Cucumis sativus

Common Name: cucumber 
Type: Annual
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Native Range: East Indies
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Vegetable
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy, Edible


Easily grown in loose, fertile, medium textured, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants perform best in full sun. Grow plants in cages, on trellises or, space permitting, along the ground. Plants are intolerant of frost. Plant seeds in the garden at the last spring frost date. Plant seed 1" deep in rows 4-6' apart or plants in hills about 4-6' apart. In the alternative, seed may be started indoors in pots or other containers about 4-6 weeks before last spring frost date. Plants thrive in hot summer daytime weather with warm nights. Pick fruits when young (older cucumbers toughen as they develop large seeds). Consistent and even moisture is essential.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cucumis sativus, commonly called cucumbers, are annual, tendril-bearing vines of the gourd family that are commonly grown both commercially and in home vegetable gardens throughout the world for harvest of edible fruits. Plants are originally native to southern Asia. For home gardens, select cultivars to be grown by expected growth habit, fruit type/size, flowering habit and disease resistance. Size varies from small gherkin types to long slicing varieties. Varieties are monoecious (both male and female flowers), gynoecious (female flowers) or parthenocarpic (self-fertile female flowers). Some varieties grow best as vines and others as bushy plants.

Genus name from Latin means "cucumber" as derived from the Greek word kykyon also meaning "cucumber".

Specific epithet means cultivated.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for cucumber beetles which feed on the foliage and transmit diseases. Aphids and spider mites may be troublesome. Wilt, downy mildew, powdery mildew, anthracnose, stem blight, scab and leaf spot may occur. Mosaic virus is a potential problem in some areas.


Edible vegetable that is grown both commercially and in home gardens throughout the world. It is commonly used in a variety of ways including raw in salads, pickled, sliced, stir fried and in soups.