You can easily grow healthy cucumber plants in a pot, as long as it’s a five-gallon container or bigger. Around four to six plants will fit in a 20- to 30-gallon pot. Using one pot per plant reduces the risk of insects, diseases, and poor growth. Plus, the extra space makes it easier to harvest your cucumbers. High-quality peat-free soil is a must no matter what. Consider making your own mix for the best results. Then, add fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and again halfway through.
How Do You Grow Cucumbers in a Pot?
Cucumber plants grow just as well in a pot as they do in the ground. You just need the right pots, soil, and approach to help them thrive. Follow these five steps to start your cucumber container garden.
- Gather all the pots you’ll need
- Fill the containers with peat-free soil
- Plant your cucumber seeds
- Water the plants regularly
- Check each plant on a daily basis
After the seeds sprout, your plants will reach maturity in 50 to 70 days. Then, they will produce flowers and set fruit. About ten days later, you’ll get to pick the six- to eight-inch-long cucumbers.
Get the Right Containers
Get one five-gallon pot for each cucumber plant you want to grow. A five-gallon bucket will work, too, but you must drill drainage holes into the bottom. You can grow multiple cucumber plants in 20- to 30-gallon pots. For best results, only grow one plant for every five gallons of soil in the pot. Always disinfect containers with a 30 to 1 mix of water to bleach and allow to dry before adding soil.
Fill the Pots with High-Quality Soil
Always use high-quality peat-free soil for your cucumbers. A lightweight homemade mix of 40% compost, 40% potting soil, and 20% perlite often works best. Mix 1/2 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer into every five gallons of the homemade potting mix. Fill each container to about an inch from the top rim. Mound up the fertile soil in the center of the pot. Avoid packing the soil level down while you work with it. Put the pots in a location where they will get at least eight hours of sunlight.
Add Your Cucumber Seeds
Add your cucumber seeds to the pots when the soil temperature starts to increase. The ideal temperature is when the soil rises past 70°F (21°C). Plant three to six seeds in each pot. Evenly space the seeds out and push them about an inch beneath the soil surface. Planting multiple seeds at once helps ensure you’ll get at least one plant in every pot. Thin the plants out to one for every five gallons of soil once the seedlings grow. Putting tomato cages over your pots helps the cucumber vines grow toward the sun.
Provide Plenty of Water
Give the seeds about a half gallon of water per pot right when you plant them. Then, plan to give them about one inch of water per week. Check the soil with your finger to see when the plants need water. If the soil feels dry about an inch down, pour another half-gallon of water into the pot. The plants will likely need more regular watering as they reach full maturity. Do not let your cucumbers completely dry out or they will grow bitter fruit.
Check Your Plants Daily
Check on your cucumber plants every day to assess their growth and health. Look for signs of pests and disease, like discolored or chewed leaves. Resolve all problems right away. Otherwise, your plants might not live through the growing season or provide a bountiful harvest. Once the fruit starts to grow, harvest each cucumber fruit that reaches six to eight inches long.
Consider giving your cucumbers another dose of 10-10-10 fertilizer about 50 days after planting. Cucumber plants are heavy feeders. So, they appreciate the extra nutrients.
How Big of a Pot Do You Need for Cucumbers?
Cucumber plants thrive when grown separately in five-gallon pots. Four to six plants can grow well in 20- to 30-gallon pots. The pots must have enough room for the large root systems to spread out.
- One cucumber plant in each five-gallon pot works best.
- A 20- to 30-gallon pot can support four to six cucumber plants.
- The extensive root systems need a lot of space to stretch out.
- Lots of plants in a small space can result in overcrowding and great root disturbance.
- Overcrowded plants compete for resources and invite pests and diseases.
Overcrowding can become an issue when growing lots of cucumbers in pots that are too small. Without enough space, the plants will compete for water and nutrients, while also not getting enough exposure to sunlight. Pests and diseases spread easily between the overcrowded plants as well.
How Many Cucumbers Can You Put in a Pot?
A five-gallon pot can only support the needs of one cucumber plant. A 20- to 30-gallon pot can work for four to six plants. Too many plants in one pot will result in poor growth, insects, and disease.
- Only grow one cucumber plant for every five gallons of soil.
- Growing too many plants in a pot leads to poor growth, pests, and disease.
- Never plant just one seed in each pot or you could end up with no seedlings.
- Instead, add three to six cucumber seedlings to each container.
- Thin out the seedlings to leave one plant for every five gallons of soil.
You do not want to plant just one seed in each pot, however. Cucumber seeds do not have a 100% germination rate. In perfect conditions, you’re lucky to get a 60% germination rate. So, plant three to six seeds per pot. Then, thin the healthy seedlings down to one for every five gallons.
What Soil Should You Use for Cucumbers in a Pot?
Always use a high-quality homemade potting mix when growing cucumbers in a pot. To create that mix, combine 40% compost, 40% high-quality potting soil, and 20% perlite. Add ½ cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer to every five gallons of soil.
- Use a high-quality homemade potting soil mix for your cucumbers.
- Create the mix by combining 40% compost, 40% potting soil, and 20% perlite.
- Enrichen the soil even more with a ½ cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer in every five gallons of soil.
- Cucumber plants prefer well-draining loamy soil featuring clay, silt, and sand.
- True loamy soil compacts too much for use in containers, so make your own.
Cucumber plants love well-draining loamy soil. In the wild, loamy soil has silt, sand, and clay. That mix does not work well in containers because it compacts too easily. The homemade mix copies its properties well enough to promote excellent and healthy growth.
Can You Keep Cucumbers in a Pot?
Cucumbers grow great in a pot that is sized just right for their roots and watering needs. Plan to use a five-gallon pot for each plant. Using a 20- to 30-gallon pot is possible, too. Just make sure that each plant has five gallons of high-quality soil.
- Cucumbers grow great in pots sized just right for their needs.
- Every plant should have a five-gallon pot’s worth of space.
- Use a 20- to 30-gallon pot when planting multiple cucumbers.
- Make your own loamy mix with compost, potting soil, and perlite.
- Use 10-10-10 fertilizer at the beginning and middle of the growing season.
Make your own loamy potting soil mix for the best results. Use a mix of 40% compost, 40% potting soil, and 20% perlite. Plus, add a ½ cup 10-10-10 fertilizer for every five gallons of soil. Repeat the fertilizer application about 50 days into the growing season.
Giving your cucumber plants enough space to grow helps ensure you’ll get a great harvest. So, aim to use separate pots and space them out. That way, they won’t have to compete for resources.