Knowing how to grow mini pumpkins isn’t too difficult, even in containers. As long as you provide enough support, they can almost be left to themselves during the growing season.
Below is a quick how to grow mini pumpkins guide.
Mini Pumpkin Requirements
First, why choose mini pumpkins? Well, because they’re better than normal pumpkins in almost every way.
They’re easier to grow in containers and smaller outdoor spaces (like balconies). Mini pumpkins also taste better if you’re eating them, and their lower water content makes them better as decorations because they won’t rot as quickly.
Pumpkins will work in pretty much all USDA Zones, but they don’t like frost. So, if you have cold winters, you’ll have to start them indoors and plant them out later. Other than that, with enough sun and water, you won’t have to do much.
Important Things to Know
Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade (around 6-8 hours of sun a day)
Grow in pots: Yes – at least 10 gallons
Grow indoors: Yes
Soil type: Well draining, all-purpose soil
When to plant: April-May in most areas climates or July in warmer climates
Growing Mini Pumpkins
For this, you’ll need
- 10-gallon grow bags
- All-purpose compost
- Trellis or plant support
1. Mix the fertilizer pellets into the soil and fill your grow bag, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.
2. Plant the seeds directly into this pot. You can fit 3-4 per pot, buried up to an inch deep.
3. Water the soil and you should see seedlings within a week.
4. Once they develop their second set of true leaves, cut away the weakest seedlings to leave 1 or 2 healthy ones. Alternatively, buy young pumpkin plants from a gardening store.
5. Install the trellis. You can use a tomato cage for a freestanding pot or a DIY trellis.
6. As the vines grow, secure them in place using twine. Don’t tie it too tight, as the plant will begin to support itself.
7. For efficient growth, trim off side vines to maximize your yield.
Maintenance and Care
When you harvest the pumpkins will depend on the variety, but they can take up to 100 days from planting. You’ll know they’re ready when the skin is hard and the stem is brown.
If you want to use your mini pumpkins for your Fall décor, you’ll need to have the plants established by mid-May for harvest around September. This might not be possible in your climate, so either use a small greenhouse for warmer temperatures, buy mini pumpkins from a local grocery store, or use plastic ones.
The most important maintenance tip is providing enough water. When the top inch of soil feels dry, water enough for it to come out of the bottom of the pot. Once the flowers set, use a tomato fertilizer at least once a week.
Growing mini pumpkins vertically in a container is a great way to save space. As long as you give your plants plenty of root space, they should reward you with up to 10 mini pumpkins that are perfect for eating or decorating.