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Cucamelon: Growing Guide

Known in Mexico as Sandiitas de Raton, which literally translates to “Little Mouse Watermelons”, Cucamelons are a cute little fruit with bags of personality. Originating from Mexico, cucamelons will produce masses of fruit throughout the summer that taste like cucumber and lime. What’s more these small, grape size watermelon lookalikes are ignored by pests, are drought-tolerant and incredibly easy to grow.

Growing Cucamelon

Sow the seeds of cucamelons during April and May.  The seeds should be sown in a propagator on a windowsill or in a greenhouse at a temperature of 22-24ºC (71-75ºF) at a depth of 1cm (½″). Sow the seed so that the blunt end faces downwards. When the seedlings are large enough to handle transfer them into 9cm (3½″).

picking cucamelon

Once the danger of frost has passed they can be planted outdoors 30-40cm (12-16″) apart providing cane support. The cucamelon plants can also be grown in a greenhouse in a grow bag, large pot or in the border. Water and feed regularly with liquid tomato fertilizer.

Once the main shoot has reached a height of 2.5m (8ft), pinch out the growing tip. Pinch out the growing tip of the side shoots when they are 40cm (16″) in length.

The plants will start to fruit in July through to late September. Cucamelons are ready to pick when they are the size of olives or small grapes and are still firm. Leaving them on the plant longer can result in a slightly bitter flavour and a soggy texture.


Cucamelons can also be treated as a perennial providing you with fruit year-after-year. In late autumn once the fruiting period is over, lift the cucamelon’s main radish-like root and store in barely moist compost in a garage or shed over winter. Plant out again in early April to achieve early fruiting.

How to Enjoy Your Cucamelons

Try in salads, pickled whole, or explore their cocktail-enhancing prowess by adding to a gin and tonic or to your Pimms.

Cucamelons can be eaten in exactly the same way as traditional cucumbers – sliced into salads, chopped into salsas or pickled whole like cornichons. Mix whole cucamelons (fresh, blanched or pickled) into a bowl of olives and serve with drinks, or why not go the whole way and spear them with toothpicks and pop them in a martini.Try in salads, pickled whole, or why not explore their cocktail-enhancing prowess by adding to a gin and tonic or to your Pimms.

cucamelons and olives

Cucamelon are as sweet and adorable as they look, but there are also plenty of other unusual and new veg you can grow on the veg patch and plot this year. How about melon mangomel? it’s the size of a melon but tastes like a mango!

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13 thoughts on “Cucamelon: Growing Guide”

  1. Katie Brunt says:

    Hi Gosia, cucamelons need a sunny position outside or in a greenhouse. For max fruit production stop main stems at 2.4m and trim back all side shoots to 45cm. Feed with high potassium feed such as tomato food or liquid seaweed every 2 weeks in the growing season. We hope this is helpful to you!
    Best regards,
    The Suttons Team

  2. Gosia says:

    My cucamelon is beautiful and bushy but still no fruits ( it’s august) maybe needs more sunshine?

  3. Katie Brunt says:

    Hi Ross, we are very sorry to hear about your seed order. Unfortunately, we can’t ask for personal details on our blog comments for shipping but if you could fill out our contact us form, our customer service team will be able to follow this up with you.
    Here is the link –
    Alternatively, call our customer service team on 0333 043 0700.
    Best regards,
    The Suttons Team

  4. ROSS says:

    I brought a pkt of your cucamelon seeds average content 20 seeds , I wanted to grow some for my freinds only when I opened the pkt there was only 9 ? What do I do about this as they are not cheap.

  5. Hester says:

    Hi I’m not very green fingered so just wanted to check, when you say:
    “ When the seedlings are large enough to handle transfer them into 9cm (3½″).” What do you mean by large enough to handle? And is that transfer them into a 9cm pot or 9cm worth of soil? How tall should they be if it’s 9cm of soil? The pack I got the seeds in told me to sow 10 seeds together, which seems overcrowded now they are shooting up, how many should I put in an outdoor pot together? Sorry for all the questions, thanks in advance!

  6. Mrs M Absolom says:

    Growing instructions on the packet would have been helpful.

  7. Elizabeth Read says:

    Can I grow cucamelon in same greenhouse as a melon as I have heard cucumbers and melons should be kept apart? Is a cucamelon a cucumber or a melon?

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Hi. Can I grow cucamelon in same greenhouse as a melon? Is it a cucumber or a melon as I believe you shouldn’t grow melons and cucumber in the same greenhouse?

  9. Suttons says:

    Hi Kyle, these sound like something else, as cucamelons are grape/olive sized.

  10. Kyle says:

    I grew what I thought were cucamelon but they grew to be the size of softballs. One of the smaller ones was a little pink on the inside but all others were white. Are these cucamelon or are they something else?

  11. Heather says:

    I have a wild plant growing on my fence that I believe is a cucamelon except that the over-ripe ones are a deep purple. Do cucamelons do that? I have been trying to research it but haven’t found any information about it online. I don’t want to accidentally eat something poisonous that only resembles a cucamelon.

  12. Suttons says:

    Hi Jane, the cucamelon is a fruit, so will need to be entered into that class at your show.

  13. Jane Moreton says:

    Please can you tell me if the cucamelon is a fruit or a salad vegetable?
    We run a flower and vegetable show and it matters which class these are put into.

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