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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Oriental Cucumber

Other Common Names Include:

Asian Cucumber, Korean Cucumber, Japanese Cucumber.

Latin Name: Cucumis sativus

Plant Family: Cucurbitaceae

Close Relatives: Cucumber

Uses and Markets: Culinary (i.e. Southeast Asian cuisine):  longer, more slender with a milder flavour than traditional North American varieties - eaten raw, in soups or grated, mixed with sugar and eaten as a frozen treat. Some long fruited cultivars are popular in domestic markets.

Oriental cucumber: plant Oriental cucumber: fruit
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Some cucurbit crops respond well to season extension techniques including plastic mulch. For more information on season extension, refer to the General Agronomics section.   This crop can also be grown in the greenhouse or in high tunnels.

Propagation method

Most commonly by transplants from seeds, or direct seeding.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates

Late April or early May.

Field Seeding Date:

After last frost.

Field Transplanting Dates

After last frost, 3 weeks after greenhouse seeding.

In-row spacing

30-40 cm

Between row spacing

1.2-1.8 m

Optimal Soil temperature at planting

Delay planting until the soil temperature is 15°C or higher.  The optimum soil temperature range at planting is 25°C-30°C.


Apply up to 110 kg/ha N. Broadcast 65 kg/ha N and all the phosphate and potash required prior to planting. Sidedress the remainder of the nitrogen before the vines start to run. On sandy soils, a second application may be necessary after the vines begin to run. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

All soil types. Well-drained soil.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit

Cucurbit crops may benefit from staking or trellising to reduce fruit damage on the ground, keep fruit clean and increase harvest ease.

Optimal Temperature Range

Prefers a temperate, warm climate.

Temperature sensitivity

Frost sensitive.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation is required under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

40-60 days

Specialized equipment

Cucumber harvester and/or harvest aid.

Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest or machine harvest.  The cost of the harvesting equipment will dictate the minimum acreage required for economic viability.

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest fruit when it is 25-30 cm in length.  Use harvest guidelines for cucumber as a guide. For more information, refer to the cucurbits section of the OMAFRA Crops website.  If possible, harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing


Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 95%

Temperature: 7-13°C 

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 10-14 days.

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Cucumber beetles, aphids (e.g. Aphis gossypii)

Diseases: Downy mildew, powdery mildew, alternaria blight, angular leaf spot.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Two-spotted spider mites, leafhoppers, squash bugs

Diseases: Damping off and root rots, bacterial wilt, scab, anthracnose, gummy stem blight (also known as black rot or alligator skin), fusarium wilt, phytophthora blight, septoria leaf spot, cucumber mosaic virus.

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: cucumber beetle, aphids, downy mildew, powdery mildew, angular leaf spot. This crop may be susceptible to many of the same pests as cucumber.  Downy mildew is a serious disease of cucurbit crops.  Cucumbers are the most susceptible to infection, however melons and other cucurbit crops can be affected by certain pathotypes of this disease.  Downy mildew is wind borne and highly infectious. In susceptible cucurbits, it can destroy on unprotected crop in less than 1 week.

This crop is in Crop Group 9: Cucurbit Vegetable Group and Subgroup 9B: Squash/Cucumber Subgroup. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. For more information on pests of cucurbits in Ontario, refer to OMAFRA’s Ontario CropIPM tool or vegetable production and protection publications.  For pest control products registered on cucurbits refer to OMAFRA Publication 838.

Additional Notes

Check for pollinator activity at early bloom. Introduce honeybees if necessary.

Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., and S. Westerveld. 2009. Non-traditional crops demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  1. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. 2011. Cucumber, Oriental.
  2. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  2010.  Publication 363 Vegetable Production Recommendations 2010-2011.  Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto.