Pumpkins are a fall staple. The season is incomplete without the sweet smell of pumpkin pie permeating the air.
These fall-season fruits are also a must for Halloween decorations. The sight of glowing jack-o’-lanterns in people’s front yards gets everyone excited for the spooky season!
If you’re looking for a bright orange and sweet variety of pumpkins to grow in your garden, you might want to consider the Cinderella carriage pumpkin.
The actual name of this pumpkin is “Rouge Vif D’Etampes,” a French heirloom pumpkin that gained popularity after the children’s fairytale Cinderella featured a pumpkin carriage — which is where the nickname comes from.
Read on to know more about this vibrant pumpkin!
Characteristics of the Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
The Cinderella carriage is one of the sweetest pumpkins you will ever taste. These pumpkins are a brilliant red-orange color and taste exactly how they look. The flesh of these vibrant fruits is yellow and has a sweet and nutty flavor that’s perfect for baking your favorite fall desserts.
The Cinderella pumpkin is a medium-sized variety but is known to occasionally grow to larger sizes. On average, the diameter of this variety is around 10 to 15 inches, though it can also grow up to 20 inches.
Depending on the size of the Cinderella carriage pumpkin, it can weigh anywhere between 20 and 35 pounds.
The Cinderella pumpkin has robust vines, which isn’t surprising since the plant needs to support fruits that weigh upwards of 20 pounds. The trailing vines grow faster as summer sets in and can take up some space. Generally, the vines of this pumpkin will grow to be around 10 feet long (3 meters).
Special Features of the Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
There’s more to this pumpkin than a vibrant appearance and a sweet flavor. It’s also quite healthy. You can turn it into baked goods and tasty beverages to help your kids enjoy a fruit with a multitude of health benefits such as:
- Boosts the immune system: Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene that help produce vitamin A, a key nutrient for your immune system and a lot of vitamin C that helps boost white blood cell production.
- Protects eyesight: Since vitamin A promotes healthy eyesight, pumpkins lower the risk for early blindness due to age and other factors.
- Can help promote weight loss: Pumpkins are low-calorie, fibrous fruits that pack a lot of nutrients and minerals. This helps maintain a healthy diet.
- Improves skin health: Apart from vitamins and minerals, pumpkins are also rich in antioxidants which protect skin cells from external damage caused by the sun.
- Protects heart health: This fruit contains a healthy amount of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber — nutrients that are known to positively affect your heart health.
One look at this pumpkin variety and you’ll be convinced there isn’t a better-looking pumpkin in the world! The Cinderella carriage pumpkin has a beautiful and bright reddish-orange color which makes it perfect for seasonal decorations during fall and Halloween.
How to Grow the Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
The best way to grow Cinderella pumpkins is by planting them outside directly, so you will need to prepare the garden bed beforehand. Since pumpkins are sunlight-loving plants, grow them in areas that receive a generous amount of sun daily.
If you reside in a cold area, you can start growing your pumpkin seeds indoors and plant them outside once the frost has passed.
Consider Winter Dates
The Cinderella carriage pumpkin is a large fruit so it requires around 100 to 110 days to fully mature. Since the growing season may not be this long in every region, you must take into consideration winter dates when planning to plant the seeds.
You need to plant your pumpkin seeds right after the frost has passed.
Choose a Spacious Location
The sprawling vines of this fruit will take up a lot of garden space, oftentimes covering the pumpkin itself. Make sure your pumpkins can grow freely and adequately by clearing at least 20 to 30 feet of ground space around them. This will give your vines enough room to spread out without growing over the fruit.
Plant the Seeds
After choosing the spot where you’ll grow your Cinderella carriage pumpkin, make a small mound from the soil. You’ll need to plant pumpkin seeds around 2 inches deep so that they can receive heat more easily. Keep the seeds a few inches away from each other, and plant only two to three around one mound. Generally, a pumpkin plant will take around a week to ten days to sprout.
Maintain and Protect Your Plants
The most important part of growing your Cinderella carriage pumpkin is protecting it from weeds, pests, and diseases. Weeds can eat up nutrients from the soil that your pumpkins need so check for weeds and pull them out periodically.
Another danger that pumpkins face is insects (like beetles) that love to feed on them. Use organic pesticides to keep them away.
Provide Ample Water
Pumpkins need a lot of water. The Cinderella carriage variety, in particular, needs more water than other types. To make sure your Cinderella pumpkins don’t go thirsty, water them generously every three days or so. Soaker hoses are a great way to give them the hydration they need.
You’ll notice their roots tend to be a bit shallow but, if they’re thirsty, they will grow deeper in the ground to get more water.
Pruning can help you get harvest larger and healthier pumpkins. When the fruit has grown a bit, remove the weakest-looking ones with pruning shears so the plant can direct nutrients towards healthier ones.
Use natural fertilizer like compost or manure to make the plant grow healthily. Add fertilizer to the soil every seven to ten days.
Days to Maturity
The Cinderella carriage pumpkin generally matures in 100 to 110 days.
Harvest and Storage
Once the fruits reach maturity, Cinderella pumpkin plants will wither while the fruits gain a full, vibrant color. You can also check the stems’ hardness to confirm if they’re ready for harvesting. To detach them from the plant, use pruning shears but leave a few inches of stem attached to prolong their shelf life. Store them in a cool dry place.
History of the Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
The original name of the Cinderella carriage pumpkin is “Rouge Vif D’Etampe,” which means “Vivid red from Etampes.” Etampes refers to the Parisian town where it was grown in the 1880s. Three years later, in 1883, the fruit was brought to the United States by W. Atlee Burpee.
Today, it’s more popular as the Cinderella carriage pumpkin, a nickname it earned after animators of the Disney film Cinderella used it as inspiration for the iconic pumpkin carriage. After the film’s release in 1950, the pumpkin got its new name which stuck for decades after.
Where to Buy the Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
The Cinderella carriage pumpkin can be bought online and in garden stores. Among the best online retailers for quality seeds is Hoss Tools.
How do I know when a Cinderella carriage pumpkin is ripe?
Once the Cinderella carriage pumpkin achieves a vibrant red-orange hue, the outer skin and stem become hard while the plant withers. When these things happen, you’ll know that your pumpkin is ripe and ready for harvest.
How can I care for a Cinderella carriage pumpkin?
Cinderella pumpkins require generous amounts of water so use soaker hoses to meet their hydration needs. They also require nutrient-rich soil that is well-drained but can retain water. You thus need rich compost soil that holds moisture well but also drains efficiently. Stay away from clay-based soil. Lastly, add organic fertilizer every seven to ten days.
Wrapping Up Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin
The Cinderella carriage pumpkin is a great fruit to grow in your garden, especially if you want to have bright, vibrant pumpkins during fall.
You’ll love them as soups, desserts, drinks, and decorations. How many fruits in your garden can top that?
Excited for more pumpkin content? Keep learning all about pumpkin plants to become an expert on pumpkin planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!