40 Of The Best Cucumber Varieties
Growing cucumbers have transitioned from the ancient times in the Indus valley to modern-day gardening.
The first cucumber varieties were somewhat bitter. This was a defensive mechanism to keep animals from eating them before they were ripe.
Nonetheless, cucumber varieties have evolved over the centuries into some of the finest vegetables for our gardens.
In fact, they have become an integral part of meals, especially when making pickles and salad.
If you want to add some more cucumbers to your already flourishing garden, then you should take some time and learn more about the cucumber varieties as well as some of the best cucumber growing tips.
Let’s delve into it.Cucumber varieties have evolved over the centuries into some of the finest vegetables for our gardens Click To Tweet
The Main Varieties of Cucumbers
The numerous varieties of cucumbers are categorized into four main groups. In this section, we are going to look at each category closely.
- Slicing Cucumber Variety | These cucumbers are excellent for salads and for other slicing and dicing meals. Most of these varieties of cucumbers hold up very well on their own.
- Pickling Cucumber Variety | Pickling cucumbers are perfect for canning and other pickling recipes. Most of them are also perfect for salads, but some may be a little bitter, so more suited for pickling liquids to balance out that flavor.
- Specialty Cucumber Variety | These types of cucumbers are some of the fanciest & peculiar cucumbers you may see & taste. Give them a shot if you want something different.
- Container Cucumber Variety | Some of the slicing and pickling cucumbers may also be grown in a container with a suitable trellis. These varieties of cucumbers are suited more for container growing because of their bushy nature.
Note: We have indicated the All-American Selections (AAS) winners for each variety with an asterisk (*).
Slicing Cucumbers Varieties | A Cucumber Variety for All
Some of the characteristics of slicing cucumber varieties include vines, which are typically endowed with wide leaves. These cucumbers are best eaten before ripening because they get sour and bitter when ripe. Normally, they are green in color but yellow when ripe.
Varieties of Slicing Cucumbers
Diva Cucumber * | This fruit is easy to the eye due to its glossy appearance and has a balanced shape. It’s thin-skinned and extremely good for slicing. The typical length of this cucumber variety is 6 to 8 inches.
It is a renowned AAS winner and can be harvested in 58 days.
Straight 8 Cucumber | This a tasty light green cucumber that takes about 50 to 55 days to fully mature. It is an heirloom, which is harvested at about 8 cm. The name emanates from its straight appearance as well as its length when mature.
It is best to harvest this cucumber variety before they go past their prime, which is indicated by a yellow color.
Bush Champion Cucumber | If you like a high yielder, then you should go for the Bush champion. The mature fruit of a bush champion cucumber variety ranges within 8 -11 inches in terms of length.
It is straight and bright green in color and you should be able to harvest in 60 days.
Ashley Cucumber | Ashley is another slicer cucumber variety. It is an heirloom characterized by thin skin, which assumes a light green color. For the best quality, it should be harvested within 65 days when it’s 8 inches long.
Early Frame Cucumber | In comparison to most heirloom cucumber varieties, the early frame cucumber matures at a fast rate and can be used for both pickling and slicing. It best size for harvesting and consumption averages at 7-8 inches.
In case you have never seen this cucumber, it has pale green lines which form a distinct pattern.
Saladmore Bush F1 Cucumber * | This cucumber grow in a semi-bush and is a crispy variety that is perfect for your salads or picked earlier for pickling. Matures in about 55 days.
Dasher II Cucumber | The Dasher II is a high breed of strong disease-resistant cucumber that matures within 55 days. It grows to about 8.5 inches and has a rich green color.
Muncher Cucumber | The Muncher is the kind of slicing cucumber variety that doesn’t need to be peeled when ready. It takes an average of 60 days to completely mature. The ideal length for harvesting it is 4-6 inches.
Orient Express II Cucumber | When you walk in the grocery store, the chances are that you will find this cucumber variety wrapped in plastic. Besides being burpless, it is also resistant to common cucumber diseases. It grows to about 14 inches in 64 days, and once it attains this length it is ready for harvesting.
Green Fingers Persian Cucumber | This is a Persian style F1 Hybrid slicing cucumber variety that attains maturity within 60 days. Green Fingers Persian also doesn’t need any peeling as well.
It grows to about 4-5 inches, and that’s the perfect size for harvesting it.
Chelsea Slice Cucumber | Apart from being scab resistant, the Chelsea slice cucumber is Hybrid. It is characterized by a distinct sweetness and thin skin. This cucumber stands out in terms of length as it can grow up to 15 inches. Moreover, it is self-pollinating.
Marketmore 76 | This is yet another heirloom cucumber variety that is self-pollinated. Its typical maturity period falls within 56-58 days. You can count on this cucumber to give you good yields and withstand harsh conditions.
Chinese Snake | The origin of this cucumber can be traced back to ancient China. Though it produces straight fruits, it is capable of producing curved cucumbers.
The Chinese snake cucumber variety takes about 75 days to completely mature and should be harvested at 15 to 18 inches long.
Tendergreen Cucumber | The most popular variety of the Tendergreen cucumber is the bush beans and is best suited for hot weather. One of its unique features is the stingless pods. It is also known for its resilience when exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Sweet Success F1 Cucumber * | This is an AAS winner from 1983 that is so tender and sweet, and huge (12-24″ long) that you will love growing these cucumbers in your garden. It is an early maturing cucumber variety that is perfect for summer salads. About 55 days to harvest
Saber Cucumber | The dark green skin of this cucumber variety will keep these delicious fruit protected from any insects. They are super sweet and juicy along with being robust in your garden. Harvest in 55 days.
Mini Munch Cucumber | These wonderful snack attack mini cucumber variety (3-4″ long) are really something to sink your teeth into. The fruit is a rich green with smooth skin. Harvest in about 55 days
If you want to add some more cucumbers to your already flourishing garden, then you should take some time and learn more about the cucumber varieties as well as some of the best cucumber growing tips. Click To Tweet
Pickling Cucumber Varieties | Peter Picked a Peck of Pickled Cukes
Besides being thicker and shorter, pickling cucumbers barely have a regular shape. Their skin is rough with spines. They can either be dark-green in color, yellowish or creamy.
Types of Pickling Cucumbers Varieties
Calypso Cucumber F1 | These are a Greenthumb Gardener favorite. This variety produces some uniform green cucumbers that are perfect for pickling.
The cucumber keeps coming in pretty heavy and an extremely dependable especially in the North Carolina heat. Harvest in about 55 days
Alibi Cucumbers | These pickling cucumber varieties are a little on the smaller size at 3-4″, but are perfect for either salad or brining.
They have a long ample growing production as resistant to many diseases. 50 days to harvest.
H19 Little Leaf Pickling Cucumber | A prolific climbing cucumber variety that has small leaf size, hence its name. It is perfect for a garden bed or even in a container and makes an excellent crunchy pickle. Harvest in about 55 days.
Double Yield Cucumber | A highly productive pickling cucumber variety with a crisp and delicious fruit that is quite tasty when pickled. Cucumber size ranges from 4-6″ long lime green with black spines. Harvest in about 55 days.
Liberty Cucumber * | An olde but goodie pickling cucumber variety that is an AAS winner from 1978. Surprisingly could not find these seeds sold anywhere.
Wisconsin SMR-58 Pickling Cucumber | This pickling cucumber variety produces massive yields that are perfect for pickling. The flavor is mild and somewhat sweet. 55 days to harvest.
Parisian Gherkin F1 Cucumber * | This pickling cucumber makes a great midget sized cuke or grown larger for a traditional gherkin pickle. These plants a very prolific and produce many very quickly. They are ready to harvest by day 50.
Pick a Bushel F1 Cucumber * | This AAS winner is ready to harvest in 50 days. It grows as a compact bush that spreads only about 24 inches, so this may also be a good choice for container gardens. It has a sweeter taste with a firm texture.
Wautoma Cucumber | Wautoma is a strong open-pollinated heirloom pickling cucumber. It takes about 60 days to mature and withstands harsh conditions and common cucumber diseases such as the angular lift blight.
The average length for harvesting Wautoma is between 4-5 inches. The best bit about it is that it is not bitter at all and brines perfectly.
Jersey Pickling Cucumber | Every region has plants that do really well depending on the climatic conditions, and cucumbers are no exception. Nonetheless, the Jersey pickling cucumber is versatile and flourishes out of its comfort zone.
When mature, this fruit is perfect for dill pickles. It’s marked by black spines and better harvested when 7-8 inches long.
National Pickling Cucumber | Another Greenthumb Gardener favorite that makes into our garden each year. When it comes to cucumbers with the highest yields, the National Pickling cucumber, which is an heirloom, tops the list.
It produces medium-sized cucumbers which are straight and green in color. The National Pickling cucumber is ready for harvesting at 55 days after planting.
Eureka Cucumber | Eureka is a dark green, disease-resistant cucumber that is characterized by a small seed cavity. Upon full maturity, it reaches up to 7 inches. You can harvest it in 57 days and use it as slicer or pickler.
Homemade Pickles Cucumber | Homemade Pickles are superb pickling cucumbers with a regular shape. Unlike the others, Homemade pickles are harvested at about 1.5 inches.
However, if you prefer dill pickles, you can let them grow to around 5-6 inches.
Northern Pickling Cucumber | This cucumber stands for its notably black spines and shorter vines. The Northern Pickling is resistant to scab and is ready for harvesting within 48 days.
Excelsior Cucumber | This name reminds me of Stan Lee for any comic book fans. Very prolific variety fo cucumbers that produce fruit about 4-5″ long. It is very disease resistant and perfect for any greenhouse or garden beds. Harvest in about 50 days.
Specialty Cucumber Varieties | You want me to try this?
This is the third category of cucumbers. Specialty cucumbers are from the heirloom family. Although the heirloom cucumbers may take more time to grow and are sometimes susceptible to diseases, their flavor is unbeatable.
Types of specialty cucumbers
Armenian Cucumber | These Armenian Cucumber varieties are also known snake melons. They reproduce through open-pollination and take up to 60 days to mature.
Some of the Armenian cucumber characteristics include a ribbed texture on the surface. Additionally, they are long and can grow up to 19 inches.
However, it’s best to harvest them at 12 inches long and with a width of about 1.5 inches.
Lemon Cucumbers | Lemon cucumbers are yellow in color and have a distinct rich flavor. However, they are quite hard to find.
The maturity period of these cucumbers variety is 65 days and are usually harvested at 1.5 inches.
Crystal Apple White Spine Cucumber | As its name suggests, this is a white cucumber variety that has a unique shape. Though it’s mistakenly likened to a lemon cucumber, it is totally different.
In fact, they are not from the same family. One of its notable characteristics is its white spines. The dominant color is, however, pale white. Due to its shape, it’s a good fit for slicing.
Boothby Blonds Cucumber | This cucumber variety is named Boothby blonds because it was preserved for generations by the Boothby family. Moreover, it is linked to a white cucumber that is popularly known as a salad.
The best size to harvest it is at 3 inches long. When ripe, it assumes a bright orange color and takes about 55 days to fully mature.
Jelly Melon Cucumber | This specialty cucumber is also known as Kiwano or African Horned cucumber. It is not a true cucumber, but it gets lumped here because it resembles one..
It has a distinct flavor that is much like pomegranate and citrus. 120 days to maturity.
Cucumbers for Containers | Good Cucumber Varieties Come in Small Packages
The space for planting cucumbers may be limited in modern gardens. However, there is a variety of cucumbers that can easily be planted in containers and their leaves will barely spread out to occupy more space.
Types of Container Cucumbers Varieties
Spacemaster Cucumber | With compact vines, the Spacemaster cucumbers can flourish in a small garden and yield considerably.
Fanfare Cucumber F1 * | An AAS winner from 1994 known to produce vigorous and better quality fruit over the season. Flavorful and less bitter cucumber variety that is perfect for a container garden with its semi-bush nature.
Takes about 65 days to harvest.
Salad Bush Cucumber * | The Salad Bush cucumber is compact and bred to fit in a container. In 57 days, this cucumber is ready for harvesting. By this time it’s usually 8 inches long and dark green in color.
One of its most desirable qualities is the strong resistance to diseases.
Different types of cucumbers thrive in specific conditions. Therefore, it is important that you only purchase cucumber seeds of the fruit that can flourish in your region.
However, some cucumbers are versatile and can grow in varying conditions. Also, buying seeds, planting and watering cucumbers may not be enough to ensure that they are productive.
You ought to have the right cucumber growing tips to take care of the plant from the beginning to the end.
Check out our guide here on Seed Saving fundamentals if you want to try and save your seeds from your harvest from open-pollinated or heirloom cucumber varieties.