Cucumber is a fruit that is extensively used as a vegetable. Demand for fresh cucumbers in salads is rising every year. It is originated in India, but 18 percent of cucumbers imported to US are grown in green house. (1)
Growing cucumbers in your backyard or in container isn’t tough, if you know the requirements of this plant.
Water is one such crucial requirement for any plant. Without which you can expect the plant to survive.
But, how much water does a cucumber plant need per day to give best yield?
To be precise, there is no such set of formula on how much or how often to water your cucumber plants. It all depends on other conditions like soil, climatic conditions, temperature and how much sunlight it’s getting.
A quick answer would be; make sure 1 inch of soil is moist. If you find it dry, water generously.
Your growing medium will impact the watering schedule and it’s very important that you initially you prefer the best soil for cucumber.
Cucumber plants like fertile and well-drained soil to grow. Though cucumber plants need moist soil, it doesn’t thrive in soggy environment.
How Often to Water Cucumber Plants?
Watering needs of your plant depends on the quality of soil you used in the container, temperature, climatic conditions and the irrigation method you’re opting for.
According to the season, you must regulate watering frequency.
So, if you’re looking for an exact quantity to water your cucumber plant, then I’m afraid you can’t effectively grow your plant in this way.
Though boring, you must take the pain to know your plant.
Also Read: Are Cucumbers Self-Pollinating?
Essential Factors for Healthy Cucumber Plant Growth
Soil, water, sunlight, space and time are essential growing needs of a plant.
To effectively water your cucumber plant, first thing is to choose preferred soil for this plant.
If you’re growing cucumber plant in a container, then make sure you mix old manure with garden soil along with 1 part of sand.
More sand in your growing medium will allow water to easily escape through the drainage hole. So, you must water the plant more frequently.
However, if the garden soil isn’t well drained it may result in overwatering.
Mix garden soil, dry compost, perlite and peat moss in equal quantities; cucumber plants are heavy feeders, so you must include compost in the growing medium.
If you’re planning to grow in backyard, then just add red soil and compost at the base of the plant.
Also Read: How Long Does it Take for Cucumber to Grow?
Wind, humidity and intensity of sunlight help to determine the frequency of watering your plant.
Cucumber does well in warm climate. It needs direct sunlight to thrive.
If your locality has high temperatures, then watering 1 inch per day won’t work. You must accordingly increase watering schedule.
In winter seasons, the plant may not need much water.
How to Know If My Cucumber Plant Needs Water?
If you didn’t skip above paragraphs, you might know that you must check your plant to determine how often to water it.
There are different ways the plant tells you to water it.
Among them, wilting or drooping leaves is one such sign that shows that your plant needs water.
Dry leaf tip also show that the plant is dying from Underwatering.
Instead, to save your plant leaves from wilting you can just insert your index finger into the soil to the point where your second knuckle of index finger meet surface of the soil.
If your plant has enough water, then you must feel moisture at tip of the index finger. In case you feel dryness, it’s time to water your plant generously.
Watering Cucumber Plants (Backyard/Container)?
Every plant has its different watering requirement. Cucumber plant in this case is categorized as a vegetable plant (though it’s a fruit).
These types of plants need regular watering and are high feeders. They need natural fertilizers to thrive.
However, overwatering the plant will result in root rot.
So, it’s very important that you know watering needs of your plant.
- Cucumbers are hot weather plants; they grow when the weather is hot.
- Though these plants like to have moist soil around them, they don’t want to be wet feet. So, you must avoid clogging water in the container.
- Having well-drained, fertile soil will be best growing medium to grow cucumber in pots.
- Avoid watering on cucumber leaves, because that will attract fungal disease.
- You can also use drip irrigation to water your cucumber plant.
Also Read: What Not to Plant With Cucumbers?
How much water does a cucumber plant need per day?
If you local climate is hot, then I recommend to water your cucumber plant twice per day, in the morning and in the evening.
Container gardeners must make sure that 1 inch soil is moist most of the time. It all depends on factors like soil, local climatic condition and method of irrigation.
How to water cucumber plants?
- Instead of watering its foliage, vegetable plants must be watered at its base.
- Wetting foliage will attract fungus infection like powdery mildew.
- Apart from that, low and slow watering will allow to soak water into the soil.
Measure how much water your plant is taking using a hose meter or a bucket. (Source)
Signs of Underwatering Cucumber Plants
Dry leaves and stunted growth of your plant is a sign that you’re Underwatering cucumber plant.
You can also check soil surface, if it’s dry and crusty then the plant isn’t getting enough water.
Drooping leaves, discolored foliage, slow growth and dry leaves are common signs of Underwatering.
Also Read: How Often to Water Lettuce?
How to Revive?
Start watering your cucumber plant generously and make sure it gets enough sunlight to thrive.
Whenever you notice the soil is dry, water slowly at the base of the plant. This will allow the plant to absorb nutrients along with water.
Underwatering, often result in low intake of nutrients and also affect photosynthesis process.
Signs of Overwatering Cucumber Plants
Choosing the wrong potting soil to grow cucumber will often result in overwatering.
Most new gardeners face this problem. Most of their plants die not due to lack of water but because of overwatering.
Out of care and lack of knowledge about watering requirement of the plant, most new gardeners water excess leading to root rot.
Plant roots take oxygen through soil to survive and overwatering will make the task difficult.
Even if the plant survives, overwatering will affect the yield.
How to Revive?
Overwatered plants can’t affectively transport water to foliage. And long exposure to sunlight will burn the upper leaves.
- To save them and to revive the plant, initially shift your overwatered cucumber plant to shade.
- Allow it to dry for few days.
- Water only when you notice the soil is 1 inch dry.
When things roll back to normal; shift the plant to get full exposure from sunlight.
Also Read: How Much Water Does Broccoli Need?
Important Tips to Grow Cucumber Plant at Home
If you’re growing cucumber in containers, then most important thing is to choose potting soil.
Potting soil plays vital role in growing any plant. Wrong soil mixture will result in overwatering and stunted plant growth.
As mentioned above, mix equal amount of potting soil, old compost and peat moss.
- Compost provides the nutrients for the cucumber plant.
- Peat moss and perlite is used to improve drainage.
- Garden soil helps to hold the plant and nutrients, so that roots absorb it.
- Water the plant only when you feel dryness after touching the soil.
- Water slowly and at the base of the plant.
- Depending on your local temperature, water regularly.
- Watering your plant in morning hours will help the plant to start the food making process as soon as the bright sunlight hits them. Apart from this, extra water droplets of your foliage will be evaporated.
- Fill base of the container will charcoal, this will stop soil escape from the drainage hole.
Now, you know that depending on your climatic conditions in your region, you must water your cucumber plant. How often and how much water your cucumber plant needs per day, is directly depends on the soil your used, temperature in your locality and humidity.
A simple thumb rule is to check the surface of the soil by inserting your index finger, if your feel moist or wet, don’t water. In other case, i.e. if you feel dryness, then water slowly at the base of the plant.