cucs or leave them on as they are still growing.
Any thoughs?

Thanks for your help!

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Jamie,
That does sound funny. Have you tasted them to see if the flavor is consistent? The odd shapes are usually the result of poor pollination. Cucumbers have separate male and female flowers – only the female flowers produce fruit. If the flower is inadequately pollinated, the cucumber will grow, but will not grow into a nice straight fruit. You might try your hand at pollinating them yourself to see if you get “straighter” results. Many customers are reporting lack of bees in their areas, so this can help with production until they arrive. Let us know how it grows. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Patrick

I am growing crazy 8’s.I have been watering constantly.Suddenly,the cucumbers have taken off.Most are well over 6-8″ long, and are yellowy green.

Are they any good? It’s my first time,so I will keep a constant look out for them and not let themget this big.

The vines are starting to brown.Should I dig them up and replace with new ones, or should I cut them back?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Patrick,

I think you’re talking about the Straight Eight cucumber, which is best picked when about 8 inches long, as its name describes. When cucumbers are left to get longer, they become watery and less tasty. You can pick yours and use them for sure, though they may not taste as good as they would’ve at a smaller size. If you’ve harvested a lot from this plant, the vine may be browning because it’s nearing the end of its season. But if you’re just now getting fruit, the browning could be due to other reasons. Have you fertilized your plants at all this season? If not, you might want to try this first. Use a vegetable fertilizer such as our Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food. It could also be a case of overwatering. Try holding back a little on your watering and see if this helps. This article gives you a good indication of how much water vegetables need. If the plant continues to brown and seems like it has other problems, please send your question, preferably with a photo, to our Ask an Expert service. I hope this helps. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kelly

I planted two vine cucumbers and one bush variety. The fruit on the bush is small and the fruit on the vines are growing in circular or “U” shapes…and the older leaves are yellowing. Help!

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Kelly,
Poor pollination will result in cucumbers that are odd shaped. Cucumbers have separate male and female flowers – only the female flowers produce fruit. If the flower is inadequately pollinated, the cucumber will grow, but will not grow into a nice straight fruit.

Yellowing leaves is commonly caused by a nitrogen deficiency, which can be the result of overwatering. Most vegetables only need an inch to an inch and a half of water a week from either rainfall or irrigation. If in a container, water them when the top inch and a half or so of potting soil becomes dry to the touch. Water in the morning at the base of the plant, keeping the foliage dry, to prevent some disease problems. Using a liquid fertilizer specifically for vegetables would help, too.

Check the Bonnie Blog tomorrow for a new article on hand-pollinating cucumbers! ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
GreenThumb Verdad

We Have your Boston pickle cucumbers, and they are maturing at 3-4 inches long. Could that also be the heat, or is it normal. My beds are not the greatest, my wife bombarded my with fifty plants, and I only had a 3 foot by 3 foot bed ready. I had to turn grass to beds in a short time to avoid them dying in the holding containers. So I do understand the soil is also an issue.

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi,
Good job getting all of that planted in a hurry! We usually see Boston Pickling Cucumbers maturing between 3 to 7 inches, so you are in the range. They are the perfect size for putting in jars, though three inches is on the smallish side. If you leave them on the vine longer, do they not continue to lengthen? Let us know! ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
GreenThumb Verdad

They start to yellow at 3-4 inches, and taste bitter. Is still ok for pickling if yellow?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

The yellowing might just be a cultural issue, such as low nutrients or too much water. I’d say try one of the cucumbers before pickling just to see how it tastes fresh. If it’s crisp, they’re probably fine to pickle. Enjoy!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
GreenThumb Verdad

Yes they lengthen, I meant they are yellowing at 3-4 inches. I leave’em on and they just keep turning yellow, and are bitter.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

When the fruits get past their prime, they’ll start turning yellow like this. You should harvest them earlier and smaller to avoid that yellowing. Also, after a good harvest, the plant will start to give out and the fruit created won’t be best quality. If you’ve harvest a lot from this plant already, this could be the situation. Hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
GreenThumb Verdad

I have only pulled 3-4, so hopefully they’ll improve. I have also watered a little less. I have some lil guys starting, so we’ll see. thanks for the help.

Brenda

i have been planting the Bonnie burpless cucumbers for three years now. we love them. this year my cucumbers look like melons. the vine and flowers are what they should be, but the cucumber came out looking like a green baseballs. not sure what went wrong this year.

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Brenda,
Thanks for writing. As you suspect, that doesn’t sound like the Burpless Cucumbers. I’m not sure what has occurred with your vines. Do they taste the same? Sounds like the seed was crossed from the parent plant. The only “ball” shaped variety we currently carry is a lemon cucumber, but you would notice it ripening to yellow. Let us know. ~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Brenda

after further growing i have come to the conclusion someone switched the tag in the plant before i purchased it. i have cantalopes. can’t wait for them to get ripe.

Reply
Brett

I just pulled up part of my garden and am wanting to plant some cucumbers in that place. I know mid-July isn’t the ideal time to plant them, but are there any particular varieties that would have a good (or at least better) chance of growing? Possibly transplant a partially grown plant?

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Brett,
Not knowing your location, mid-July might be perfectly fine for you to plant a cucumber seedling if you remember to keep it watered in the high heat of summer. They mature quickly in 50 to 60 days, so you are not in danger of an upcoming frost. It should be fine. Check your local stores for cucumber transplants on shelves. In my experience, cucumbers roots on more mature plants don’t particularly like being moved. Happy growing!
~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
John Yevonishon

I have two questions about my Burpless Bush Hybrids:
1.) My cucumbers are starting to grow, but they feel really rough, almost the same as the leaves. Is that normal?
2.) When I planted them in May I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t trellis them or plant them on a hill. Will they be OK, or should I try to trellis them now?

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi John,
Congratulations on your first cucumbers! The variety that you are growing is great for small spaces and containers without fuss over trellising. Our description of Burpless Bush tells you a little more. The skin of new cucumbers (as it is forming) is sticky, sort of tacky and covered in tiny prickles; I think what you are describing is normal. Happy growing!
~Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
jerry

my kirbys are growing like crazy and i decided to pickle the larger ones. when i sliced them into quarters, i noticed a lot of seeds and the centers were mushy. pickled them anyway and crossed my fingers. what did i do wrong?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Jerry,

Larger cucumbers are actually not as good for pickling because they’re more watery and, as you say, mushier. If pickling is your goal, you need to harvest your cukes when small. We don’t sell the Kirby variety but I think it should be harvested when 3 to 4 inches long. Our Boston Pickling variety is similar and should be harvested when 3 to 7 inches long. Once they start, cucumbers grow fast! You can have a 2-inch cucumber one day, and two days later, the thing has grown to 10 inches. My best advice is to check your plants often, pick often, and pickle the small cukes quickly. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Rebecca e

I planted two cucumber plants and the are growing like crazy! My plot looks like Little Shop of Horrors b/c the cucumber vines are going everywhere! But I have no cukes. I p,antes these in the beginning of May. All I see are big and little flowers but no sign of any cucumbers behind the flowers. What do I need to do?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Rebecca,

This sounds like a pollination problem, which many gardeners are seeing right now. It’s just been so hot this summer! Be sure not to spray with insecticides in early morning hours when pollinating insects are working. Some gardeners choose to hand-pollinate from male to female blooms when weather conditions or absence of pollinating insects cause pollination problems. You can try using a paintbrush to transfer pollen from male to female blooms early in the morning. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Pearl

Hi so I planted some cucumbers about a month ago and I see some little cucumbers but one or two of them shrunk or got smaller and look like they are about to fall off. I am worried that they may have some disease. I water them regularly and they get ful sun. It is about 80 degrees too. Thanks!
-pearl

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Pearl,

Are they very small cucumbers that shrink and fall off? If so, that could indicate poor pollination. Read my recent blog post about pollination to understand this process better. One solution to poor pollination is pollinating by hand, which I also explain in the post. I hope this info helps. If it doesn’t, please send your question, preferably with a photo, to our Ask an Expert service. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Ida,

Look above in the “Harvest & Storage” tab for lots of great info on when and how to pick your cucumbers. Enjoy!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Marina Veiler

Hi, I just started gardening this year and I didn’t plan on cucumbers. We were in Home Depot yesterday and my husband asked me if we could get a cucumber for our garden. I bought a Boston Pickling (it looked pretty young – upright and about 1 foot tall). I planted it in my garden and it will get about 4-4,5 hours of hot afternoon sun daily.
My concern is – isn’t it too late for it to expect a crop this summer? Are these cucumbers growing fast?
We live near Chicago, IL, in zone 5. Thank you for advice!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Marina,

Depending on the variety, cucumber plants mature in about 50 to 60 days from planting, so you should have time to harvest a crop before frost, which kills the plants. Keep the plants watered well and they should grow fine. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Dale

Thanks for the help! I live in Phoenix where it hasn’t rained in 3 months. I keep my garden moist and cucumbers fertilized. Was concerned on my cucumbers because my zuccuni has done so well yet no cumbers. Now I see 3 on a vine so I guess they will be forthcoming. They are spread throughout my garden with yellow flowers. I have fertilzied with dru Miracle grow pellets. The zucchin are very good tasting! Now I hope the cukes come out in full force. Thanks for the help!

Reply
Dena

Hello….I have just started gardening this year and was wondering if you can add a trellis to your cucumber plant that has already grown significantly? it is very long and viney along the ground. Will the cucumber plant “grab” the trellis or is it too late? Thank you!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Dena,

At this point, it would probably be best to leave your plant on the ground, but if you really need it to grow up, you can try slipping it onto a trellis, being very careful not to break the vine. It should grab on. You might try laying it over a cucumber tent trellis, which will save a little space in the garden. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
shannon

This is my first attempt at gardening and it’s going great so far! My green, red, and banana peppers as well as my tomato plants all have fruits or flowers. My burplee cucumber has tons of flowers (they’re all in pots because I’m in a wheelchair and can’t tend to an in-ground garden) but I think it need a bigger pot (or pots?) and a trellis. Can I re-pot it now or should I wait?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Shannon,

Congrats on your success! We recommend a 24-inch pot for cucumbers, so if your container is a lot smaller than this, you’d do well to go up a size or two. You can carefully transplant the cucumber to a new, larger container filled with quality potting mix. Water well. You can insert a tomato cage in the pot and carefully coax the plant onto it, or stand a flat trellis behind the pot and do the same. Notice how many times I said “carefully”…you’ll need to be gentle with the plant to make sure you don’t break the vine. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Shaina

Hi there!
I love all of your Bonnie plants! They are always great.
My question is, what do I do with my cucumbers after they have vined up the 6ft trellis? Should I trim the vines or try and send them back down?
Thanks!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Shaina,

Thanks for the compliments on our plants! We don’t recommend pruning cucumbers because this can open the plant up to pest and disease problems. My best advice is to just let the plant do its thing. If you need to coax it back on the trellis, you can, being careful not to break the vine. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Cindy

Hi, I planted cucumbers in a large pot and have them climbing a tomato cage. They are in full sun. I do not know which species of vine cucs that I purchased. They seem to be growing well and flowering. The leaves are a pale green. I have many baby cucumbers. However once the get to be about an inch long, they yellow, then brown, finally shrivel and rot off. It has been hot and dry this summer, but, I have tried to keep them watered. Am I keeping them too watered or letting the soil get too dry. What do you think? Thank you.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Cindy,

This sounds like a pollination problem. Cucumbers have separate male and female blooms on the same plant. For proper fruit set, the pollen must be transferred from the male to the female blooms. This is usually done by pollinating insects, primarily honeybees. Cucumber male flowers appear first, followed later by the fruit-producing female flowers. If pollen transfer does not take place, fruit will not set. If the pollination is incomplete, a cucumber will form, but may be odd shaped, small, and may drop. Caution must be taken NOT to spray with insecticides in early morning hours when pollinating insects are working. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
James

my straight eight cucumber are doing fine but the burpleas bush is be comeing to be a full green cucumber bush with NO cucumber on it I panted them at the same time. what do i need to do .

Reply
Greg Arlt

I have Boston Picking cucumbers planted in a pot. I have 4 plants in one 12inch diameter pot. They are spread out well but I have a problem watering them enough. Everyday they need water and a good bit of it. The highs here have been 95 and lows 77 with little to no rain what so ever in the past few weeks. I want to be sure Im not over watering the plants I pour the water from a jug to make sure Im not wetting the vegetation but everyday they look like they are wilting to death and hour after watering they look wonderful. I have not cultivated anything yet but I have at least 7 small cucumbers on the vine. Please any advice on what I am doing wrong or right will be greatly appreciated.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Greg,

It sounds like you are watering well, being careful not to wet the plant leaves, but the problem is that you have too many plants in too small of a pot. As well as you care for them, your plants can’t get enough water or nutrients in the small pot. In our What Size Pot? article, we recommend growing cucumbers in a pot 24 inches wide and almost equally as deep. Your best bet would be to try and transplant your cucumber plants into larger pots filled with quality potting mix. If you’ll look above at my conversation with Shannon, you’ll see some advice on how to transplant the cukes into larger pots. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Josh

My cucumbers are growing long and skinny. Could you tell me why thats happening? I have the vines growing up a tomatoe cage.

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Josh,
What variety of cucumber are you growing? The fruits vary in size and length so we need to consider what’s “normal” for the variety you have. If you look at this link on the varieties we offer, you’ll see that Japanese cucumbers look much different than Straight 8. If you still find that your fruits aren’t normal in appearance, consider the amount of watering. Cucumbers need at least an inch of water per week, as the fruit is mostly water. Let us know how it grows! Sign up for our newsletter to receive informative advice and how-to’s every few weeks, too.
Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Barbara Greer

My grandson (age 7) planted cucumber seeds that were given to him in Sunday school. They are growing up a tomato cage in a large pot. Each has several blooms and the leaves appear healthy. His question is this…how long does it take for the flower to mature into a cucumber?

Reply
Mary Beth

Hi Barbara,
Sounds like a very fun summer experiment. And one you can eat! Tell your gardening grandson that most varieties take 50-60 days from seed to produce a fruit. I would estimate that a pollinated flower will become a recognizable cucumber in a few days. Look for the female flowers–the ones with tiny cucumber forms behind the bloom–to bear fruit. The male flowers will appear first and do not form cucumbers. Keep us posted!
Mary Beth, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Barbara Greer

t
Thanks so very much for your quick reply. My grandson is soooo excited. The plants are by the pool so we are keeping a close eye on them. Will check on the female flowers ASAP. Have a safe and wonderful 44TH.

Reply
Mike

My straight 8 and burpless cucumbers are about 3 weeks old and the leaves are getting white curvy lines on them? Any ideas?

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Mike,

That sounds like leaf miners. Leaf miner adults are small flies that deposit their eggs into the leaves. The immature insects feed inbetween the leaves making the etched lines you see. Insecticidal control is usually not needed for leaf miners (and they are protected by the upper and lower portions of the leaves so chemical control is difficult). They usually do not do enough damage to warrant alarm. If a few leaves are infested, pick these off and remove them to disrupt the life cycle. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
PHIL

I planted my cucumber plants (from seeds) about a month ago. They are growing well, up a trellis, but I still haven’t gotten any yellow flowers on them. Is it to soon or am I doing something wrong. I have hydroponic gardening, so they are in containers with a drip system to water. Any advice??

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Phil,

I don’t know a lot about hydroponic gardening, but you might try reading this article on growing vegetables without soil from The University of Florida Extension Service. Are you adding a lot of fertilizer through your system? If so, the plant could be putting all its energy into producing green, leafy growth instead of flowering. Also, are you growing in a closed environment such as a greenhouse? Remember that you’ll need to expose the plants (once they have flowers) to pollinators in order to get fruit. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
faye williams

i have bonnie burpless cukes that i have in a small garden, but every year they get a whiteish color to the leaves and finally die without producing much cukes. what is wrong

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Faye,

This sounds like powdery mildew, which is common on cucumbers. Check to see if the white rubs off on your finger, as powdery mildew resembles baby powder on the leaves. Plants can grow well even with this problem if not affected too badly. You can remove some leaves if too many aren’t affected. If it becomes a larger problem, there are fungicides found in local home garden centers that are labeled for powdery mildew. If you use them, follow all label directions. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
faye williams

i checked the cucumber plants to see if it looked like powder. it does not. it does not rub off. i forgot they to mention they are hybrid burpless cukes with bonnie brand and were expensive. could this be a problem and i would like to know what kind of soil do they require.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Faye,

If you could send your question, preferably along with a photo of the problem, to our Ask an Expert service, we can give you the best help possible. For the soil question, read above in the Soil, Planting, and Care tab for specifics about pH and soil amending for growing cucumbers. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Peggy Rice

Some of my cucumbers have stopped growing long and get a little small point on the end, but they keep getting bigger around. They get to about 3 inches and stop. I growing cucumbers to make pickles and I need them long enough to fit in a quart jar, approx 6 inches. I’m getting more small ones than regular size ones. I planted Sumter seeds. Is there anything I can do to help them grow to regular size.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Peggy,

We don’t sell Sumter cucumber, but that variety only grows up to 5 to 6 inches long under optimum conditions, so your cucumbers might not get any longer. Next time, you could try our Boston Pickling variety, which is known to be good for pickles and can be harvested at anywhere from 3 to 7 inches long. Keep an eye out and make sure you harvest your cukes before they turn yellow. The point on the end is probably a remnant of the bloom. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. A liquid fertilizer specifically for vegetables, such as our Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, applied at the rate and frequency recommended on the label should help too. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Millie Underwood

My cucumbers are doing really well but they are running out of room on the ground. Can I still put up some kind of support for them to grow on? Like maybe chicken wire between the rows.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Millie,

Yes, if you can install the support without damaging the plants, go for it. Just be careful not to break your cucumber vines by forcing them up the trellis. Cucumbers can really take over, but they’re so worth it! You might be interested in this cucumber tent trellis idea for next time. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Rachael

i am a newbie at gardening i recently purchased burpless hybrid cucumbers on June 22, is that too late to start growing them? and how big of a trellis should i buy them?
thanks…

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Rachael,

It’s not too late to start growing your Burpless Hybrid cucumbers, especially since you are in a more northern region. Cucumbers will grow along the ground, but they’ll take up less space and stay cleaner and easier to pick if you use a trellis. You can train them on a tomato cage, but one of our favorite trellising techniques is an A-frame, or tent-shaped, trellis. Learn to make a cucumber tent trellis. Be sure to read up on best practices in our Gardening Basics section, sign up for our newsletter, and “Like” us on Facebook for more useful and timely information throughout the season. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Alfred

Why can’t I plant my cucumber plant near tomato plants? I think i may have ruined my cucumbers.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Alfred,

Where did you hear that you couldn’t plant cucumbers and tomatoes together? I hope not on our site. You can certainly plant them near one another! Just be sure to give the plants proper spacing, which you can find on the plant stick tags (in the pots) or on the variety description page on our site. Both plants benefit from being supported by a cage or trellis. If all you were worried about is your cukes hanging out with your tomatoes, then rest assured they’ll be fine. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Mike

Hello,

We’re new to gardening. We have a container garden on the deck in full sun. We planted both pickling cucumbers and slicing cucumbers purchased at about 3-4″ in growth. I never realized that there were both bush and vine varieties. I’ve been pruning them as if vine. I have noticed that growth has been very slow. In over a month the slicing cukes have grown only about 5″ taller. There was a scare for about a week with those insects that inject sticky goo that clogs up the stem and kills it. We lost a couple of plants, but the survivors look great now. I’m just wondering if I should have treated them as bush variety, and if so, have I done too much damage by pruning them to expect decent fruit?

Thanks for your help.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Mike,

We don’t ever recommend pruning cucumber plants (or any plants in the cucurbit family, including squash and melons). Pruning creates an open wound for disease and pests to enter the plant. If the plant is still fairly healthy and not having any other problems, it should recover. Also, even though some cucumber plants are bush varieties, they are still vines, just shorter ones. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Deborah

How soon after planting Boston Pickeling cucumber seedlings should I begin to see flowers? I have lots of healthy looking vines and leaves, but haven’t seen any flowers starting. I got them in the ground on 6/1. Is it still too soon? My tomatoes and green peppers are flowering and fruiting already.

Thanks!

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Deborah,

Different plants mature at different rates. You may just need to give your cucumber a little more time to flower. Make sure it’s getting full sun. Also, don’t overfertilize, which can cause more leafy growth at the expense of flowers. Learn more about feeding your plants in our Fertilizing section. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kayla

Hi, I planted about 4 boston pickling cucumbers about 2 weeks ago. Each about 6-8 inches apart in vegetable bed. my dilema is that 3 died. the leaves turned yellow, and then the stems shriveled up and turned white. We did have an abundance of rain these past few weeks. Also i live in MA, so the temperature varies, could too much water or the temp have killed them?
Also the lonely cucumber plant isnt doing so well, anything to help it?

Thanks, Kayla M.

Reply
Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Kayla,

I sent your question to our Ask an Expert service, and our expert says this sounds like it might be southern blight. This link from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has some good photos that can be used to see if this might be the disease affecting the cucumbers. Here’s another link from the University of Wisconsin Extension Service that gives better control measures for the home gardener than the link above. If these don’t give you the info you need, or if you have any other problems in your garden, try our Ask an Expert service for quick answers. I hope this information helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
krista

i’m a beginner gardner.. i’m growing cherry punch tomatoes out of pot and they are perfect. also early girls tomatos, heirloom, and betterboy tomatoes all in ground.some of the early girls have small holes in a few leaves but are growing amazing. are the holes bad? also i’m growing strawberries and cucmbers (burpless bush hyprid) and it’s growing like crazy.i didn’t know not to mist cucmbers or water so little,but the leaves are looking great.any advice? my strawberries are growing a few leaves have light redish-brown on ends(the white flowers are still there and strawberries growing. what is that? my cucmber has got so big its starting to cover my strawberries a little..i’m totally new at this.. thanks, krista

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Krista,

We love hearing from new gardeners, and it sounds like your garden is growing great! The holes in the tomato leaves sound normal. Just keep a watch on them. The coloration on the strawberry leaves also sounds normal. Leaves can color up in the sun a bit. I think you could benefit from reading our article “Are You New to Vegetable Gardening? Read This First.” One of the best pieces of advice, I think, is to try to relax and use this first experience as a time of discovery. No garden is perfect. Also, you might try keeping a garden diary of this first experience so you can remember what worked or didn’t work this year and use that experience for next year’s garden!

Keep coming back to our website for information and advice. If you use a smartphone, you can access our mobile website at m.bonnieplants.com, which is great for when you need help right there in the garden! Also, you can join our community of gardeners on the Bonnie Plants Facebook page. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
krista

Thanks Kelly. My early girl tomatoes have been planted well over 50 days. Some of the tomatoes are green and 5oz. or so and continuely grow on a daily basis. The directions said to pick them around 50 days, but I’m not sure they are ready. Should I go ahead and pick them? I mistakenly planted them so close together and it is like a big bush. There are five or six plants in a small area and the cages are braking. What should I get to keep the plants standing straight up because if I remove the broken cages it will likely break the plants. The plants are already each 5ft tall. What do you suggest I do to keep them from falling over and growing together? There are about 20 tomatoes or so and are in good condition they just haven’t started to turn and I’m kind of worried being a beginner and all. Thank you so much Kelly, you rock.

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Kelly Smith Trimble

Hi Krista, Thanks for saying I rock! That just made my morning. Yes, the “days to maturity” numbers are an average, so you should just keep waiting until your tomatoes ripen to red, then pick them. The average for Early Girl is 50 days but it can take longer, as you’re seeing. You’re right that you can’t remove the cages now, because you’ll surely break your plants in the process. The plants growing together isn’t such a big deal, but you do need to support the upper branches. My suggestion is to get some tall stakes, either wooden or plastic and taller than your plants, so 6 feet or more. You can find inexpensive stakes like this at your local garden center. Insert the stakes around your tomato plants, as many as are needed to support the plants, and gently tie the branches to the stakes using twine. (I’d guess you’ll need 5 or 6, but maybe more.) Your tomato patch might start looking a little crazy but it’s all in the name of juicy, ripe tomatoes, right!? Let me know how this works for you!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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leroy

I have healthy cumcumber plants full of blossoms, then all of sudden the blossoms are gone, like some one pinched them off, I see no bugs, etc. What is happening, Birds, squerrls, or invisible bugs?

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Kelly Smith

Hi Leroy,

It could be that these were your plant’s male blooms. Male blooms usually appear first and then drop off after a day or so. A week or two later, female flowers will appear and have a small cucumber-shaped swelling at the base that will become a cucumber. Watch and see if this is the case, and also read the Troubleshooting tab in the article above for more information. Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Deborah Springer

My cucumber plants have started getting yellow spots on their leaves. Is my soil lacking something?

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Kelly Smith

Hi Deborah,

This could be a variety of things. Sometimes, yellowing leaves indicates overwatering. Your plants need only 1-2 inches of water per week. (Read our article How Much Water Do Vegetables Need? to learn more.) If the problem continues, use our Ask an Expert service to get answers.

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Jeff

I’m about to purchase cucumber. Can I plant along the sunnyside of a stockade fence so the vines grow up the fence and still get plentiful cucumbers, Thanks

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Kelly Smith

Hi Jeff,

Yes, you can plant cucumber to climb a fence. Just make sure the area gets plenty of airflow to prevent any problems with diseases.

Happy growing!
Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Dee Saint

Hi, this year is our first to plant cucumbers. My husband built 3 raised gardens and on April 27th we planted Bonnie Plants Boston pickling and Burpless hybrid cucumbers. Today I picked my first Boston pickling cucumber (4 in in length), had it in a salad and it tasted wonderful.
Growth is good so far, only problem we’re having is vines growing everywhere. Hindsight is 20/20, we should have trellised the cucumbers, this will be next year’s goal. Do I need to be concerned about overcrowding, cucumbers growing to maximum size, etc. with lying on the beds and spilling over onto the ground (approx. 12 inches to ground from beds)? We have some yellowing of the leaves, but have been diligent about watering later in the evening and maintaining proper soil moisture. We currently have approximately fifteen or more cucumbers and more to come. Need I be worried or just go with it since I can’t change things in regards to trellising now?

Thank you!

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Dee,

Cucumbers definitely take up a lot of space, but it sounds like everything is growing well. The yellowing leaves could be due to overwatering, but it may just be a little natural yellowing as the plant matures. I think you should just go with it and let them spill over! Happy growing (and harvesting)!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Ali

Hi, I have planted cucumbers and zucchinis in my raised garden and I noticed that the stems are turning brown and hardening off, kind of shriveling? My leaves are huge and amazing and are flowering. I have been watering them when necessary and I transplanted them a few weeks ago. Anyone know why this might be happening and if it will kill my vegetables? thanks!

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Kelly Smith

Hi Ali,

Do you see a sawdust-like material along the stems of the zucchini? If so, you might have squash vine borers. Read our article about squash vine borers for more info. On the cucumbers, be sure you’re not overwatering. Most plants need only about 1-2 inches of water per week, and lots of areas around the country have seen loads of rain recently.

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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alan frazier

this is our first year growing cucumbers,so they are ready to pick now. but we are finding some mature yellow cucumber. is this normal,the plants other wise are doing great .and a dumb question for a sat. morning when do you know when fully mature.thanks,alan

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Kelly Smith

Hi Alan,

When you say mature yellow cucumbers, are they oversized? You can tell what size the ripe fruits should be by checking the description of your particular variety, which you can find in the list of Bonnie cucumbers. For example, the mature size of Burpless Bush Hybrid cucumber is 6 inches, so you should harvest fruits when they are about 6 inches long. The fruit will continue to grow after it reaches mature size, though, and as the fruits grow larger, they can get yellow, watery, and bitter. Does this sound like the problem you have: oversized, over-ripe fruit? If so, check on your plant daily and pick the cukes before they get too large.

Happy growing!
Kelly, Bonnie Plants

P.S. In gardening, there are no dumb questions…

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Brittany Baxter

Hi! I recently planted BUSH CROP (thats all it says on the tag)cucumbers? They were starting to vine out and really taking over the garden so we put them on a trellis. Do you think they will be ok? They have little yelllow flower-like buds on them. Also, how much should I be watering them?

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Brittany,

Were these Bonnie Plants cucumber plants labeled Bush Crop? If so, they are probably Burpless Bush Hybrid cucumber plants. Sounds like they will be okay on the trellis. Cucumbers need about 1 inch of water per week, which you can measure using a rain gauge. Watering with a soaker hose is a good idea to help keep the leaves dry and disease-free.

Happy growing!
Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Hilda Byrd

I planted bush cucumbers and put them next to a utility building ,but they got plenty of sun. They did start to run and we put a line up for them to run on. After an abundance of blooms and little cucumbers , the vines started dying and even ones that were health , the little cucumbers would turn yellow and fall of . I found some worms on some of them . I did not spray them . Finally I pulled them up and trashed them. Thanks for any help

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Kelly Smith

Hi Hilda,

You can send your question to our Ask an Expert service for a better diagnosis, though this does sound like a disease and/or pest problem. One way to prevent such problems is by making sure your vining plants, such as these, have good airflow in addition to good sun. Sometimes, cucumber plants grown against a building don’t get much airflow, which creates good conditions for some diseases. Can you move the plants to a more open area next time?

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Teresa Hutson

Help! I have cucumber plants with blooms everywhere and no cucumbers. Is my soil missing something. Under/over watering. No yellow leaves, good growth.

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Kelly Smith

Hi Teresa,

It sounds like your cucumber plants are growing well. How long have the plants been growing? Maybe give the plants a little more time. It could be a problem with pollination due to wet or hot weather that will change when the weather changes.

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Connie

I bought cucmber and put them in containers they were growing good. But now the roots are coming out the top is that a bad sign? I keep it watered and give it food every week. I am new at container gardening.

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Kelly Smith

Hi Connie,

Is the plant growing and pulling the roots up out of the soil? You might add a layer of organic mulch if you haven’t already. Mulching around your plants in pots is a good idea to keep plants secure and to help keep pots watered. Also, a cucumber growing in a pot (or anywhere else) likes having a trellis to climb. Perhaps your plant is pulling the roots out because it’s growing down and out of the pot? Insert a trellis in the pot (if the pot is large enough, 18 to 24 inches in diameter) or behind it for the cucumber to climb. I hope this helps!

Happy growing!
Kelly, Bonnie Plants

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Maria

I just bought the Japanese Cucumber from the store and, while transferring it into the ground, somehow both stalks broke off. This is my first time attempt at cucumbers (or planting ANYTHING) for that matter. Did I just kill it? (I apologize for such a newbie question)… :(

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Kelly Smith

Hi Maria,

Yes, those little cucumber plants can be pretty delicate. So you broke off all the leaves? It sounds like they may be goners. I am so sorry! I hope you will try again!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

P.S. Newbie questions are the best! Keep asking.

Reply
Carol

I am thinking of using tomatoe cages for my bush cucumbers. Would this work? If so where would it be best to plant the cucumbers? In the middle or maybe outside?
How much room do they need, spacing?
Thanks

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Carol,

Yes, you can use a tomato cage. See the photo above in our Soil, Planting, and Care section, which shows just that thing! It will probably be easier to plant the cucumbers outside the trellis than inside, though I think you’d be fine if you planted them inside, too. Space the plants about 6 inches apart. Another idea for training cucumbers is to use a steel panel. You can see how to make it in our article “Make a Cucumber Tent Trellis.” Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Martine

Hi! I’m about to transplant my cucumber seedling into the ground. I see from the picture above that the seedling is planted outside the trellis. I planted mine inside the trellis last year. Does it matter? Is there a difference to the growth or yield?

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Martine,

It shouldn’t make a difference, unless the plant will get more sunlight outside the trellis. You don’t want the trellis to shade the plant. One of our favorite trellises for cucumbers is made from a steel panel. You can see how to make it in our article “Make a Cucumber Tent Trellis.” Happy growing!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Nichole

HI! I planted a bush variety of Cucumber plant this year in a container and it has been growing beautifully. I even had my first harvest last week. But now I see a LOT of yellowing leaves, yellowing immature cukes and oddly shaped cukes. What can be causing this?

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi Nichole,

Congrats on an early cucumber harvest! Please send your question about this problem to our Ask an Expert service, which gives you access to knowledge from Cooperative Extension experts across the country. If you can, send in a picture, too. I hope this helps!

Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Kelly Smith

Hi John,

Yes, you grow lemon cucumbers that same as other cucumbers. Lemon cucumber plants do tend to grow better in cooler climates than other cucumbers, though they still love warm weather. Be sure to give lemon cucumbers a trellis to climb, because this cucumber vine is especially long and prolific.

Happy growing!
Kelly, Bonnie Plants

Reply
Tamara

I am growing a lemon cucumber right now, just north of Houston, TX, and the vine is ENORMOUS! It was slow to start, then WHAM – now I have lemon cucumbers everywhere…. spreading all over. :) Lots and lots and lots of cucumber salads all summer from 1 plant.

Reply

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