Introduced in 1893 in New York, the white wonder cucumber (Cucumis sativus ‘White Wonder’) is an heirloom variety of cucumber that is characterized by stunning ivory skin, dark green foliage, and a fresh, crisp texture. White wonder cucumbers are enjoyed fresh, pickled, and cooked and add a decorative touch to nearly any dish. This plant grows cucumbers that are about 6 to 8 inches long, and 2 to 3 inches wide.
Like most cucumber plants, white wonder is planted after the last frost in spring. The vining foliage grows rapidly, and the fruit is ready to harvest about two months after the planting date.
|Botanical Name||Cucumis sativus 'White Wonder'|
|Common Name||White wonder cucumber|
|Plant Type||Annual vegetable|
|Mature Size||12 inches tall, 36 to 72 inches wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Fertile, well-draining|
|Soil pH||Neutral (7.0)|
|Growing Zones||3 to 9 (USDA)|
|Native Area||United States|
How to Plant White Wonder Cucumbers
Growing white wonder cucumbers is very similar to growing regular cucumbers. They require lots of light, lots of water, and lots of fertilizer, as with most vegetables. However, because of their long vines, white wonder cucumbers can be trellised easily, which helps the fruits to grow straighter and protects them from blemishes and diseases caused by fruits touching the ground directly. These heirloom cucumbers require lots of space in the garden—at least 10 inches apart when grown on trellises, and at least 24 inches apart if grown in the ground—so they are not ideal for small spaces.
White Wonder Cucumber Care
As with most vegetables, white wonder cucumbers require full sun for best production. At least six hours of direct sunlight a day is ideal. Stunted growth may be an indication that your white wonder cucumbers are not receiving enough light.
White wonder cucumbers require loose, well-draining soil that is highly fertile. Before planting, ensure that the soil is tilled and freshly amended with compost or manure to replenish the soil’s nutrients.
Water white wonder cucumbers deeply at least three times a week. In especially hot or dry periods, white wonder cucumbers may require daily watering to ensure they don’t dry out. Inconsistent watering, especially during dry periods, results in misshapen fruit and poor flavor.
Temperature and Humidity
Cucumbers thrive in heat, and white wonder cucumbers are no exception. Ideally suited to growing temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, white wonder cucumbers appreciate warm, humid environments. They are often referred to as ‘Southern Heirlooms’ because they grow well in the intense heat of the south. White wonder cucumbers grow well outdoors when grown in zones 3 through 9. They also grow exceptionally well in greenhouse environments.
White wonder cucumbers require soil that is very fertile throughout the growing season. Fertilize the plants at least once a month with a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10. Amending the soil with compost or manure before planting can also help support strong, healthy growth.
White wonder cucumber fruits should be harvested once they are about 7 inches long, making them perfect plants for trellising. Fruits should begin to ripen 58 days after planting. Harvest the fruits by cutting their individual stems with a sharp knife. Check the cukes regularly and harvest as soon as they're ready to promote abundant production before seed cavities swell.
Growing White Wonder Cucumbers From Seed
Starting white wonder cucumbers seeds is not much different from growing regular cucumbers from seed. Being an heirloom plant, white wonder cucumbers will always produce seedlings as long as they are pollinated by other white wonder cucumbers. Note that if you plant multiple varieties of cucumbers close to one another, cross-pollination is likely.
White wonder cucumber seeds can be harvested directly from the cucumber or can be purchased at most nurseries and garden centers. If harvesting seeds directly from a cucumber fruit, scrape out the seeds, put them in a clear jar, and cover the seeds with water so that they float. Allow the seeds and their jelly coating to ferment for one to two days, or until the jelly coating has dissolved. Next, set the seeds out to dry.
Seeds can be started indoors or sown directly into the garden with good success. However, cucumber plants do not tolerate cold well, so ensure that the last frost has passed before planting seeds or seedlings into the garden. Plant seeds 24 inches apart and about 1 inch deep. Alternatively, you can plant six to eight seeds in hills that are about 12 inches in diameter and spaced 4 to 6 feet apart. Thin the seedlings to three to four plants per hill.