Grow Lemon Cucumbers in a Container: Step-by-Step Guide
Looking to grow lemon cucumbers in a pot? Check out our comprehensive guide to learn about successfully growing and caring for lemon cucumbers.
Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus ‘Lemon’
The lemon cucumber is a variety of cucumber that has a round, yellow fruit with a thin, delicate skin. It is not named so because of flavor but rather for appearance, which is reminiscent of lemon. Lemon cucumbers can be easily grown in containers as they have a compact growth habit and do not require a lot of space. In this post, we discuss everything you need to know to grow lemon cucumbers in a container.
Also, learn how to Grow Cucumbers in Pots!
How to Grow Lemon Cucumbers in a Container
Lemon cucumbers can be easily propagated through seeds. Indoors you can sow the seeds 2-4 weeks before the last expected frost, whereas outdoors, wait for all danger of frost to pass. Here are the steps for propagating lemon cucumbers from seeds:
Propagating Lemon Cucumbers from Seeds:
- Collect the seeds from ripened lemon cucumbers or get them from a garden center.
- Plant them in potting mix that is well-draining and rich in the organic matter around 1 inch deep. Keep the potting mix moist by watering regularly.
- Place the container in a warm and bright location, such as a sunny windowsill or greenhouse.
- Ensure that the temperature is around 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C) for optimal germination.
- In about 5-10 days, the seeds should start to germinate.
- Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, you can transplant them into separate pots.
Following these steps, you can propagate lemon cucumbers from seeds and grow healthy and productive plants.
Choosing the Container
Mature lemon cucumber vines can grow to around 6-8 feet long and have a root system that needs space to grow. Initially, you can start seeds in small pots (4-6 inches) or seed starting trays. Transplant the seedling into a pot around 15 inches deep and wide. Terracotta, clay, and ceramic pots are excellent choices for lemon cucumbers!
Lemon cucumbers will thrive at a spot where they receive around 6 hours of direct sunlight. It can be your backyard, rooftop, well-lit balcony, or any other sunny location. Indoors you can locate it near a well-lit window where it receives ample light.
Lemon cucumbers prefer well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. A good quality vegetable potting mix makes a great choice. If you prepare your potting mix, add perlite to improve drainage. Add compost or aged manure to the potting mix to improve nutrient content and structure.
Regular watering is crucial to keep it happy, as irregular watering leads to bitter-tasting lemon cukes. Keep the soil moist but don’t water so much that it turns soggy. You need to water more frequently in the hot summer months.
The ideal temperature range for growing lemon cucumbers lies between 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C). They are susceptible to frost damage and won’t fare well in temperatures below 60 degrees F. Lemon cucumbers require moderate to high humidity levels, with a relative humidity of around 60% to 70%. To raise humidity levels, you can mist around the plant or use a humidifier indoors.
Lemon Cucumber Care
Trellising lemon cucumbers are a great way to save space and improve the yield. As the cucumber vines grow, gently guide them up the trellis, so they keep growing upright. Trellising also reduces the risk of pests and disease and makes harvesting easier.
Mulching keeps the soil from drying out too quickly and retains moisture. You can use straws, shredded leaves, or grass clippings to form a layer of mulch a couple of inches thick around the base of the lemon cucumber plant.
Incorporate a 5-10-10 NPK slow-release fertilizer into the soil when planting. In the growing season, you can use a specialized fertilizer formulated for fruiting vegetables, which will typically have a higher potassium content. Follow the fertilizer package instructions and ensure to fertilize at the base and water thoroughly afterward.
NOTE: Use a fertilizer high in potassium and phosphorus but lower in nitrogen, as too much nitrogen can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production.
Lemon cucumbers are ready for harvest in about 60 days when they are 2 inches in diameter and turn bright yellow. Continue picking, and it’ll keep on producing fresh cukes! Do not wait too long unless you want to save seeds, as overripe lemon cucumbers taste bitter.
Pests and Diseases
Apart from common garden pests such as aphids and scales, nothing bothers lemon cucumbers. You can eliminate these pests using insecticidal soap or neem oil solution. Common fungal diseases such as mildew and Sclerotinia wilt can cause severe damage, so look for them. Also, avoid overwatering as it causes root rot.