Cucumber vines trailing through the garden bed are a common sight in vegetable gardens. Most gardeners believe that cucumbers take plenty of outdoor space to thrive. This is not entirely true since you can find bushy varieties suited to container growing and grow them indoors as a houseplant!
So if you’re planning an indoor kitchen garden, count cucumbers in because the chances of success are high here, especially if you have a sunny window. Not only does it add freshness and color to your indoor landscape, but you can also expect some fresh supplies of cucumbers to go into your salads, sandwiches, and pickles.
Here, we’ve put together all the useful information you’ll need on how to grow cucumbers indoors. Please give it a read before starting your indoor kitchen garden.
What Kind Of Plant Cucumber Is?
Sandwiches, salads, and burgers aren’t complete without a few fresh cucumber slices. These crunchy, juicy, nutritious vegetables, botanically fruits, taste the best when you harvest them fresh from your home garden!
These easy-care plants can grow well outdoors and indoors and come in lots of different varieties. Depending on whether you want to consume them fresh or pickle them, there are loads of options to choose from.
How To Cook With Cucumbers?
Cucumbers are rich in nutrients, low on calories, and since they’re 95% water, they are an excellent way to keep you hydrated. You can eat and serve these tasty vegetables in many ways. Cucumber juices and smoothies are a popular addition to the diets of people trying to lose weight. You can also add them to soups, dips, dressings or cut them into slices to serve them as a side to the main course.
Besides all the health benefits, the compact bushes with large dark green leaves create a stunning display of their own. If you want a cucumber bush as a houseplant, many types will do well in a pot.
How To Grow Your Cucumber Indoors?
As long as they get water and warmth, cucumbers won’t ask for much else. Though they don’t need much attention, there are some basics you should know, especially if you’re new to indoor gardening. Here’s how to grow cucumber indoors in a pot:
The first thing you need to do is to buy the right cucumber seeds. Pick dwarf varieties that grow into a bush rather than a vine and won’t take a lot of space. Also, remember to choose types that set to fruit without pollination.
How Much Space Does Cucumber Need To Grow?
Even for the compact varieties, you need a large pot to grow cucumbers since they develop an extensive root system. A 5-gallon (about 20 liters) pot can accommodate 2 to 3 dwarf cucumber plants. Make sure the container has drainage holes before adding small stones or clay shards to the base. Next, add a 1:1 mixture of potting soil and compost to the pot.
How To Plant Those Cucumber Seeds?
Plant 5 to 6 seeds half-inch (about 1,3 cm) deep, spacing them a little bit apart, and water the soil. Insert supports into the pot at planting time so you won’t have to disturb the roots later.
Supports are also helpful for bush varieties since it trains the vine to spread vertically rather than horizontally and saves space. Just push a small stake or trellis next to the plants and tie them to it as they grow.
Place the pot at a warm, sunny spot and check it daily for moisture. Seedlings will sprout in about 3 to 10 days, and you can thin them once they’re about 3 inches (about 7,5 cm) tall.
Rotate the pot every few days or so, so that the young plants receive even sunlight to thrive and maintain even moisture.
Usually, it takes about 50 to 70 days for cucumbers to reach maturity from seed to harvest. Once the cucumbers are the right size, cut them off the plant with sharp scissors or shears, leaving an inch (about 2,5 cm) of stem attached to the fruit.
What Do Cucumbers Need To Survive?
So now you know the basics for growing an indoor cucumber plant. But, unless it gets the optimal conditions to thrive, it won’t produce a good harvest. Here are some specifics you’ll need to keep in mind when your growing cucumbers indoors:
What Are The Best Indoor Conditions For Growing Cucumbers?
Cucumber likes it warm and sunny. In cooler climates, a spot next to a south-facing window is ideal for the plants. But, in warmer weather, if the temperatures rise above 90°F (about 32°C), raise the height above ground level by placing bricks to prevent the containers from overheating, especially if you’re growing them on a patio.
Lastly, If there’s not enough natural light coming in, you’ll need to supplement it with grow lights. As simple as that!
How Much Water Does Cucumber Need To Grow?
Cucumbers need plenty of water and consistently moist soil to produce thick, juicy cucumbers. It’s helpful to give the plant even more water once they begin to fruit. If the soil lacks water, cucumbers can turn too bitter to eat. It’s a good idea to push a finger into the potting soil to check the moisture every few days. If the top 2 inches (about 5 cm) are dry, it’s time to water the soil.
Should You Fertilize?
Fertilizer every two to three weeks with low nitrogen food so that the plants have plenty of nutrients to produce fruits.
What Cucumber Types Are Good For Indoor Growing?
There are many types of cucumbers to grow. Besides the choice among slicing and pickling cucumbers, you need to look for cultivars suited to indoor growing. Bush varieties that produce compact plants are the preferred choices. Other than that, go for hybrids that can set fruit without the need for bees and wind to pollinate them. Here are some suitable options:
1. Cornichon De Paris
It’s a French heirloom cucumber, perfect for pickling. It produces small, dark green cucumbers about 60 days after planting the seeds.
2. Mini Munch
Ready in about 55 days, ‘Mini Munch’ produces crispy, juicy cucumbers, perfect for snacking. The plant grows perfectly in a container, and you can harvest the fruits once they grow to about 3″ (about 7,5 cm) long.
Perfect for indoor growing, ‘socrate’ cucumbers set fruit without pollinators and produce dark green 7 inches (about 18 cm) long fruits. It’s resistant to most diseases and matures in about 52 days.
It can grow well both indoors and outdoors and needs cool conditions to set fruit. Perfect for northern gardeners, the plant matures quickly in about 48 days, producing 7 to 8 inch (about 18 to 20 cm) long fruits.
Another indoor variety, Emilie, gives almost all-female flowers for a bumper harvest in little space. It’s easy to train and maintain and is resistant to diseases.
What Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Growing Cucumbers Indoors?
Cucumbers are easy to grow, whether indoors or outdoors. There aren’t many problems that you’ll encounter through the growing season. Even so, there are some things you should avoid when your growing cucumbers indoors.
- Even though cucumbers appreciate plenty of water, avoid soggy soil. Waterlogging can cause root rot.
- Avoid using garden soil in the pots. It forms clumps around the roots, preventing aeration and growth. It also makes plants susceptible to diseases. Make sure you use quality potting soil to grow potted cucumbers.
- Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers once the plant approaches maturity. Nitrogen feed will promote foliage and diminish the growth of fruits.
- Don’t leave the fruits too long on the plants. Pick them while they’re still tender to promote the development of new fruits.
- Don’t hand-pollinate the flowers of indoor cucumbers. If the male flower pollinates the female one, the cucumber will taste bitter. You can remove the male flowers to make sure there’s no chance of pollination.
How To Grow Cucumbers Indoors? – In A Sealed Package
|Temp Required||70 To 80°F (About 21 To 27°C)|
|Sowing Time||Spring And Summers|
|Type Of Soil||Sandy Loamy|
|Transplanting Time||Planted Indoors Three Weeks Before The Last Spring Frost.|
You Can Move Them Out Once Frost Passes.
|Harvesting Time||50 To 70 Days|
|Light Duration||7 To 8 Hours|
|Watering||Maintain Even Moisture|
|Fertilization||A Low-nitrogen Fertilizer Once Every Three Weeks If Needed|
How to grow cucumbers indoors? Well, growing them isn’t a challenge as long as you can provide them plenty of warmth and light. Besides, there are far fewer pests and diseases to worry about when you grow them in pots indoors.
Also, starting the seeds indoors gives you a headstart on the season. Once the weather is warmer, you can either set out the pots in the garden or let them grow beside your window if you enjoy the sight and the plants seem to be doing alright.