Miniature White Cucumbers are an old favorite among specialist growers and home gardeners. These plants are easy to grow, and very rewarding, supplying the grower with an abundance of versatile mini cucumbers.
- Botanical name: Cucumis sativus ‘Miniature White’, Mini White Cucumber, Miniature White Cucumber
- Plant family: Cucurbitaceae
- USDA hardiness zone: 4 – 12
- Mature height: 3 feet
- Mature spread: 3 feet
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What is a Miniature White Cucumber?
The Miniature White Cucumber is a plant that produces fruits of the same name. While cucumber plants are native to Asia, this variety is believed to have been created from more common white cucumber varieties.
The Miniature White Cucumber plant produces mini cucumbers which have green skin when young, and as the cucumber matures it will develop a white skin, which gradually becomes yellow. The cucumbers taste best when they are harvested early, when their skin is white, hence the fact that they are known as a type of white cucumber. The inner flesh of the cucumber is also white and has a mild, crisp, refreshing flavor.
The Miniature White Cucumber not only produces small cucumbers, but the plant itself is also small. It grows no taller than 3 feet, making it ideal for growing in compact spaces. This plant takes the shape of a vine, so if you train it to grow vertically on a stake in a pot, you could grow it on a balcony, a patio, a terrace, or in a small garden or vegetable plot.
This variety of cucumber plants is easy to care for, and it is exceptionally rewarding because it produces a generous bounty of miniature white cucumbers continuously from summer until the end of the season. This is not a variety that is commercially grown, instead, it is favored by home growers, or found in farmers’ markets.
How to Care for your Miniature White Cucumber
Miniature White Cucumber plants are fairly low maintenance. They grow quickly and easily to produce cute mini cucumbers, making them a popular variety among home growers. They are a fun plant to grow with children since they are easy to care for and the fruits are mild and palatable.
Miniature White Cucumbers should be grown from seed. They are annual plants, so they only last for one season before dying back to the ground. You can plant cucumber seeds outside as soon as the final frost has passed, or you can start them indoors or in a heated greenhouse as early as March to get a head start on the season.
Plant the Miniature White Cucumber seed on its side at a depth of around ½ of an inch or less in the soil. Each seed should be planted in its own 3-inch pot, or use a wider pot and space the seeds 3 inches apart.
In order for the seeds to germinate, the soil temperature will need to be higher than 50 °F, ideally at around 70 °F. Germination typically occurs in 7 to 10 days, and once seedlings are several inches tall they can be transplanted to their permanent home in a larger pot or directly in the ground soil.
Cucumber plants need plenty of light to produce an abundance of blooms which translates to an abundant harvest of cucumbers. Between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight is ideal, so position these plants in a full sun position where they won’t be in the shade of taller plants or structures.
Miniature White Cucumbers should be planted in soil that drains well, yet also has some moisture retention qualities. This is because cucumber plants are thirsty, so the soil needs to be well drained in order to avoid root rot, yet it shouldn’t drain too quickly because this would prevent the cucumber plants’ roots from getting the moisture they require.
A soil that is made up of approximately 20% organic material will work well, as this will have some good moisture retention while also being well draining. Raising the bed for the cucumber plants will help to improve drainage while applying mulch over the top of the soil will help to reduce moisture evaporation. The pH of the soil should be between 6 and 6.5.
Like other cucumber plants, the Miniature White Cucumber variety needs plenty of water to survive and produce a healthy harvest of fruits. Water these plants with the aim of keeping the soil moist but not wet.
In hot climates, this may mean watering the plants daily, though be sure not to make the soil soggy as this can result in disease or root rot. Mulch the soil to help reduce moisture evaporation, and this will also help to keep the fruits clean and dry. In order to prevent disease, water the plant at the soil level and avoid getting the foliage wet.
Cucumber plants are annuals that can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 12. They are not cold hardy, so they should be planted outside after the final frost has passed, and they will die back in fall as the temperatures get colder again.
In order to germinate, the soil in which the Miniature White Cucumber seeds are grown needs to be a minimum of 50°F, but between 65 and 75°F would be best. Once seedlings have developed, cucumber plants perform best in temperatures of between 75 and 85°F.
Fertilizing the Miniature White Cucumber plant will help its growth, though be careful not to over-fertilize since this will be detrimental to the plant’s fruiting ability.
A balanced fertilizer is recommended to be applied every two to four weeks from late spring to the end of summer. Avoid a fertilizer high in nitrogen because this will encourage additional foliage growth and reduce flower and fruit production. Fertilize the soil several inches away from the cucumber plant stems to avoid fertilizer burn.
Miniature White Cucumbers can be harvested as early as June, and the plant will continue to produce fruits until around September or October, depending on the climate and the age of the plant. When the cucumbers measure between 3 and 4 inches long, and their skin is a white or ivory color, then they are ready to be picked.
Don’t be tempted to leave the cucumbers on the plant to grow them bigger, because if they are allowed to mature further then they will take on a bitter taste. Once these cucumber skins have turned yellow, it is usually an indication that they are no longer good for eating.
Uses for Miniature White Cucumbers
The fruits of the Miniature White Cucumber plants are very versatile, since they are mild flavored and crisp, making them ideal for eating fresh, yet their size makes them perfect for pickling in jars. You can snack on these cucumbers straight from the vine, or slice them up and toss them in a salad.
The inner flesh of these fruits is crisp and juicy, working well as crudités served with dip. They could also be used to add flavor and color to beverages such as fruit punch or used to make salsa. You could also pickle these cucumbers and then add them to burgers and sandwiches, or serve them alongside cooked meats.