Can you grow pumpkins in containers? Technically speaking, you can grow almost any plant in a pot, but the results will vary. A potted pumpkin vine will sprawl tremendously, so you still need enough space for the plant to do its thing. Outside of that little problem, all you need is a container, soil, and seed or seedling. Keep reading for tips on how to grow pumpkins in pots.
Can You Grow Pumpkin in Containers?
If you are dreaming of the great pumpkin, growing a pumpkin in a container may not achieve that goal. However, for those sweet little baking squash, container grown pumpkins will provide enough fruit for a holiday pie.
A potted pumpkin vine is a chaotic, yet gorgeous way to decorate your patio. The first step to growing a pumpkin in a container is selecting the pot. It needs to be spacious, although not particularly deep. For mini pumpkins, a 10 gallon (38 L.) container will work; but if you are going to try for bigger squash, double the size.
Make sure there are generous drainage holes and consider using an unglazed pot so excess moisture doesn’t build up.
How to Grow Pumpkins in Pots
Once you have your container, take time to make a good soil. Purchased potting soil will work but buy one which is made for vegetables and fruits. Make your own soil with native soil mixed by half with compost.
Now, select your pumpkin variety. You can either get starts at a nursery or plant by seed. Some smaller pumpkins to try include:
- Wee Be Little
- Baby Boo
- Jack Be Little
- Small Sugar
Wait until temperatures are warm and plant three seeds 1 inch (2.5 cm.) deep. Water the container and wait. For quicker germination, put seeds wrapped in a moist paper towel in a plastic bag and set in a warm place indoors. Once you see the little sprout, plant it immediately. Place the container where the plant will receive full sun.
Caring for a Pumpkin in a Container
When all the seeds have sprouted, thin to just one or two vines for best results. Keep the plants moist by watering under the leaves so powdery mildew doesn’t form. Water deeply and frequently.
Give your potted pumpkin vine a time release fertilizer worked into the soil. This should last all season.
You may want to train the vine up a sturdy fence or trellis to help manage the growth. If you are growing large pumpkins, pinch off flowers as fruits start to form so the plant’s energy goes to forming larger fruit.
Harvest when the vine begins to die back and enjoy!