White pumpkins can be grown with a few efforts to retain their white color. Along with being edible, they can double up to be a part of a lovely decoration during the holiday season.
The white color of the pumpkin doesn’t come naturally. It’s believed to have undergone some genetic changes, thanks to a few scientists and farmers who helped to give this snowy color to the pumpkin.
Generally, the pumpkins take about 75 to 100 days to mature. In this article I will help you learn how to grow white pumpkins easily in a proper step by step guide. I have been growing it for years now, so I have the knowledge.
How to Grow White Pumpkins: Step-by-Step Guide
You will be wrong if you think there’s only one type of white pumpkin.
There are many variants of white pumpkins based on the sizes and shapes and christened with attractive names, such as Baby Boo, Hooligan, Lumina, Casper, Full Moon, Cotton Candy, Silver Moon, Valenciano, Crystal Star, White Ghost, Polar Bear, Snowball, etc.
Based on the type of pumpkin, they need to be grown under suitable conditions to achieve the desired result. Some pumpkins aren’t edible and are used only for decoration purposes, while you can use a few for both purposes.
Things Required For Growing White Pumpkin
To master the process of how to grow white pumpkins successfully, you will require the following things:
- Space of 1000 sq. ft. per plant with water access through the hose.
- The area where you plant should be free from frost for about 75 to 100 days. If you are from the north region, start your planting activity in the last week of May. In contrast, if from the southern states, start planting early in July.
- A sunny spot with an area of 50 to 10 sq. ft. per plant for the vines that sprawl around. In the case of constrained spaces, you can plant at the edge of your garden, allowing the vines to spread across the paths or lawns of your garden.
- Large quantities of nutrients/manure/compost.
- Simple tools like hoe, pick, rake or shovel.
- Soil with draining capacity.
- Pumpkin seeds. You may get a packet with approximately 10 in it.
- Bog pots measuring 6 inches for germination.
- A mixture of seed starters.
- Cotton tips or buds to support pollination.
- Stiff cardboard for storage.
Growing pumpkins need sound preparation before you start the process. Keep yourself ready with quality manure or compost. You can also choose to go organically by using fertilizers rich in nitrogen to support the leaves and creepers.
Once the plant starts growing flowers and fruits, use fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphate. The ideal ratio for fertilizers goes as 8-24-24 or 5-15-15. Keep ready granular soil that is organically rich to achieve a good yield. The sandy soil grasps heat quickly from the sunshine and is a good drainage soil.
The vines may grow more than 25 feet, so be sure you can provide ample space for the pumpkins to grow. The pumpkins are high feeders and require abundant nutrients and water during their growth and sprawl.
Ensure you make the provisions to replenish them from time to time. Else it may adversely affect the plant, leading to the falling of the leaves and dropping of the young fruits, limiting the blossom of the remaining ones.
Planting the seeds will also need planning to arrange the mounds in rows. Keep a distance of 10-15 feet between the rows and about 3-4 feet between each heap.
Though planting seeds of white pumpkin are simple, it’s crucial to review the conditions before you start doing it. The area and the climate where you live play a prominent part in when to plant the seeds. Plant seeds at an appropriate time to have a successful yield.
Ideally, start planting the seeds once the frosty climate ends. It generally falls between late May and June for most US parts and areas around. Warm soil favors the germination process, while the weather helps the pumpkins mature to their full potential by autumn when they can go for harvest.
Sow the seeds at least 1 to 1.5 inches deep for ideal germination. Soil with a temperature between 20 to 30 degrees C is excellent for good germination.
Keep a distance of around 3 to 4 feet between each plant. Pumpkins thrive well in sunlight, so plant them at a spot; where they can absorb the sun rays at the max. Let the pumpkins soak the sun’s rays all day long to grow them to the maximum possible size.
The vines also need a minimum of 8 hours of sun, or else; they may shrink, affecting the whole plant adversely.
Watering pumpkins plants with an appropriate amount is equally vital. Ensure to provide optimum water to the pumpkins to help them develop a robust root structure. A strong root structure enables the plant to fight several natural calamities like drought.
Pumpkins essentially require water during the flowering and fruiting periods. Set a program to water the pumpkins at an interval every 2 days. Ideally, 1 inch at the plant bases will help the roots to grow strong.
You don’t have to worry if there are unprecedented rains. Ensuring you keep the soil dampened and not drenched with water is ideal.
We all studied germination long back in our school grades. To define shortly, it is the lifecycle of the entire plant, right from sowing seeds to intermediate stages like spore/bulb, ultimately growing to the plant stage.
Factors like the water-absorbing capacity of the plant, oxygen available to the plant, coldness, heat, light, and time can affect the germination process, either adversely or favorably. Comparatively, the germination process of the white pumpkin is simple.
A white pumpkin germinates at a temperature between 27 and 29 degrees Celcius. Pumpkins grow well in well-drained warm soil. 2 hours of soaking suffices the growth of the plants, while some can soak for the entire day, which helps in quick germination.
File the seed carefully, if required to deplete the shell without piercing it. It will speed up the germination process.
- Fill 1-2 inches of compost in bog pots of size 6 inches. Fill up the remaining area with soil.
- Add an appropriate amount of seed-starting mixture as per the instructions.
- Sow the seed at a depth of not more than 2 inches into the pot.
- Try to provide warmness to the underneath part of the pot. You can either keep seedling heat mats (which you can purchase) underneath them; or keep them over the warm surface on your refrigerator’s top.
- Remove the warmth sources once you notice the sprouting.
- If luck favors you, you can view some sproutings after 4 to 6 days. Else you may have to try once or twice to achieve the results.
The entire germination process ranges from 4 days to 10 days. After germination, you can start the process of planting.
Changes to Observe while The Plant Grows
In the initial phase, once you see the shoots, add a proportionate amount of fertilizer having high nitrogen content. It will help the leaves to grow. Alternatively, you can add ground coffee in place of fertilizer straightway onto the root location.
Large leaves absorb maximum sunlight to facilitate chlorophyll production. The leaves shelter the young pumpkins, protecting them from the sunstroke that would otherwise scorch them.
Ensure you water the plants at their bases, keeping the leaves dry. It helps to prevent the building-up of dusty mildew, which is harmful to your plants, often killing them.
In a few days, you will be able to notice large flowers with bright colors, most of the time yellow. These flowers, some male and some female, play a vital role in pollinating the pumpkins.
Males will bud first and then the females after a week. You can effortlessly identify the female due to its minuscule, bloated, and rounded bulge underneath the petals. The lump is a budding pumpkin. To grow a pumpkin, you will ideally need two plants, one male and another female.
An area rich with bees, butterflies, and pollination-favoring insects will help to pollinate the plants faster. Else, the responsibility of pollination lies within yourself; to confirm whether pollination has happened. Keep yourself ready with a cotton ball or small-sized tidied paintbrush.
Collect a few pollen from the male and gently pat them onto the female. The flowers will eventually dry out and perish. But the little lump from the female flower will start its journey to become a pumpkin.
It’s ok to get rid of the male flowers after pollination. It will help the female flowers to get extra nutrients.
Within 45 to 55 days, you can see pumpkins growing on their vines. Keep a tab on the count of these growing pumpkins. Prune those vines that already support a few pumpkins, preventing excess pumpkins from growing on them.
Identifying a pumpkin for its ripeness is pretty simple. Tap the pumpkin using your finger; to hear a hollow sound. In addition, push the skin gently using your fingernail. No cutting on the skin and resistance from the fruit confirms the pumpkin is ripe.
On average, one pumpkin plant yields 2 to 5 pumpkins.
Storing pumpkins is general for all types. Store them in a dark and cool area. You can stock them in a room in the basement or even use your garage.
The thick cardboard will come to use now. The cardboard will prevent the pumpkins from getting frozen or attacked by contaminants or insects. Ensure you store them with the stalk facing the downside.
The white pumpkins have a good shelf-life of about 3 to 4 months without any issues, provided you follow the above tips.
Types of White Pumpkin
Herewith is a list of the types of white pumpkins.
- Baby Boo:These types are small in size, but you cannot consume them. Instead, they help kids with their craft assignments and add value to decorations in the fall.
- Hooligan: This pumpkin is also small-sized, featuring bits of green spots. Perfect for a Halloween face with speckles.
- Lumina: Having an orange pump, this type of pumpkin grows to a weight of 10 to 15 pounds. The white color of this pumpkin suffices to lighten up the garden with no lamps. It is one of the popular types among white pumpkins.
- Casper: Perfect pumpkin to etch out the jack o’lantern looks due to its softness. It takes around 155 days to come up with the super-white skin. This pumpkin has excess sweetness, compelling you to limit the proportion of other sweet components while baking.
- Full Moon: This pumpkin is for those who want a large-sized, fleshy pumpkin. It can grow up to 90 pounds. To retain the white color, ensure you shelter it properly in a protective place.
- Cotton Candy: Developed by Rupp Seeds, this pumpkin features a robust stem and the classic round shape of the conventional pumpkin. To prevent yellowing, store this in a cold and dark place.
- Silver Moon: The medium size of these pumpkins makes them simpler to manage than the other bigger and heavier variants. It is resistant to dusty mildew and pumpkin yellow mosaic virus.
- Valenciano: This pumpkin is also medium-sized weighing around 8 to 10 pounds. It takes about 110 days to grow. The pumpkin has a sweet taste and features a flat shape with little ribs.
- Crystal Star: These pumpkins generally weigh about 35 pounds. The diameter is about 12 inches. You can cook the pumpkin and carve it as well. The distribution of the pulp is uniform. The pumpkin doesn’t turn yellow despite aging.
- White Ghost: This pumpkin comes in an irregular form, the flesh is thick, and the taste is unusual. It is not ideal for carving.
- Polar Bear: This pumpkin weighs approximately 65 pounds. Storing in the sun helps to get its shiny white color.
- Snowball: Famous for the thousands of seeds in a small two-pound pumpkin. The white skin of these pumpkins effectively contrasts with the darker greeny stems.
How do you make pumpkins grow faster?
Herewith are a few steps to speed up the growth of pumpkins.
- Plant them in a sunny spot where they can get a lot of sunshine. Due to this, you may also have to water it abundantly to counter the quick evaporation due to the sun.
- Feed the plant with nitrogen-rich fertilizers frequently, but in appropriate proportion and per the timetable we mentioned above.
- Plant in small mounds that helps in warming the soil quickly. It enables the seed to germinate quickly. It also helps to drain fast, keeping pests away.
What are the benefits of white pumpkins?
White pumpkins have low calories and are rich in Vitamins A, B6, C, E, and zinc. Apart from these, they constitute carotene, folate, iron, lutein, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine, and zeaxanthin.
Consuming white pumpkins keep your skin healthy. The pumpkin seeds help to keep the skin hydrated by providing enough nourishment.
Other benefits include:
- High phytosterols reduce cholesterol.
- Helps depression through L-tryptophan.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin help with eye protection.
- Pumpkin pulp subjugates inflammation.
- The antioxidants in pumpkins help asthma patients.
- Resolves problems relating to digestion.
- Since rich with carotenoids and zinc help to protect against prostate cancer.
Apart from the health benefits, they also double up to help with various decorations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between white and green pumpkin seeds?
Seeds that you directly get from a pumpkin are white. The green ones are the inner kernel of the white seeds without the shell, which you usually purchase from a superstore.
Are white pumpkins hybrids?
Pumpkins commonly cross-pollinate to give other variants of the pumpkins. As for the white pumpkins, many variants are known to be hybrid.
Can you eat the white pumpkins?
Not all variants are edible, a few are used in decorations, while many are used for decoration, carving, and eating.
Why is my pumpkin plant flowering but not producing?
It may be due to excess heat or excess water, or both. Excess heat may burn the plant, while excess water will weaken the roots.
White pumpkins are easy to grow with appropriate weather conditions. They need a big space for the sprawling vines and a sunny spot. They also require abundant water and nutrients, which you can provide via fertilizers.
White pumpkins are beneficial to health and can be used in decorations and carving during Halloween. Some variants of white pumpkins are safer to consume.