When planting from seeds, it takes 50-70 days before a cucumber plant produces fruit that is ready for picking. Germination of the seeds takes 3-10 days and after flowering, the cucumber is ripe in about 10 days.
Understanding the cucumber plant stages will help you better understand its growth timeline, when is the best month for planting cucumbers and when they will be ready for picking. The exact number of days may differ on the growing conditions but they offer a good outline.
This guide will take you through the different stages of a cucumber plant and how you can help it grow healthier and faster.
Cucumber Life Cycle Timeline
This is a breakdown of the different cucumber plant stages.
Stage 1: Seeding
Day 0-3: Seed is planted in soil and starts to grow roots.
Stage 2: Germination
Day 3-6: Roots form and the first growths appear above the soil surface/
Stage 3: Vining
Day 6-10: Leaves start to grow in addition to the plant growing vertically.
Stage 4: Growth & Flowering
Day 10-40: Cucumber plant continues to grow and flowering starts.
Stage 5: Fruit Production
Day 40-70: Cucumbers start to grow near the flowers.
Stage 6: Harvest
Day 70+: Cucumbers are ready for picking.
How Do You Speed Up Cucumber Growth?
The above timeline offers a general idea of how many days it takes to grow cucumbers. The exact cucumber growing season will depend on the environment it is in.
You can try to speed up the cucumber growth timeline by providing the cucumber with its ideal growing conditions. The following tips may also help your harvest when the weather is not cooperating.
- Cover the Soil with Black Plastic
When growing cucumbers outdoors, you cannot control the soil temperature as much. If you live in an area where temperatures might still drop in the spring and summer, it is a good idea to add a soil cover.
Simply covering the soil with black plastic can already help to maintain a soil temperature above 60°F. The black color absorbs the sun’s heat and retains moisture.
- Place Above Soil Heating Pads
When growing cucumbers indoors, you can better control the soil temperature with a heating pad. These are simple heating elements that you can buy in gardening stores.
Just place the cucumber plant container on top the heating pad. The warmth will radiate through the materials and act as insulation.
- Cover Young Cucumber Plants
Seedlings and young plants are the most sensitive. It doesn’t hurt to provide them with a little extra protection for small insects.
You can find permeable covers and netting for outdoor growing plants. These will still allow rainwater and sunlight while still making it difficult for pests to get to them.
- Tie Young Cucumber Plants to a Trellis
Cucumbers can grow horizontally but it is better for them to grow vertically around a trellis or wood beam. This not only looks beautiful in your garden but also makes them more difficult to reach for insects in the soil.
Growing vertically also helps them to get more sunlight. Use rope ties to keep the plants upright and they will start to vine around the vertical structure.
- Monitor the Water
These are water-loving plants so it is important to make sure that they get enough rainwater when grown outdoors. Keep a rainwater gauge nearby and check whether it reaches at least 1 inch per week.
If your area is going through a dry spell, you may have to water the plants. Check that the top 2 inches of soil stay moist at all times.
How Long Do Cucumber Plants Produce Fruit?
Cucumber plants only produce fruit once. After the cucumber growing season the plant will die off. This means that you would have to plant new seeds every year to grow fresh cucumbers.
After the flowering stage, it takes about 10 days for cucumber to grow. These need to be picked sooner than later or else the taste will turn bitter.
Since there is such a short window of time between the cucumber plant producing fruit and the harvest, many growers choose to sow the seeds in stages. For example, they might leave 2 weeks before starting a second row of cucumber plants.
Cucumber growing season
The cucumber growing season runs from late spring until the end of summer. This is relatively short time from seed to harvest, especially compared to other green vegetables and fruit.
Late April or early May is the best time to start cucumber seeds. They can be planted a little earlier if the seeds are started indoors.
Start harvesting the cucumbers when they are between 10-22 inches long, depending on the specific cucumber variety. Another clue is that the color should be a medium green, rather than a dark green – they will color darker after picking.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Month Do You Plant Cucumbers?
Cucumbers can be planted at the end of April or start of May if you want to grow them outdoors. You can start cucumber seeds indoors around 4-6 weeks before the last frost.
How Long Does It Take a Cucumber to Grow After Flowering?
The cucumber fruits start growing around 10 days after the first flowers appear. They are ready for picking after another 10 days. Don’t wait too long to harvest cucumbers because when left on the vine for too long they can become bitter in flavor.
What Are the Stages of a Cucumber Plant?
Cucumber plants start as seeds, grow into seedlings and then grow until they enter the flowering stage. Soon after flowering, the cucumber fruit will appear and after the harvesting season is over the cucumber plant will begin to die off.
The period from planting seeds to harvesting cucumbers takes between 50-70 days. How long it takes for your cucumbers to grow will depend on how favorable the climate and the kind of cucumbers you are growing.
You should be able to bring in fresh cucumbers after about 2 months so this is a short growing season.