Most gardeners confess that they started their gardening journey by growing either cucumbers or tomatoes. And the reason is, these two vegetables (or fruits) are extensively used in our day to day lives.
Packed with antioxidants, nutrients and aids in weight loss, cucumber is one of the easy to grow vegetable plant.
As long as you provide consistent watering and sunlight, this plant will gift you with good yield.
So, for how many hours of sun do cucumbers need?
Cucumber plant does well in full sun. It requires 6-8 hours of full sun exposure. Direct sunlight helps these plants to produce juicy fruits.
Location of your container must be under direct sunlight without any obstruction. If you’re living in an apartment, make sure the plant gets at-least 5 hours of direct sunlight.
Cucumber Sunlight Requirements
Not getting adequate amount of water or sunlight, your cucumber plant starts dying.
Getting low light will eventually impacts the fruits. You can’t expect healthy and juicy fruits with low sunlight.
Cucumbers growth and ability to produce more fruits is incited with energy from full sunlight exposure.
You might know about the photosynthesis process. Sunlight, water and soil are essential factors required for a plant to grow.
Ideally, cucumber plants need 6 to 8 hours of direct bright sunlight. Location and direction of your vegetable plant facing plays vital role in the amount of sunlight is receives throughout the day.
So, before planting in a garden, make sure to check the spot gets required amount of sunlight.
Note: More than required amount of exposure to sunlight can damage your plant.
Also Read: What Not to Plant With Cucumbers?
How Much Sunlight Do Cucumbers Need?
If you didn’t skip about lines, by now you might know that your cucumber plants need adequate amount (6-8 hours) of direct sunlight.
Should you stop reading here?
If gardening is your passion, then it is important to know more about the plant that you’re about to grow.
More you know about the requirement of the plant, you can expect high success rate of growing healthy cucumbers.
You must check the intensity and facing of your vegetable garden before planting cucumbers.
Also Read: Are Cucumbers Self-Pollinating?
Do cucumbers like morning or afternoon sunlight?
Morning sunlight isn’t intense. So, its better that location of your cucumber plant gets both morning and afternoon sunlight.
Researchers say that sunlight from 10 am to 4 pm is intense. If your cucumber plant is suffering from low light, then place the container in a location with full exposure.
University of Maryland recommends at-least 6 hours of full exposure to sunlight. However, they also prefer 8-10 hours of sunlight.
Agrilifeextension.tamu.edu says another reason why cucumber plant needs full exposure is that their roots go 36 to 48 inches deep.
Do Cucumber Plants Need Full Sun?
As mentioned above, this vegetable plant requires full sun exposure to produce best yield.
But, there are some cases where the plant shouldn’t be exposed to full sun for longer time.
Transplanted cucumber seedlings when exposed to hot sunlight, they may not able to tolerate the intense rays of sun and eventually plant gets damaged.
Second case, if your cucumber plant is unhealthy and has thin leaves; long exposure to sunlight will result in premature cucumber fruits.
Also Read: How Long Does it Take for Cucumber to Grow?
Signs Cucumber Plant Getting Low Light
Cucumber is native to India (South Asia), and it thrives well in full sunlight. Not getting enough light will result in poor plant growth with small leaves and fruits.
Apart from stunted growth, cucumber plants may experience yellowing and dropping of leaves.
How to revive?
Shift the cucumber plant to a spot where it gets enough hours of sunlight. Also, make sure that it is well moisturized.
Can Cucumber Grow in Shade or Partial Shade?
No, you can’t grow cucumber plant successfully with good yield in shade. Even in partial shade that growth will be affected. As mentioned above, low light will result in stunted plant growth.
When kept in shade, the plant fails to produce necessary food due to lack of sunlight. There are some plants that can tolerate partial shade, but cucumber is among the vegetable plants that are least tolerant towards partial shade.
Even if you get the yield through partial shade, low sunlight will impact its foliage color and your plant doesn’t look attractive enough.
You can grow cucumber seedlings indoors, but to grow a cucumber plant you must provide artificial lights that can provide enough warmth to the plant.
50F-90F is the temperature range that this annual vine loves.
Basic Cucumber Plant Requirements that You Must Know
Cucumber plant is native to South Asia. This annual vine does well in organic rich loose soil. They can’t tolerate frost, so you must start growing cucumbers after last frost.
However, you can start growing seedlings indoors before 6 weeks and plant outside after last frost.
This plant requires at-least 6 hours of sunlight and temperature ranging from 50 F to 95 F. Anything lower than 50F or higher than 90F will negatively impact the plant growth.
More than required sunlight can get cucumber plants sunburned.
How to protect cucumber plant from heat?
To save your cucumbers from soaring heat, use thin shade cloth that can reflect sun heat and firm enough to hold up to any wind.
Make sure there is a distance between the shade cloth and top of the plant. This is to allow easy air flow.
To lower soil temperature, cover the base of cucumber plant with mulch. Apart from protecting from heat, mulch will reduce water evaporation and reduce avoid weed growth.
Due to increasing temperature, your plant may require water more frequently. Check the soil surface, if it isn’t moist up to 4 inches, water generously.
Growing medium should hold water effectively, for this you must choose well-drained and fertile soil to grow cucumber plants.
Can I Use Grow Lights for Vegetables?
Don’t let outside weather ruin your dream to grow your edibles.
In case of houseplants, natural light that comes in your home, besides windowsill is enough. But, edibles needs medium to high light.
Thankfully, with improved technologies we’ve LED grow lights that can be used to provide high levels of lights to match the requirement of your indoor vegetable plant.
Apart from mature plant, you can germinate seeds indoors using grow lamps.
Most important factor here is to know how much light your cucumber plant requires. For high levels of light move the container near the grow lamp, and for shade shift the location.
It can be easy to grow cucumber plants under grow lights once you try it. Also, remember to choose bush cucumber variety that can be easily grown indoors. There are bunch of different varieties that you can try to grow using grow lights. Read detailed procedure here.
I personally prefer vine cucumber variety. It’s naturally and for me it’s fascinating to see the plant climbing trellis.
However, when you don’t have a chance to grow vine, you can try bush variety.
How to Take Care of Cucumber Plant?
To successfully grow a cucumber plant, you must initially know its essential requirements.
Soil not just holds the plant and helps in absorbing nutrients. It must well-drained so that no excess water is clogged. Overwatering is an issue; it can result in root rotting.
Mix your growing medium with soil, compost and perlite. This not just helps in easy flow of water, but allows air flow.
Along with a drainage hole at the bottom of the container, you must place some charcoal or dry grass that stops the escape of nutrients through the hole.
Watering is an essential aspect of growing vegetable plants. Unlike houseplants, edibles are heavy feeders and need consistent moisture.
Check the soil for dryness by inserting your index finger in the surface of the soil. If it’s dry, moisturize it generously.
Like water and soil, sunlight is also essential for a plant to make its own food. Without enough sunlight your plant may experience stunted growth and it will fail to produce juicy fruits while harvesting.
Fertilize your cucumber plant once in a month. Those fertilizers with high amount of potassium and low levels of nitrogen will boost good yield.
Powdery mildew is one of the common diseases that attack cucumber plant. Use milk mixed with water, neem water, garlic solution or baking soda mixed with water. These homemade pesticides will help to avoid this disease.
Cucumber plant thrives well in full sunlight. It requires sunlight of about 8-10 hours. Accordingly, you must moisturize the cucumber plant by adequate watering.
Cover the base of the cucumber plant with mulch to avoid water evaporation and to save the plant from temperature fluctuation.
Make sure to add compost to the container, cucumbers are heavy feeders. Good amount of organic fertilizers will help to boost the yield.
Low sunlight can result in slow plant growth. Likewise, high levels of sunlight can result in burned foliage. Check your plant to know if it’s getting low light or more than required sunlight.