Cucumber varieties are warm-weather plants that you can grow in the ground or in containers anywhere you have a hot to warm summer season. Most cucumber varieties take 60 days from the date you plant them to be ready to harvest, and this makes them ideal to grow in environments that have hot weather for a few months out of the year. They’re a great plant for beginners to grow because they’re forgiving and relatively easy to plant and maintain.
There are dozens of types of cucumber varieties available, and knowing what they are will help you decide if you want to grow pickling, speciality, or slicing cucumbers. All cucumber varieties fall into one of these three categories, and we’re going to outline several of them for you below.
1. Green Fingers Persian Cucumbers
This cucumber variety is a type of Persian cucumber, and it’s great for snacking on. The mature size is only between three and five inches at the maximum, and this makes it easy to see where they get their names. You can easily grow these cucumbers from seed, and they germinate around a week after you plant them. They’re ready to harvest about 60 days later. This makes them a fantastic choice for novice gardeners who want to try; their hand growing vegetables.
If you live in a region that has very mild winters, you can sow this cucumber variety in early April. This way, you’ll be ready to harvest them by the end of June. They’ll keep producing cucumbers throughout the summer and into the fall months. If you have cold winters, plant them outside in early May and be ready to harvest at the end of July. It has shallow roots with vines that can get up to five-feet long.
2. Diva Cucumbers
This is another cucumber variety that gives you snack sized cucumbers that max out at five inches long at full maturity. You can easily add them to your kid’s lunch boxes or as part of your lunch without them taking up too much space. You’ll get a very crisp texture with a refreshing flavor when you bite into them, and they work well when you serve them as crudites during the long, hot summer days.
This cucumber variety will give you a very high yield with a single plant, and you can easily grow them outside or in a greenhouse without any problems. You’ll get seedless flesh with this plant, and the deep to medium green skin is glossy and smooth. It’s an award-winning variety that is very attractive for new and veteran gardeners alike to grow. Remember, you only need a few plants to get a large amount of cucumbers.
3. English Cucumbers
English cucumbers are a cucumber variety that are slender and long with very narrow ends. They usually get between 10 and 15-inches long at full maturity, and you’ll see dark green skin that is very slightly ridged or smooth. They have skin that is so thin that you don’t need to peel it before you eat the cucumber. They’re the common cucumber in Europe but not as common in the United States. You’ll get a very slightly sweet flavor when you eat them, and the flesh is a very pale green color.
This cucumber variety is seedless, and you may find it under the name ‘seedless cucumber’ in the local grocery store. You’ll usually find these cucumbers sold in plastic wrap that can help extend how long they last on the shelf. You’ll usually eat it raw in sandwiches and salads, but they also go great in cocktails.
4. Straight Eight Cucumbers
Just as the name suggests, this cucumber variety produces straight cucumbers that are around eight inches long when you plant them as a full sun vegetable. The cucumbers have dark green skin that is very smooth, and each end has a slightly rounded shape to it. This is a heirloom variety that has a history of being popular that stretches back decades. This is a very easy plant to cultivate, and many people choose it for their children to get them into gardening.
Unlike a lot of cucumber varieties that strictly fall into either pickling, slicing, or a specialty class, this cucumber works well for both pickling and eating raw on salads or by itself. The plant has a trailing habit to it, and the vines can get up to six or eight feet long before they quit growing. This cucumber works best when you grow it on a trellis so it can climb and trail down.
5. Muncher Cucumbers
This is a cucumber variety that you slice and eat raw when they reach their full mature length of 8 to 10-inches. They can get between two and three inches wide, so this is slightly wider than a lot of the entries on the list. If you pick these cucumbers when they’re much smaller and younger, you can use them as pickling cucumbers to make baby pickles. Once you plant them, you can expect these plants to start to germinate very quickly at 3 to 10 days.
This cucumber variety is ready to harvest between 58 and 65 days from germination. This cucumber is burpless and seedless, and this means that they have a very small amount of cucurbitacin. This is what makes you have gas after you eat cucumbers. The fruit has a crunchy texture with no bitter edge to it, and the skin is extremely thin. You can eat it without peeling it because of the skin’s thinness.
6. Ashley Cucumbers
This is another heirloom cucumber variety that can trace roots back to 1956 in Charlston, South Carolina. They’re very popular for growing in humid and hot planting zones because they thrive here. They’re also resistant to downy mildew, and this is a pest that negatively impacts a lot of other cucumber varieties when you grow them in this type of climate. They take 65 days from the date you plant them to harvest, and they usually only get between six and eight-inches long.
This cucumber variety is very dark green, and the ends taper to a slight point where it connects to the vine. There are lumps on the skin with a rough texture. However, these cucumbers are extremely productive once you start harvesting, and it’s easy to get loads from a single plant. They’re very popular at farmer’s markets throughout the United States, and they do best in full sun. You can plant them in partial shade and have them grow too, but they may not produce as much.
7. Wautoma Cucumbers
In the 1980s, this cucumber variety was bred at the University of Wisconsin. It’s a very popular pickling cucumber when it’s small and young. You can also leave them to grow for longer periods on the vine. Doing so will encourage them to develop into full-sized cucumbers that are excellent for slicing and eating in salads. They have very dark green coloring to them, but they also have creamy-green striping. You can get this variety of cucumber with white spines on them, but you can scrap them away without a problem. .
This cucumber variety is considered to be very easy to grow, and they’ll self-pollinate. You can train this plant to trail their vines up a support system like a trellis, and they also grow very nice along the ground. They’re extremely resistant to a huge range of diseases, and this is what makes them so popular to grow. They can also withstand adverse growing conditions better than other varieties, and you can harvest them within 60 days of germination.
8. Alibi Cucumbers
Many people claim that this is one of the best types of pickling cucumbers available on the current market. The fruits on this plant are very versatile, so you can pickle them as well as eat them raw by themselves or in salads. When these cucumbers get fully mature, they only get around four-inches long and a half of an inch wide. The skin is a shade of medium green, and they have a very smooth feel to them without any ridges or bumps.
This is a cucumber variety that has a reputation for producing an impressive amount of fruit on a single plant, so you don’t need a lot to get a huge amount. The fruits are very uniform in looks and size, and the vines are very resistant to disease. You’ll be able to harvest your cucumbers between 45 and 55 days after you plant them. They offer very compact vines that do well in tight or limited spaces.
Fresh Picked!! (2016) by Lisa Zins / CC BY 2.0
9. Eureka Cucumbers
You can slice or pickle this versatile cucumber, and they’re ready to pick around day 57 from the date you sowed them. Depending on when you remove them from the vine, they can get between five and seven-inches long. The fruits will have white spines that stand out very well against the deep green coloring. One highlight with this plant is how resistant it is to diseases. It’s one of the most disease-resistant cucumber varieties available today, and this makes it a favorite among gardeners.
This cucumber can resist angular leaf spot, downy mildew, scab, zucchini yellow virus, powdery mildew, papaya ringspot, cucumber mosaic virus, watermelon mosaic virus, and Anthracnose races one and two. It does best when you have it run off a trellis for additional support, and this support will allow it to produce straighter fruits. When you train it, the vines reach between four and six feet long.
10. Armenian Cucumbers
Even though many people consider the Armenian cucumber to be a cucumber variety, it’s not. It’s very closely related to the common cucumber, but it’s a type of muskmelon, like cantaloupe. The scientific name for this cucumber is Cucumis melo. However, it does have more in common with the cucumber than the muskmelon family, including a very slender body with juicy, pale flesh. The taste profile for this plant is very mild and reminiscent of a traditional cucumber.
The outside of this cucumber variety is ridged, and it has color variations that start with a light medium green and go to a pale greenish-yellow. You may hear people call these fruits the yard-long cucumbers because they can get this long if you don’t pick them. They can get up to 36-inches long, and they’re best if you pick them at 14-inches long because this is when they offer the most flavor.
11. Double Yield Cucumbers
This cucumber variety has a history that dates back to the early 1920s, and it’s been popular since this time to the present day because it produces an impressive number of fruit on a single plant. You’ll get almost a double yield of cucumbers from each plant if you get the growing conditions and upkeep right. The fruits only get between four and six inches long at full maturity, and they taper off into very rounded ends.
The skin on this cucumber variety is yellow-green to a darker medium-green, and you’ll occasionally see black spines. Once you sow them, these cucumbers are ready to harvest around day 52. They work very well for pickling due to the small size, but you can also eat them straight off the vine raw without any problems. For every cucumber you pick, two or three more can replace it.
12. Burpless #26 Cucumbers
This is a hybrid cucumber variety that grows very thin fruits that can easily reach up to 12-inches long at full maturity. However, you typically want to pick them before they reach their full length at around 10-inches to help retain a pleasant flavor. The vines can get several feet long and sprawl out over the ground, so be mindful when you plant them and ensure they have enough room in your vegetable garden layout.
You’ll get a very dark green and thin skin on this cucumber variety, and it has zero hints of bitterness when you eat it. It’s very resistant to downy mildew and mosaic virus, and this makes it a slightly hardier variety than some on the list. You’ll have to stake or trellis the vines to keep the plant healthy, and they’re usually ready to harvest 50 days after you sow them. Picking them regularly will encourage them to produce more fruit.
13. Marketer Cucumbers
Marketer is a cucumber variety that is open-pollinated. It has a long and rich history to it that dates back to 1943 when it was the winner in the All-American Selections award. It’s a cross between the Vaughan and Straight Edge cucumbers, and it was introduced in 1942 in Connecticut. This variety grows best when you plant it in an area that is hot and humid, like the southern portion of the United States.
When you grow this cucumber variety, you’ll see a host of smooth, slender fruits with a very dark green skin on them. They typically get between eight and nine-inches long at full maturity. The vines grow very vigorously, and they’re generally ready to harvest around 55 days after you sow them. Picking the fruit will encourage the vines to grow more.
14. Corinto Cucumbers
You get a very high yield potential with this cucumber variety because it’s extremely hardy and fast-growing. It does well in containers, in the ground, or grown in greenhouses, and it only takes 48 days from when you sow the seeds to be ready to harvest. It has a very dark green skin with lumps on it, and the flesh will be a very pale green to almost white shade with few seeds. It’s disease-resistant to cucumber vein yellowing virus, mosaic virus, and powdery mildew.
You can get this cucumber variety only as organic seeds. They have a very thin skin that means you don’t have to peel them before you eat them, but the skin isn’t thin enough so you bruise or injure the plant when you handle it. When you pick the fruit on this plant, it encourages it to produce one or two more on the same space to increase your yields.
15. American Slicing Cucumbers
This is a standard grocery store cucumber variety that has a dark green flesh with a very straight growth habit. You will occasionally see a light yellow patch near the top of the cucumber. You do want to peel or scrub it before you slice and eat it because most grocery stores will coat them with a very thin layer of wax to help make their shelf lives last longer.
You can pick these cucumbers when they’re consistently dark green in color, and they’ll be between 8 and 10-inches long. They’re best to eat when they’re around eight-inches long. The flesh is a white color with minimal seeds, and they don’t have a bitter note to them. So, you can eat them plain, toss them in a salad, or they’re also a nice garnish for cocktails. They don’t last long once you slice them though, so you do want to plan accordingly.
16. Spacemaster Cucumbers
Not only are they one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but this is also one of the best multi-purpose cucumber varieties available on the current market. It will produce a very large amount of cucumbers to harvest if you get the growing conditions correct, and you can use them as a slicing cucumber if you let them grow bigger. If you pick them early when they’re younger, it’s easy to pickle them.
Generally speaking, this cucumber variety typically stays very compact and small. The plants max out around 24 to 36-inches high, and this makes them a great choice for container gardens or for people who have a very small space to plant. They do well in gardens or containers, and many people choose to grow them in patio planters while still getting a high yield. They have darker green skin with light green striping, and you’ll feel small bumps when you touch them.
17. Boston Pickling Cucumbers
This cucumber variety is seedless, and it’s known for having a slightly stronger flavor profile associated with it. It originated in Boston in the 1800s, hence the name. This is a heirloom variety of cucumber that is very popular with pickling because they only get up to three inches long at a maximum. So, they’re far too small to slice up and eat raw. However, they allow you to make baby pickles with them.
Once you plant this cucumber variety, you’ll start seeing mature cucumbers in 50 to 55 days. This is a very high yield plant. So, as long as you continue picking the cucumbers, they’ll keep flowering and producing more for you to harvest. This cucumber has a very crisp and crunchy texture to it. It’s a very dark green color with small lumps on it. You may see some lighter green striping, but most of them are just dark green.
18. Sugar Crunch Cucumbers
This is another compact cucumber variety that grows very well alongside zucchini. It produces a large amount of crunchy, crisp fruit. As the name suggests, you’ll get a very mild, sweet flavor when you bite into these cucumbers. You can eat them raw sliced up in salads, or you can also pickle them since they are a slightly smaller variety to grow.
This is a hybrid cucumber variety, and they have a very light green skin on them. They’re also very smooth without any bumps or ridges. You may see a slight yellow tinge to them, but they’re mostly dark green. Once you sow these seeds, they’ll be ready to harvest in as few as 57 days. Also, the more you pick them, the more you encourage the plant to grow more throughout the summer and into the early fall months.
19. Sweet Success Cucumbers
This cucumber variety is a seedless hybrid that will give you a very thin-skinned fruit that offers a very sweet, mild taste. They were a winner in the edible category for the All-American Selections in 1983. You’ll get 12 to 14-inch seedless fruit. They taste better if you harvest them around 12-inches, and they’re great for slicing and eating raw. It’s very hardy and can withstand scab, mosaic virus, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.
This is a very vigorously growing cucumber variety to have. They’re ready to harvest in around 54 days when you plant them. Also, the more you pick, the more fruit this plant will produce. To get the best results, you should stake the vines or grow them on a trellis and allow them to trail down. They won’t do extremely well if you let them sprawl along the ground.
20. Tendergreen Burpless Cucumbers
The final cucumber variety on the list is also known as the Burpless Tendergreen. This is a heirloom cultivar that produces a very mild tasting cucumber. They have a very thin skin on them that is very dark green. So, you do have to handle this cucumber with care to avoid bruising it. You can eat it without peeling it though due to the skin’s thinness.
You can pickle or slice this cucumber variety. If you want to pickle it, harvest them when they’re around four to five inches long. To eat without pickling, harvest them when they’re around eight inches long. This is a very vigorous growing plant that resists downy mildew and powdery mildew. They’re ready to harvest 55 days after you first plant them.
These 20 cucumber varieties give you a starting point to decide what you want to grow in your garden. You can mix and match, depending on if you want to pickle them or slice them and eat them raw. They grow well in containers, gardens, or greenhouses, so you have flexibility when you plant them. So, plant a few, watch them grow, and harvest them in the summer for a nice snack.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.