How to Grow White Pumpkins? (Best Guide)

Growing white pumpkins, known for their ghostly elegance and versatility in fall décor and culinary creations, isn’t a task reserved for seasoned gardeners alone.

Whether you’re aiming to carve a unique jack-o’-lantern or add a touch of sophistication to your autumn harvest, this article will guide you through the essentials of how to grow white pumpkins.

How to Grow White Pumpkins? Detailed Guide

How to Grow White Pumpkins: Step by Step Guide

Unlike the common household pumpkin varieties, which are often tall and round, white pumpkins are more flat and squashed. Regardless of how they look, they are quite versatile, and they are great for use in the kitchen and decorative purposes. 

Like everything given to us by mother nature, all things are not created equal. Meaning various growth methods are required for each species. In the case of the white pumpkin, the process is quite similar to the orange variety.  

Let’s have a detailed look into the actions required when growing them. We’ll take it step by step, so it’s easier to follow.

Thing Required For Growing White Pumpkin:

The list below is a few things you will need to help grow some of these wonderful white pumpkins. Some of the things are a necessity, and some are more there to help you if needed. There will be a bit of trial and error with any added items.

  • A piece of land, garden and/or growing area.
  • Some basic hand tools. Eg: shovel, hoe, rake, pick.
  • Access to water, preferably via a hose.
  • Manure and/or compost.
  • Some decent drainage soil.
  • An average packet of your desired pumpkin seeds (Usually 10 or so seeds per packet).
  • Smaller pots (6-inch peat pots) used for germination.
  • Fertilizer (coffee grounds if you choose to use them).
  • Seed Starter mix.
  • Seed warming mats and trays (if you choose to use them).
  • Cotton buds/tips to help pollinate.
  • Thick cardboard to assist with storage.
How to Grow White Pumpkins Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Preparation 

Like any process, preparation is key. The actions that follow are a reflection of great preparation. some good quality compost or manure is advisable if you can get your hands on some. 

Of course, you can use other fertilizers, and we like to do almost everything we can more organically. In saying that, the most popular fertilizers for pumpkins are those high in nitrogen earlier on to promote sprawling vines and leaves. 

Then it’s better with a high phosphate and potassium fertiliser when flowering and fruiting. The best ratios for pumpkin fertilizers are 5-15-15 or 8-24-24. Sandy soil, which is rich in organic matter,, has often seen the best results in soil. It’s faster to heat up via the sunshine and is a great drainage type of soil. 

Pumpkins require space, a lot of space. The vines can grow 25 feet plus. They also compete for water and nutrients as they grow and sprawl out. This leaves the flowers and younger fruits vulnerable, and they will drop off sooner than expected. The pumpkins that are left won’t be able to grow to their full potential. 

So whatever area you have to grow in, think about how you plant the seeds. You should keep your rows 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) apart, and the space between each mound should be around 3-4 feet (90cm-1.2 meters).

Step 2: Germination

For anyone not familiar with the term, germination is the process or transitional phase between a seed, spore or bulb to a plant. 

Many factors can affect as well as help initiate this process. Eg, how much water they can absorb, oxygen availability, light, heat, chill factor, time, etc. 

In this case, the white pumpkin seed is relatively simple to germinate. 

  • The optimal germination temperature is 80-85 degrees (27-29 Celsius).
  • If the soil you’re using isn’t moist and warm, it’s ideal for soaking the seeds in clean, warm (not hot) water. 1-2 hours of soaking is an adequate time frame. Some growers soak for up to 24 hours. This procedure helps promote faster germination.
  • Another tactic you can use is to file the seed lightly lengthwise to weaken the shell. Be careful not to pierce it. This will help the shoot’s breakthrough that little bit easier.
  • Take some 6-inch peat pots and fill the bottom 1-2 inches with compost.
  • Fill the rest of the pot with soil.
  • Add in some seed starter mix to the soil according to the instructions.
  • Plant the seed no deeper than 1-2 inches into the potting mix.
  • Maintain warmth under the pots. Try leaving them somewhere on top of the refrigerator as that is generally warm. Alternatively, it’s possible to purchase seed warming mats that the seed trays can sit on.
  • Once the plant begins to sprout, remove it from the heat as it can damage the roots.
  • With luck and trial and error, you should start seeking some sprouts between 4-6 days.
  • The germination process usually takes 4 to 10 days to complete.
  • Once the germination phase is complete, prepare the seeds for the next step, planting.

Step 3: Planting Seeds

Planting white pumpkin seeds is a simple task, but again, it comes with a few minor things to consider before this process begins. Depending on what part of the world you live in and what climate you have in your area, planting seeds at the right time is vital. 

The best year to plant the seeds is after the last frost. Generally speaking, this would be somewhere between late May and late June if you’re in most parts of the US and surrounding areas. 

If you are on the other side of the realm in Australia, you should aim to sow your seeds around December/January. The soil should be warm to allow germination, and these periods will time the pumpkins perfectly for harvest in autumn.

The germinated seeds should be sown around 3 times the seed’s diameter in depth. (1 to 1 1/2 inches deep). The soil temperature needs to be between 68 – 86 degrees F (20 – 30 degrees Celsius). 

Aim to space each plant around 3-4 feet apart (90 – 120 cm). Pumpkins love the sun! So plant them where they can bask in the rays as often as possible. They need the full days’ worth to grow to full potential, and the vines alone need 8 hours of sun to avoid them going spindly. 

Watering your pumpkin seeds the right amount is important. One of the key goals of optimal watering is to help your pumpkins grow a strong root system, and having a developed root system will ensure the pumpkin can survive any damage caused by drought. 

Pumpkins love water when trying to flower and fruit. Aim to water every 2 days if possible. 1 inch at their bases is perfect and will ensure the roots get a good hit! 

If it rains during this period, it’s not a big deal if you aren’t out there every 2nd day. Slow deep watering, keeping the soil moist without soaking is perfect!

Step 4: Changes to Observe while The Plant Grows

The beauty of mother nature will start to show in this step. In the beginning, you’ll be staring at brown soil mounds. If it is your first attempt at growing, the will it/won’t it anxiety may creep in. 

These sprawling green vines and leaves are not noticed, which are amazing to follow along with. When you first notice these green shoots, adding some nitrogen-rich fertilizer is a good moment, which will encourage leaf growth. Coffee grounds are surprisingly a great alternative as a nitrogen fertilizer, and it can be added directly to the root area.

The big leaves assist by soaking up as much sun as possible, producing chlorophyll. Chlorophyll feeds the plants. The leaves also offer shade to the growing pumpkins, which makes sure they don’t burn up in the sun’s heat. 

Continue giving the plants a good watering around the base. Try to keep the leaves dry to avoid a build-up of powdery mildew. The mildew can kill your plants, so be on the lookout!

Next come some big bright colored flowers, usually yellow. These flowers are what pollinates your pumpkins, so their role is super important. Some of these flowers will be male and others female. 

Males are the first to bud, then the female’s turn, about a week later. The female will easily distinguish as it will have a small swollen looking roundish lump under its petals. This lump looks like a tiny pumpkin because it is! Technically speaking, you need 2 plants to grow pumpkins if you count 1 as male and 2 as female. 

If you live somewhere with a decent supply of bees and various other insects, they will assist with pollination. Otherwise, you can take care of the pollination process yourself, ensuring that you know the plants have been pollinated. All it takes is a small clean paintbrush or cotton ball. 

Gather some pollen from the male flower and lightly dab it onto the female flower. Over time, the flowers will dry out and die. The little nubs under the female flower, though, will begin their transformation into a pumpkin. 

You can remove the male flowers once pollinate to allow the females more nutrients through the vines. 

Step 5: Harvesting

Now, the fun part. Reaping what you sowed! The timeframe between flowering and growth is generally between 45-55 days. In this phase, your job will be to keep an eye on the number of pumpkins growing on each vine. 

Once you see a few on each vine, trim the vine to stop it from trying to grow too many at once. To check that the pumpkins are ripe for the picking, you can perform a simple test. Give the pumpkin a flick with your finger and listen out for a hollow sound. 

Also, give the skin a bit of a push with your fingernail. If it shows some resistance and the skin does not dent, it’s ready! If all boxes are ticked, you should be able to grow 2-5 pumpkins per plant.

Step 6: Storage

The best storage method for the white pumpkin is similar to most other pumpkins. They like to be stored in a cool, dark area. In your garage, in a downstairs room, etc. 

Using some thick cardboard as a mat will protect them from freezing on the floor and being contaminated by any nasties. Store them upside down (stalk facing downward). The white pumpkin can last around 3-4 months with no problems if these simple tips are followed.

Types of White Pumpkin

Here are a few of the more common types and their uses

Types of White Pumpkin
Types of White Pumpkin
White pumpkin varietyCan You Eat It?Used forCharacteristicsWeight
‘Polar Bear’YesDecorations, decor, cookingExtra Large, Smooth Skin30-60 pounds (sometimes 100 lbs)
‘Casperita’YesDecor, cookingMini Sized, Ribbed, Smooth RindUnder a pound
‘Lumina’YesDecoration, bakingMedium Sized, Round, Slightly Ribbed, Smooth Rind10–15 pounds
CasperYesDecoration, bakingMedium Sized, Round, Bright Orange Flesh Inside10-12 pounds
‘Silver Moon’YesDecoration, seedsSmall/Medium Sized, Bluish/White Rind, Rich Dark Orange Flesh Inside5-6 pounds
‘Cotton Candy’YesDecoration, bakingMedium Sized, Round, White Flesh Inside5-12 pounds
‘Baby Boo’YesDecoration, cookingMini Sized, Round/RibbedLess than ¼ pound
‘Super Moon’YesDecoration, cookingLarge Sized, Round, Yellow Flesh Inside25-50 pounds
‘Crystal Star’YesDecoration, carving, cookingLarge Sized, Round, Smooth Rind25-35 pounds
‘White Connecticut Field’YesDecoration, seeds, cookingMedium/Large Sized, Smooth, Slightly Ribbed Skin15-20 pounds
SnowBallYesDecoration, cookingMini Sized, Round1-3 pounds
‘Hooligan’YesOrnamental, seedsMini Sized, Ribbed¼ pounds

Frequently Asked Questions

01. What is the difference between white and green pumpkin seeds?

Funnily enough, they are the same seeds. When a seed is green, it has had the stringy white part removed. You can eat both white and green seeds, although the green ones are better for roasting. When the white part is left attached, the seeds will have a crunchier texture and richer in nutrients. 

02. Are white pumpkins hybrids?

It’s very common for pumpkins to cross-pollinate, and Pumpkins are also known to breed with other cucurbits like squash. When this occurs, you can end up with other types of squash, zucchinis and pumpkins. 

The white pumpkin is no different. There is no definitive answer to which species have been cross-bred to create the white pumpkin varieties, and they are hybrid, though.

03. Can you eat the white pumpkins?

White pumpkins can be eaten and taste a lot like orange pumpkins. In saying that, not all species of white pumpkin can be eaten, and some can only be used for decorations or ornamental purposes. 

Others are perfect for carving. Some are better for baking, cooking and roasting the seeds for salads or snacks. Refer to the table above for a clever picture. 

04. Why is my pumpkin plant flowering but not producing?

There are a few reasons why pumpkins might flower without producing fruit, including different weather conditions. Excess heat can cause drought, and drought will make the flowers wither and drop, preventing fruiting.  

Excess water can damage root systems, and this causes the vines to wilt. A wilting vine restricts the growth of newer flowers and/or fruit.

In case if you are trying to achieve a lusty green lawn: Does Grass Grow at Night?


White pumpkins aren’t a myth, and they are very real and eerily alluring. Whether you’re a whizz in the kitchen, a keen decorator or even someone interested in its amazing health benefits, the white pumpkin offers something for you. 

They are easy to prepare, germinate, plant, maintain, harvest and store. Those traits alone make them worth giving a try in your garden. It’s the perfect plant to test out if you are a beginner. If you’re a pro, you’ll enjoy the process as well.

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