Are you a gardening enthusiast who loves to grow exotic and unique plants in your garden as a hobby? Would you believe us if we told you that some pumpkin plants are exotic and unique as well? Probably not, but we can help you clear this misconception.
Since white pumpkin has a one-of-its-kind off-white or pearl white color, they see a surge in popularity. They are mainly used for ornamental purposes, such as carving, decorations, and paintings. In matters related to food, they have an exceptionally high nutritional value and are entirely edible.
Tip: White pumpkins are available during the onset of winter and do not need much care to grow. These white fruits take 2-3 months to grow, and rest assured, they will make a fine addition to your garden!
In this article, we will be discussing the origin, types, how to plant, take care of, and harvest white pumpkins.
Get ready. You’re going to amp up that collection of white pumpkins!
Origin of White Pumpkins
Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America and Mexico and have been grown since ancient times. Besides, there was low popularity for white pumpkins until the advent of the 21st century.
To enhance the texture and flavor of the fruit, many of the types of white pumpkins were created artificially using genetics during this time.
Once white pumpkins started to gain recognition, they became quite a popular fruit. Moreover, it is traditionally used to make jack o’ lanterns by carving or painting on these pumpkins during Halloween. To top it up, they can also be used to make traditional pumpkin recipes like tarts, pies, or waffles.
Bonus Read: For the adventurous DIY gardeners out there, here’s a guide on building the ultimate backyard fire pit.
Types of White Pumpkins
There is a variety of white pumpkins based on their structure, although most pumpkins taste the same. Before we dive into the art of growing pumpkins, let’s have a quick look at the types of white pumpkins that most pumpkin-lovers have an idea about.
#1. Baby Boo Pumpkin
Baby boo pumpkins are one of the smallest white pumpkins, but they are not edible. You can use this pumpkin to create crafts such as jack o’ lanterns or for alternate decorative purposes.
What’s best, they can produce about 400 seeds per pound!
#2. Hooligan Pumpkin
This white pumpkin variant has distinct color combinations, and you can use it for decoration purposes only.
#3. Lumina Pumpkin
This is one of the most popular varieties of white pumpkins, and it has a bright white color and a silvery sparkle that makes it prominent. They can weigh up to 10 to 15 pounds and have orange flesh inside.
#4. Casper Pumpkin
Casper pumpkins provide a snowy and smooth skin, thus making them the perfect choice to carve your jack o’ lanterns. It takes more than 100 days for this variant to develop a smooth texture. Even better, you can make sweet pumpkin recipes, as the flesh of Casper pumpkins is edible and sugary.
#5. Full Moon Pumpkin
This is one of the wider varieties of white pumpkins. They have more flesh and can weigh up to 90 pounds. Nonetheless, they lose their sheen if left out in the open, so keeping them in a closed environment is better.
#6. Cotton Candy Pumpkin
This type of white pumpkin has a strong stem and a traditional round pumpkin shape. Keep it in the dark, cool spot to prevent yellowing.
#7. Silver Moon Pumpkin
Silver moon pumpkin is mainly known for its resistant properties against pests like powdery mildew or viruses like the zucchini yellow mosaic virus. It is slightly smaller than the other more giant white pumpkins.
#8. Valenciano Pumpkin
Valenciano Pumpkins are flat in shape, ribbed, and sweet. This pumpkin’s weight varies around 8-10 pounds, and it can take about 110 days to mature.
#9. Crystal Star Pumpkin
Unlike the other white pumpkins, the Crystal Star does not become yellow with age. It weighs around 35 pounds and is the best pumpkin for carving and cooking.
#10. White Ghost Pumpkin
This is the odd pumpkin in the pumpkin family. Not only does it have an irregular shape, thick flesh, and a sour taste, but it’s also challenging to carve on this type of pumpkin.
#11. Polar Bear Pumpkin
It is one of the largest types of white pumpkins and weighs around 65 pounds. Not to forget, if you want the shiny gleam, leave the Polar Bear pumpkin under the sun after harvesting.
#12. Snowball Pumpkin
Snowball pumpkins weigh around 2 pounds, and they contain more than a thousand seeds. Their dark green stems give a good contrast with the white color.
#13. Planting White Pumpkins
Since white pumpkins grow just before the onset of winter, they can be grown almost everywhere. Here is some information you need to know before planting white pumpkins.
How to Plant?
Plant the white pumpkin seeds in a mound of soil to avoid waterlogging if you live in a region with high rainfall. But if you are living in a windy area, you should consider planting seeds in ditches to block the breeze.
When to Plant?
For gardeners residing in areas with a warmer climate, consider planting the seeds outdoors. On the other hand, residents in cooler areas should plant the seeds indoors.
You must keep in mind that this plant cannot grow in harshly cold climates, and any temperature fluctuating 70 degrees F during the day and 55 degrees F at night is suitable for the plant to grow.
Where to Plant?
The white pumpkin plant needs to be grown on well-drained soil that has significant water retention properties. Remember, dry soils do not work for pumpkins. Also, the type of soil you choose will determine the shade of the pumpkin.
Pro Tip: Some pumpkins need shade to maintain their white color. Try leveling your soil readily since it assists in forming a pleasingly round shape. On the contrary, if not leveled, ugly-looking lumps might form on the pumpkins.
How to Take Care of White Pumpkins?
All varieties of pumpkins have different preferences for their growth requirements. Yet, white pumpkins have a few peculiar demands that gardening aspirants must be aware of. Here are few ideal growing conditions for white pumpkins to thrive in:
The types of white pumpkins mentioned above have their particular requirements to maintain that silvery gleam. For example, polar bear pumpkins need sunlight after harvesting, while Full Moon pumpkins need shade to stay white.
You can select what type of white pumpkin you want to grow according to the sunlight intensity in your area and the shaded areas in your backyard. In general, white pumpkins need to stay in the sun for eight hours each day.
The fertilizer needed for white pumpkins depends on their type. At the same time, it is necessary to use organic fertilizers on your white pumpkins regularly to help them grow evenly and keep their color consistent.
Be warned! Spreading excessive fertilizer might mess with the pigments of your pumpkins. This affects the taste, size, and desired shape of the fruit.
Bonus Read: We’ve gathered a list of the 5 best organic garden fertilizers for all you DIY gardening pros.
Maintaining an effective drainage system for your pumpkins can help them grow better. Before planting white pumpkins, it is better to check the type of soil you have in your garden and the water balance it possesses to help the plant stay healthy. Once figured, start watering the pumpkin plant by 1-inch each week.
Since they need healthy watering cycles, they begin by mid-July. And for best results, continue watering them on alternate days till they radiate a matured look.
Pro Tip: White pumpkins grow in size as they age. A greater thirst for water accompanies this size growth. You know the drill!
For all your gardeners living in dryer areas, opt for everyday watering cycles.
Another solution is adding mulch to maintain water balance in the soil.
Caution! Watering white pumpkins through the hose makes them likely to develop rot and not grow. Make sure you stick to watering through a can.
Bonus Read: If you’re a stubborn gardener who is ready to take risks to protect their convenience while gardening, consider using a hose timer for your garden hose.
Depending on the type of pumpkin you want to grow, you need to adjust the space between each pumpkin accordingly. Usually, the larger the pumpkin, the bigger space it will need.
Anything north of a square foot for one pumpkin is the ideal spacing. And for a bulky harvest, try planting the pumpkins in a hilly format rather than in rows.
For DIYers growing pumpkins through seeds, shove each seed 1 and 1/2 inches deep while maintaining a distance of 6 inches between each plant.
Pro Tip: Looking for the best of both worlds? Plant a combination of pumpkin varieties—for example, one for edible pumpkins and one solely for decorative pumpkins.
Companion planting is a gardening technique where a suitable combination of fruits or vegetables is grown together. The point being, they grow well when sharing common soil, feeding on common nutrients, and helping each other survive.
In the case of pumpkins, consider indulging in companion planting through radicchio, squash, marigolds, or tomatoes.
Since bees are necessary to pollinate white pumpkins, choose plants like bee balm and lavender that attract bees to your garden if you’re worried about other pests, plant sunflowers to shoo away the ones that threaten your white pumpkins.
Bonus Read: Seriously thinking lavender plants? Here are 15 types of lavender plants to grow in your backyard.
Harvesting and Storing White Pumpkins
After the white pumpkins grow big enough, it is time to harvest them. If you are a gardening professional, you can point out the fruits ready for harvesting by looking at them.
Here are some tips that should help with your DIY gardening efforts.
Harvesting Tips for Pumpkin Fruit
Owing to their bland taste, these pumpkins are also known as ghost or snow pumpkins. Though they’re low maintenance and grow no more than 4 feet in height with a bushy look, you could benefit from some harvesting tips.
⦁ Make sure to track how long it takes for your type of pumpkin to mature. If left for too long, the skin of the pumpkin may lose its sheen and begin rotting.
⦁ Check if the skin remains intact when you make a small slit with your fingernails. If it does, then the fruit is ripe and ready for harvesting.
⦁ It is better to use a knife to cut the fruit from the stem while harvesting. Ripping the vine off might leave a ragged branch which can shorten the life of the pumpkin plant.
⦁ You need to store the white pumpkins in dry, cool, and shaded places. Some variants, like the Polar Bear pumpkin, need sunlight for freshness.
Harvesting Tips for Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds boast an epic nutritional composition of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin K. Make the most of your pumpkin plant and ensure you harvest the seeds properly. You’ll be equipping your immune system to deal with deadly viruses, bacteria and also quicken wound-healing durations. Here are some tips to follow:
⦁ Rinse the seeds after separating them from the pulp and place them on a towel to dry for about a week.
⦁ If using the seeds for planting, store them with other seeds or in the refrigerator.
⦁ If using the seeds for eating, roast them before consumption.
Threats to Your White Pumpkins
When it comes to threats in gardening, pests, and insects are the biggest problem to any plant. Here are some of the common pests that can ruin your white pumpkins:
Aphids consist of tiny green or white bugs, which are one of the smallest, but dangerous pests for plants. They can quickly feed on the leaves and fruits and cause immense harm to the plant.
To control these pests from destroying your white pumpkins, spraying water at high speeds can help protect the plant. But, it would help if you did it as soon as you spot any aphids.
Pro Tip: Introducing ladybirds can also help control the threat.
Two types of beetles can cause harm to your pumpkins, namely cucumber beetles and squash bugs. You can simply pick them and drown them in a tub of ammonia mixed with soapy water.
Also, using sunflowers helps as a distraction since beetles are more likely to feast on sunflowers than pumpkins.
Powdery mildew can live in the soil and destroy the roots of plants. Using fungicide can help end the threat. Also, crop rotation proves effective in curbing infection of plants through the soil.
Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus
There are many viruses, namely the Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus, which aphids can transfer to pumpkin plants as mentioned above. A fungicide can curb the virus, though it might not be effective enough. Instead, plant virus-resistant varieties of white pumpkins to ensure no viral diseases on pumpkins.
Weeds can also affect the plant and cause an infection. Using a weedicide can kill the growth of weeds near your plants.
Feel free to mix a little salt with water and spray on the infected sections of the plant. This mixture is an excellent pest-repellent and will keep your plant pest-free.
All in all, white pumpkins aren’t too hard to grow, provided you abide by their sunlight, watering, soil, and fertilization requirements. The luster on white pumpkins makes the fruit look beautiful, eventually adding an ornamental plant to your garden.
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