I have often wondered if it is possible to grow a cucumber from a slice. I mean, it seems like a great way to make use of leftover cucumber slices instead of throwing them away. So, I’ll share the technique I used so that you can try growing cucumbers from slices for yourself.
Can You Grow Cucumber from a Slice?
Yes, you can grow cucumber plants from cucumber slices. Contrary to the notion that you need separate cucumber seeds, cucumber slices contain viable seeds within them. These seeds are the key to regenerating new cucumber plants.
Slices by themselves don’t have what seeds have. But if there are seeds inside, that means the slice has the things a seed needs to start growing. By planting pieces of slice that have seeds, you give the seeds the good soil they need to hopefully start growing into a plant.
The best way is to cut the slices lengthwise carefully. Look at them under light for any seeds. Plant the freshly cut slices with the seed side down in clean potting soil. Keep the soil moist. It may take 1-2 weeks for a seed to start growing if everything goes well.
However, you need to know that not all slices will sprout roots and grow into new plants. It’s best to use slices from healthy, mature cucumber plants that are free from disease and pests.
After I did some research, below you will find a table from which you can try to grow cucumbers from a slice:
|Variety||Description||Likelihood of Viable Seeds|
|Pickling cucumbers (e.g. Chicago Pickling, Green Finger)||Open-pollinated varieties intended for pickling||High – As open-pollinated varieties, their seeds have potential to sprout.|
|Slicing cucumbers (e.g. Lemon, Armenian, Boothby’s Blonde)||Thin-skinned varieties are grown hydroponically||High – As heirloom varieties, they likely contain viable seeds.|
|English (hothouse) cucumbers (e.g. Marketmore 76)||Often hybrids are designed for shipping, not seed-saving||Moderate – May potentially sprout seeds from slices.|
|Standard grocery store varieties||Often hybrids designed for shipping, not seed-saving||Low – Seeds may not “come true” to parent plant or viability may be reduced.|
|Seedless varieties||No seeds present||None – Will not sprout without seeds.|
|Old stored produce||Reduced germination rates over time||Heirloom varieties are often sold at farmers markets or organic stores|
Advantages of Growing Cucumbers from a Cucumber Slice
Growing cucumbers from slices is an easy and inexpensive way to propagate your cucumber plants without using seeds. This method is especially useful if you have a cucumber plant that is producing a lot of fruit and you want to grow more plants from it.
- Less Expensive: For established gardeners, using slices from your own crop means propagating new plants without purchasing seeds each year. This saves money, especially for high-demand varieties.
- Quick Yield: Cucumber slices often sprout and produce fruit within the same growing season. This allows harvesting a second, successive crop more rapidly compared to starting from seed indoors or direct sowing.
- Ease of Planting: Slices can simply be placed directly in the ground rather than bothering with seed spacing and depth. This makes planting a little faster and less precise for impatient gardeners.
- Varietal Consistency: If you enjoyed the taste of the parent cucumber, growing from its slice may yield cucumbers with similar flavor and characteristics.
How to Grow Cucumbers from Slices
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow cucumbers from slices:
- Select a ripe slicing cucumber. Choose one that is firm, healthy, and free from any signs of damage or disease.
- Wash and dry the cucumber thoroughly. Cut it lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices, making sure each slice contains some seeds and flesh.
- Prepare the soil in your garden bed or containers. Select a spot that gets full sun with well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Loosening the soil to 6 inches deep and mixing in compost or manure will boost growth.
- Water the soil and let it drain before planting. This prevents the slices from rotting.
- Place the cucumber slices pointy end down, 1-2 inches deep in the soil, and space them 3-4 inches apart.
- Keep the soil consistently moist but not soaked. A light mulch will help retain moisture.
- Within 5-10 days, sprouts should emerge from the slices. Thin seedlings except the strongest at each point.
- Transplant or harden off young plants as you would regular cucumber seedlings.
- Plant in the garden 1-2 feet apart in full sun. Stake or trellis as vines grow.
- Water, fertilize, and care for the cucumber plants as you would from seed. Harvest cucumbers in about 2-3 months.
One of the best ways to learn about growing cucumbers from slices is to hear from others who have tried it themselves. Share your success stories and harvest amounts with others in the gardening community to help encourage and inspire others to try this fun and rewarding project.
When it comes to harvesting cucumbers from slices, the amount you can expect to yield will depend on a variety of factors, including the variety you choose, the growing conditions, and the care you provide. On average, you can expect to harvest around 1-2 cucumbers per plant per week.
Tips to Successfully Grow Cucumber from Slices
I have a few tips for those wanting to try propagating new cucumber plants from store-bought cucumbers:
- Use fresh, ripe cucumbers rather than old ones from the supermarket. Cucumbers from a local farmers market would have the best viability.
- The extracted seeds should undergo a fermentation process to remove the pulp surrounding them. This typically takes 1-3 days.
- Let the seeds dry fully before planting to prevent mold issues. I usually allow mine to dry for 7-10 days.
- You can do a float test to check seed viability – those that sink are most likely to sprout successfully.
- Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep, 6-12 inches apart depending on variety, once nighttime temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees F.
- Cucumber germination takes around 10-15 days with warm, moist soil conditions. Be patient as the seeds swell and sprouts emerge.
- Consider starting seeds indoors under lights for an earlier harvest if your growing season is short.
- Coffee grounds make for a nutrient-rich mini-potting soil and help encourage robust seedling growth.
Can I grow cucumbers from the seeds inside store-bought cucumbers?
Yes, you can grow cucumbers from the seeds inside store-bought cucumbers. This is an exciting and cost-effective way to start your cucumber plants. Here’s how you can do it:
- Extract the Seeds: Begin by cutting the store-bought cucumber in half lengthwise to expose the seeds. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the surrounding pulp from the seed cavity.
- Fermentation: Place the mixture of seeds and pulp into a small bucket or jar with some water. The seeds need to undergo fermentation for 1-3 days to remove the pulp from the seeds. During this time, you’ll notice the mixture becoming slightly bubbly and a bit frothy.
- Rinse and Dry: After fermentation, rinse the seeds thoroughly to remove any remaining pulp. Then, spread them out on a paper towel or a screen to dry. Make sure they are completely dry before planting.
- Plant the Seeds: Once the seeds are dry, you can plant them. Push two or three cucumber seeds about an inch into the soil. Space your plantings 18 to 36 inches apart to give them room to grow.
- Optimal Conditions: Make sure the soil is moist and warm, as cucumbers thrive in these conditions. With the right care, the seedlings should emerge from the ground in just a matter of days.
Can you grow cucumber from a slice in pots?
Yes, you can grow cucumber from a slice in pots. I’ve had success growing cucumbers from slices in containers before. It’s definitely possible to cultivate cucumber plants this way even if you lack garden space.
When growing cucumber slices in pots, it’s best to use containers 10 inches wide or larger to accommodate vine growth. I also choose varieties labeled “bush” or “space-saving” as they stay more compact.
I plant my cucumber slices about 1/2 inch deep in a sterile potting mix. Then I keep the soil consistently moist in a spot with at least 6 hours of direct sun. Adding organic fertilizer as the vines grow helps boost productivity.
Providing stakes or a trellis for the vines to climb is important in containers. It saves space and makes watering and harvesting easier. I also place pots on trays of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity levels for sprouting.
As long as the soil drains well and I meet the cucumber’s basic needs, I’ve had good results getting them to germinate and produce tasty fruits from slices alone. With the right setup, containers work great for starting cucumbers this way.
Can you grow cucumber from a slice without seeds?
No, you can not grow a cucumber from a slice that does have seeds. Seeds from ripe cucumbers have all the codes and food that a new plant needs. The seeds tell the cucumber plant how to grow.
They also have food stored inside to help the new plant. A slice by itself does not have these things. It will not become a new cucumber plant without seeds. Seeds are needed to start a new cucumber.
In conclusion, growing cucumbers from slices is a simple and easy method that anyone can try. As we have seen, cucumber slices can be used to start new plants and produce a bountiful harvest. This method is especially useful for those who want to grow cucumbers but don’t have the space for a full garden or who are new to gardening and want to try something easy.
So why not try growing cucumbers from slices today? With a little effort and care, you can enjoy the taste of fresh, homegrown cucumbers in no time. Whether you have a large garden or just a few pots on your balcony, this method is a great way to start growing your own vegetables and enjoy the many benefits of gardening.