How To Grow Cucumbers In Florida

Growing cucumbers in Florida is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any vegetable gardener. With its warm climate and ample sunshine, Florida provides the perfect conditions for cultivating this crisp and refreshing vegetable. Whether you have a backyard garden or a greenhouse, you can easily grow cucumbers and enjoy a bountiful harvest. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of growing cucumbers in the Sunshine State, including the best varieties, planting and care tips, common pests and diseases, harvesting and storage techniques, and additional resources for further guidance.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose suitable cucumber varieties like ‘Sweet Success’, ‘Poinsett’, and ‘MarketMore 76’ for slicers, or ‘Eureka’ and ‘Boston Pickling’ for pickling types.
  • Plant cucumbers in the spring after the danger of frost has passed, and again in late summer for a fall harvest.
  • Ensure the ideal temperature range of 80°F to 85°F and provide ample sunlight for cucumber growth.
  • Water cucumbers frequently, balancing soil nitrogen and supplementing with phosphorus and potassium.
  • Trellis cucumber plants to save space and improve yields.

Characteristics of Cucumbers

Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, are known for their long, cylindrical shape and vibrant yellow-green to dark green skin. The skin texture of cucumbers can vary, with some varieties having a smooth skin while others feature a spiky texture. These versatile vegetables produce small, bowl-shaped flowers that are usually yellow in color. It’s interesting to note that cucumber flowers can be either male or female, with the female flowers responsible for producing the fruit.

When it comes to the size of cucumbers, different varieties can produce fruits of varying sizes. Burpless varieties, which are ideal for fresh consumption, are long and tender. On the other hand, pickling varieties are typically smaller and tougher, making them suitable for pickling. Some cucumber varieties are specifically cultivated for slicing, while others are better suited for pickling purposes.

Planting and Care Tips

When it comes to planting cucumbers in Florida, timing is crucial. You should aim to plant them in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Additionally, late summer is a great time for a fall planting season. The ideal temperature range for cucumber growth is between 80°F and 85°F, and they thrive in abundant sunlight. However, keep in mind that temperatures below 31°F can harm cucumber plants, so frost protection measures may be necessary in some areas of Florida.

Cucumbers prefer well-drained soil with a depth of at least six inches. In South Florida, gravelly soils are particularly suitable. These plants require frequent watering due to their thin leaves, but be cautious not to overwater and flood the soil. Maintaining balanced nitrogen levels in the soil is important, and phosphorus and potassium can enhance flower and fruit production. To maximize space and improve yield, consider trellising your cucumber plants.

Spacing is also essential for successful cucumber cultivation. For rows, it is recommended to have a width of 36 to 40 inches, with two feet between rows. Between individual plants, a spacing of six to twelve inches is ideal. Direct seeding is the preferred method, as transplanting can cause root damage. Lastly, attracting pollinators, such as bees, is crucial for reliable fruit set. Consider planting pollinator-attracting flowers nearby to increase pollination rates.

Planting cucumbers in Florida

Planting and Care Tips – Summary:

  • Plant cucumbers in the spring after frost danger passes, and in late summer for the fall season.
  • Ensure temperatures stay within the optimal range of 80°F to 85°F and provide ample sunlight.
  • Protect cucumber plants from temperatures below 31°F if necessary.
  • Use well-drained soil with a depth of at least six inches, preferably gravelly soils in South Florida.
  • Water cucumber plants frequently, but avoid overwatering and flooding the soil.
  • Maintain balanced nitrogen levels in the soil and consider supplementing with phosphorus and potassium.
  • Trellis cucumber plants to save space and improve yields.
  • Provide proper spacing, with rows 36 to 40 inches wide and six to twelve inches between plants.
  • Directly seed cucumbers to prevent root damage.
  • Attract pollinators like bees by planting pollinator-attracting flowers nearby.

Common Pests and Diseases

Growing cucumbers in Florida comes with its fair share of challenges, including dealing with various pests and diseases that can affect the health and productivity of your plants. Being aware of the common cucumber pests and diseases in your region can help you take preventive measures and keep your cucumber plants healthy.


Cucumber beetles, aphids, and spider mites are some of the common pests that can infest cucumber plants in Florida. These pests feed on the leaves, stems, and fruits of the plants, causing damage and reducing yields. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pest infestation, such as chewed leaves, discolored foliage, or sticky residue on the leaves. If you notice any pests, you can try using natural remedies like insecticidal soaps or neem oil to control their population. Additionally, planting companion plants like marigolds or basil can help deter pests.


One of the most common diseases that affect cucumbers in Florida is downy mildew. This fungal infection thrives in warm and humid conditions, making it a common problem in the state. Downy mildew appears as yellow or brown patches on the leaves, often accompanied by a white, fuzzy growth on the undersides of the leaves. To prevent downy mildew, avoid overhead watering, as the splashing water can spread the spores. Instead, water at the base of the plants. Fungicides may be necessary to control severe cases of downy mildew.

Cucumber Pests and Diseases

“Preventing pest and disease infestations is key to ensuring the health and productivity of your cucumber plants. By practicing good garden hygiene, monitoring your plants regularly, and taking immediate action at the first sign of trouble, you can keep your cucumbers thriving.”

It is important to note that prevention is often the best approach when it comes to managing cucumber pests and diseases. Maintaining proper spacing between plants, providing adequate airflow, and removing any infected plants or debris from the garden can help minimize the risk of infestation. Additionally, rotating your crops each year can help break the life cycle of pests and reduce disease pressure. By implementing these practices and staying vigilant, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of healthy cucumbers in your Florida garden.

Harvesting and Storage

Once your cucumbers have reached the desired size and color, it is time to harvest them. Cucumbers are typically ready to harvest 40 to 65 days after planting. To ensure the best flavor and texture, it is important to pick cucumbers at the right time. For slicing cucumbers, harvest them when they are about 6 to 8 inches long. Pickling cucumbers should be harvested when they are 2 to 4 inches long.

When harvesting cucumbers, use a pair of garden shears or a sharp knife to cut the stem about 1/4 inch above the cucumber. Avoid twisting or pulling the cucumber, as this can damage the plant. Harvesting cucumbers regularly can encourage new growth and increase overall yields.

After harvesting, cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Place them in a plastic bag or wrap them in a damp paper towel to prevent moisture loss. Cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. It is important to note that cucumbers are sensitive to temperature changes, so avoid storing them near fruits that produce ethylene gas, such as tomatoes or melons, as this can cause the cucumbers to spoil faster.

If you have an abundance of cucumbers and are looking for a way to preserve them, consider making pickles. Pickling cucumbers can be transformed into delicious pickles with the right recipe. There are many pickle recipes available, ranging from simple refrigerator pickles to traditional canned pickles. Experiment with different flavors and spices to create your own signature pickle recipe.

Harvesting Cucumbers

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Cucumbers:

  • Harvest cucumbers when they reach the desired size and color.
  • Use garden shears or a sharp knife to cut the stem above the cucumber.
  • Store cucumbers in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel.
  • Avoid storing cucumbers near fruits that produce ethylene gas.
  • Consider making pickles with excess cucumbers.

Additional Resources for Growing Cucumbers in Florida

If you’re looking for additional resources and information on growing cucumbers in Florida, you’re in luck! There are a variety of sources you can turn to for expert guidance and tips tailored to your area.

County Extension Office

Your county Extension office is a valuable resource for local gardening information and support. They have experts who are knowledgeable about gardening in Florida and can provide you with specific advice for growing cucumbers in your region. You can reach out to them for assistance and access to extension publications and resources.

University of Florida/IFAS

The University of Florida/IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) is another excellent source of information on vegetable gardening in Florida. They offer a wide range of resources, including publications, articles, and online courses, covering various aspects of vegetable cultivation. Their website is a treasure trove of valuable information on cucumbers and other related crops, as well as pest management techniques.

By utilizing these resources, you can gain the knowledge and insights needed to successfully grow cucumbers in Florida. Remember to consult multiple sources and adapt the information to suit your specific growing conditions and preferences.

Resource Contact Information
County Extension Office Visit your local county Extension office or search online for their contact information.
University of Florida/IFAS Website: https://ifas.ufl.edu

Cucumber resources in Florida

Other Crops in the Cucurbitaceae Family

If you’re interested in growing cucumbers in Florida, you may also want to consider other crops that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. These crops share similar growing requirements and can be a valuable addition to your vegetable garden. Some related crops in the Cucurbitaceae family include:

  • Summer Squash: Known for their tender texture and mild flavor, summer squash varieties like zucchini and yellow squash are popular choices for Florida gardens. They can be harvested when they are still immature and have a soft skin.
  • Winter Squash: Winter squash varieties, such as butternut squash and acorn squash, are known for their hard skin and long storage life. They are typically harvested in the fall and can be enjoyed throughout the winter months.
  • Luffa: Luffa, also known as sponge gourd, is a unique crop with both culinary and non-culinary uses. The mature fruit develops a fibrous interior that can be used as a natural sponge, while the young fruit can be cooked and eaten.
  • Pumpkins: Pumpkins are not only popular for Halloween decorations but also make delicious pies and other baked goods. Florida’s warm climate is favorable for growing pumpkins, and there are various varieties to choose from.

By diversifying your garden with these related crops, you can enjoy a wider variety of fresh and nutritious produce throughout the growing season. Whether you’re looking to add color to your fall harvest with pumpkins or experiment with different squash varieties, exploring the Cucurbitaceae family offers plenty of possibilities for the Florida gardener.

Table: Comparison of Crops in the Cucurbitaceae Family

Crop Harvest Time Flavor Uses
Summer Squash Summer Mild Cooking, grilling, salads
Winter Squash Fall Nutty, sweet Baking, roasting, soups, stews
Luffa Summer to fall Neutral Edible when young, natural sponge when mature
Pumpkins Fall Sweet Pies, soups, roasted seeds

Note: The harvest time may vary depending on the specific variety and growing conditions.

Benefits of Growing Cucumbers in Florida

When you grow cucumbers in Florida, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits. One of the main advantages is the availability of fresh produce right in your own backyard. Cucumbers are a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes, from salads to sandwiches. By growing your own cucumbers, you can ensure that they are harvested at their peak freshness, providing you with the best flavor and nutritional value.

Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. By including cucumbers in your diet, you can boost your intake of this essential nutrient and support your overall well-being. Additionally, gardening in Florida allows you to connect with nature and engage in outdoor activity. It’s a rewarding and therapeutic hobby that can provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Not only do cucumbers offer health benefits and the joy of gardening, but they also thrive in the Florida climate. With its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine, Florida provides ideal growing conditions for cucumbers. Whether you have a large garden or limited space, you can successfully cultivate cucumbers and enjoy a bountiful harvest. So why not give it a try and experience the many advantages of growing cucumbers in Florida?

benefits of growing cucumbers in Florida

Table: Nutritional Information of Cucumbers

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Calories 15
Carbohydrates 3.63g
Protein 0.65g
Fat 0.11g
Vitamin C 2.8mg
Vitamin K 16.4µg
Potassium 147mg
Magnesium 13mg

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Best Practices for Growing Cucumbers in Florida

Growing cucumbers in Florida can be a rewarding experience, and following best practices can help ensure successful cultivation. Here are some tips and recommendations for growing cucumbers in the Sunshine State:

1. Plant at the Right Time

Timing is crucial when growing cucumbers in Florida. Plant them in the spring after the danger of frost has passed, and again in late summer for the fall planting season. The ideal temperature range for cucumber growth is between 80°F and 85°F, so make sure to choose the appropriate planting times based on your region.

2. Provide Optimal Conditions

Cucumbers thrive in warm weather and require plenty of sunlight. Make sure to plant them in an area that receives full sun exposure. Cucumbers also need frequent watering to keep the soil consistently moist. However, be careful not to overwater, as cucumbers are prone to fungal diseases. Using mulch can help retain soil moisture and reduce the risk of weed growth.

3. Maintain Proper Soil Nutrition

Cucumbers require well-balanced soil nutrition for healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilization with nitrogen, as this can result in excessive leaf growth and reduce fruit production. Instead, focus on providing adequate levels of phosphorus and potassium, which can improve flower and fruit development. Regular soil testing can help you determine the right nutrient levels for your cucumber plants.

4. Monitor and Manage Pests and Diseases

Cucumbers in Florida are susceptible to various pests and diseases. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of common pests like caterpillars, thrips, and spider mites. Implement preventive measures such as removing infected leaves and applying organic pest control methods. Proper spacing between plants can also help improve air circulation and reduce the risk of diseases like powdery mildew and downy mildew.

5. Support with Trellising

Trellising cucumber plants can save space in your garden and improve yields. Training the vines to grow vertically on a trellis or fence provides better access to sunlight and air circulation, which can result in healthier plants and higher fruit production. Additionally, trellising can help prevent disease by keeping the fruits off the ground.

By following these best practices, you can maximize your cucumber yield and enjoy a bountiful harvest in your Florida garden.

Importance of Proper Spacing and Trellising

When growing cucumbers in Florida, it is essential to pay attention to proper spacing and trellising. Adequate spacing between cucumber plants allows them to have enough room to grow and develop properly. It also promotes better air circulation, which reduces the risk of diseases such as powdery mildew and downy mildew. By giving each plant enough space, you ensure easy access for maintenance and harvesting.

Trellising cucumber plants is another crucial practice that can greatly benefit your garden. By providing support for the vines to climb, trellising saves valuable garden space. This is particularly important if you have a small garden or limited growing area. Vertical growth allows the vines to spread out without encroaching on neighboring plants, maximizing the use of available space.

Furthermore, trellising can have a significant impact on yields. As the vines grow vertically, more leaves are exposed to sunlight, resulting in improved photosynthesis and increased fruit production. Trellising also helps prevent diseases by keeping the foliage off the ground and reducing the chances of soil-borne pathogens splashing onto the leaves.

Spacing and Trellising

Spacing Guidelines for Cucumber Plants

Proper spacing is essential for healthy cucumber growth. The following guidelines can help you determine the right spacing for your cucumber plants:

Cultivation Method Spacing
Row Spacing 36 to 40 inches wide
Plant Spacing 2 feet between rows
Within-Row Spacing 6 to 12 inches between plants

By following these spacing recommendations, you provide sufficient room for each cucumber plant to thrive and maximize your garden’s productivity.

Implementing proper spacing and trellising practices is key to successful cucumber cultivation in Florida. By giving your plants enough room to grow and providing vertical support, you can save space, improve yields, and prevent diseases. Practice these techniques and enjoy a bountiful cucumber harvest!


Growing cucumbers in Florida can be a rewarding experience for gardeners of all levels. By following the appropriate planting and care techniques, addressing potential pests and diseases, and implementing best practices for spacing and trellising, you can successfully grow and harvest cucumbers in the Sunshine State.

Remember to consult local resources, such as Extension offices, for specific information and tips tailored to your area. They can provide additional guidance and resources to help you achieve the best results.

So, get your gardening gloves on, prepare your soil, and start growing your own fresh cucumbers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, Florida’s favorable climate and growing conditions make it the perfect place to cultivate this versatile and delicious vegetable. Happy gardening!


When should cucumbers be planted in Florida?

Cucumbers should be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed and again in late summer for the fall planting season.

What is the ideal temperature range for cucumber growth in Florida?

The ideal temperature range for cucumber growth is between 80°F and 85°F.

How often should cucumbers be watered?

Cucumbers should be watered frequently, but care should be taken to avoid flooding.

What can improve flower and fruit production in cucumbers?

Phosphorus and potassium can improve flower and fruit production in cucumbers.

What types of cucumbers are suitable for slicing and pickling in Florida?

Slicer types like ‘Sweet Success’, ‘Poinsett’, and ‘MarketMore 76’ are suitable for slicing, while ‘Eureka’ and ‘Boston Pickling’ are pickling types.

How long can cucumbers be stored in the refrigerator?

Cucumbers can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Do cucumbers require pollinators for fruit set?

Yes, cucumbers rely on pollinators, mainly bees, for fruit set.

What are some common pests and diseases that affect cucumbers in Florida?

Common pests include caterpillars, melon thrips, melonworm, pickleworm, and spider mites. Fungal infections like powdery mildew and downy mildew are also a concern.

Can cucumbers be grown alongside other crops in the Cucurbitaceae family?

Yes, cucumbers can be grown alongside summer squash, winter squash, luffa, and pumpkins, as they have similar growing requirements.

What are the benefits of growing cucumbers in Florida?

Growing cucumbers in Florida allows residents to have access to locally grown, fresh produce, provides an opportunity for outdoor activity, and connects people with nature.

What are some best practices for growing cucumbers in Florida?

Some best practices include planting at the appropriate times, providing optimal temperature and sunlight conditions, maintaining proper soil moisture, avoiding over-fertilization with nitrogen, and managing pests and diseases through monitoring and preventive measures.

Why is proper spacing and trellising important for cucumber plants?

Proper spacing allows for better air circulation, reduces the risk of disease, and ensures easy access for maintenance and harvesting. Trellising cucumber plants can help save space, facilitate plant growth, and improve yields by exposing more leaves to sunlight.

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