These ornamental cucumbers are fun and easy to grow, producing a mixture of inedible, decorative fruits, with smooth patterned and unusual spiky skins. This half hardy annual climber makes an intriguing and decorative border plant for the border or patio containers. Pick the fascinating fruits and use them for autumn decorations indoors where they will last for up to 3 months. Height: 180cm (71"). Spread: 45cm (18").
Sow ornamental cucumber seeds from early March to April for indoor cropping and for transplanting outdoors later on. Sow cucumber seed on their sides at a depth of 1cm (½") in 7.5cm (3") pots of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 20C (68F) until germination which takes 7-10 days. Protect the emerging seedlings from direct sunlight to avoid scorching. Grow Cucumber plants on until they are large enough to be transplanted. Maintain a minimum temperature of 15c (60F) and keep the compost moist but not wet. When cucumber plants are well grown, gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7-10 days before transplanting into warm, well drained, humus rich soil in full sun, with shelter from winds. Water well after planting until cucumber plants are fully established.
Water ornamental cucumber plants regularly. Train the main shoots onto 1.8m (6ft) high nets, canes or strings to support their stems. When growing cucumbers, harvest regularly to encourage, long continuous production.
Caution: Fruits are bitter and not edible.
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