Growing White Pumpkins
All About Varieties and Uses of White Pumpkins
Orange pumpkins have long been the tradition, however over the last few years, white pumpkins have had a huge boost in popularity. While they were once just a novelty, white pumpkins are growing more and more popular.
Their unexpected white color is ideal for festive harvest decorating, and also crafts. They can make great jack-o-lanterns, and delicious baked goods.
Rather than pay the hefty price for a white pumpkin (they are often much more expensive than their orange counterpart), consider growing your own. Pic up some white pumpkin seeds and give it a try. All white pumpkins are annuals, so plan to save some seeds for next year.
All pumpkins prefer rich loamy soil, and plenty of room to sprawl. They will cross pollinate within their species, so this year's crop may differently slightly from last year's.
Lumina Pumpkins are the most common of white pumpkins featuring a smooth ghostly white skin, and orange flesh. It is not uncommon to have some bluish tones in the white coloring due to high water content.
Lumina pumpkins grow to 8"-10" in diameter, weighing 10-12 pounds.
Luminas make great decorations, and look very nice when carved or painted. The white and orange make an interesting effect for jack-o-lanterns, and the white color is great for making painting stand out. The flesh of the lumina, is however, not as thick as the Cotton Candy pumpkin, so that is also a good choice for carving.
Luminas are, also, the best white pumpkin for baking, having a more sweet and less bitter taste than traditional orange pumpkins.
Which Colored Pumpkins Do You Prefer?
What types of pumpkin do you prefer to display at your home?
Baby Boo Pumpkins
Tiny White Pumpkins - Cucurbita pepo
Okay, so maybe they're technically gourds, but that's not holding these beautiful little guys back.
The Baby Boo is small - usually at around three inches. It is about the same size as the common orange Jack-be-littles, which you may be more familiar with (even if you didn't know their name), and they are similar in shape.
Baby Boos have both a white flesh and a white skin. Given a nice sunny location and normal to moist soil, these gourds will mature in about 90 days, in late August. They grow on vines which will need room to spread, but because of their size, it may be possible to grow them on trellises.
It takes about two weeks for the Baby Boos to germinate, and should probably be done indoors to avoid any late freezes. Each vine can grow several Baby Boos.
To keep their pristine white color, keep them out of direct sunlight. The sun will cause them to turn a soft yellow.
The Baby Boo is great as simple decoration with a larger pumpkin on a front stoop or on a table, but because of their small size and white color they are ideal for crafts and formal decor. Here are some great ideas for using Baby Boos:
- Use them as name place cards for an autumn wedding
- Fill a large glass jar with Baby Boos and place on mantle
- Paint letters on them to spell a word or phrase
Decorating Ideas With White Pumpkins
There are hundreds of ways to use and display your white pumpkins, both inside the home and out. Here are a few ideas:
White Pumpkin Flower Arrangement - from Martha Stewart
White Pumpkin Centerpiece - from Better Homes & Gardens
Paint a silhouette - from Storybook Woods
Add black and white decals from The Pleasures of Homemaking
Monogramed White Pumpkin - from Imperfectly Beautiful
White Pumpkins Painted with Bugs - from The Party Dress
Cotton Candy Pumpkin Seeds
Cotton Candy Pumpkins have a thicker skin and flesh than the Lumina pumpkin, and therefore are great for carving. The thicker skin is also more resilient to insect damage.
The flavor of a Lumina pumpkin is, however, better for baking than the Cotton Candy pumpkin.
Recipes Featuring White Pumpkin
What will you do with your pumpkins?
What are you planning to do with your pumpkin this year?
Valenciano Pumpkin - Cucurbita pepo
The Valenciano Pumpkin is the whitiest of all the pumpkin varieties, and is sometimes called The Snow White Pumpkin. Having a shape similar to the Cinderella pumpkin (short, wide, and deeply ribbed), this pumpkin would make an attractive addition to any display.
It is also quite suitable for pies, however it is a bit stringy, so pureeing it first would not be a bad idea. The flesh of the Valenciano is very light - almost white, which makes baked goods look different than had it been made with a traditional orange pumpkin.
The Valenciano Pumpkin takes a little longer to mature than most other white pumpkins - 110 days as opposed to the normal 90-95.
Expertly Carved White Pumpkins
These gourds are white when first harvested and look just like a hen egg. When dried they have lots of craft uses. Consider drying them out and painting them. They could make great Christmas ornaments.