Nothing is as refreshing as a crisp, ripe cucumber, and few are more enjoyable to eat than the hybrid Green Dragon cucumber variety! These cucumbers are never bitter, and you won’t have to worry about those ever-embarrassing cucumber burps that other varieties are known for.
Best yet: Green Dragon cucumbers are easy to grow in your backyard garden or in a patio container! Read on to find out all about this easy-to-grow, delicious cucumber variety.
The Green Dragon cucumber is the result of controlled (human-conducted) pollination to achieve the perfect combination of sweet, crisp fruit. Green Dragon cucumbers have both male and female flowers, so their pollen can be spread by wind, bees, or other insects; no other cultivar cucumber plant is needed.
The Green Dragon cucumber is long–growing between 8 and 14 inches long on average! Its thin, dark green skin is nearly spineless.
Perhaps the most intriguing characteristic of this fruit, however, is its no-burp feature. Like other “burpless” cucumbers, Green Dragons lack a compound called curcurbitacin, which is the culprit behind some other variety’s bitterness and their tendency to cause consumers to burp.
Green Dragons also tend to have fewer seeds than other cucumbers, which helps keep that bitterness at bay!
Green Dragon cucumbers boast great resistance to disease, including to powdery and downy mildew. This early and prolific producer is very hardy compared to other cucumbers.
The myriad health benefits of eating a cucumber include increased hydration, reduced inflammation, stronger bones, improved cardiovascular health, and possibly even type-2 diabetes prevention.
If you want to do a deep dive into the science, this article in Medical News Today is a great place to start. You’ll find links to the research and see for yourself all the benefits cucumbers have to offer.
How to Enjoy Them
Beyond the nutritional benefits, though, Green Dragon cucumbers are definite palate pleasers! This sweet, small-seed cucumber is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
The Green Dragon is delicious simply sliced, but there are so many other ways to enjoy them. I recently served cucumber and dill tea sandwiches (white bread, whipped cream cheese, sliced Green Dragons, fresh dill, and a tiny dash of salt) at a baby shower I hosted, and they flew off the platter!
There’s a Green Dragon option for every eater, every meal! Read on for a few more exciting ways to enjoy the fruit.
- Cucumber Nut Bread — great with your morning coffee!
- Thai Cucumber Salad — a unique and refreshing twist on a side dish.
- Falafel with Cucumber Sauce — use the leftover sauce as a vegetable dip!
And don’t forget to hydrate! Cucumbers already pack a ton of thirst-quenching water, but adding sliced Green Dragons to many classic beverages will give them an extra pop and fresh flavor. Try adding Green Dragon slices to a pitcher of lemonade or your favorite sparkling water.
I always keep a pitcher of simple mint cucumber water in my fridge during the summer–just add a handful of mint sprigs and another of cucumber slices to a pitcher of water. It’s a great way to use the mint that explodes in my garden each year, and the hint of cucumber is the height of refreshment when the temperature is soaring outside!
Growing at Home
Green Dragon cucumbers are easy to grow at home, whether you do it in a greenhouse or just outside! You can even grow Green Dragons in 3–5-gallon containers, as long as you use fertile soil and provide good drainage. For basic planting and growing instructions, read our comprehensive guide, How to Plant Cucumbers.
Planting and Spacing
Like most cucumbers, Green Dragons grow best when direct seeded and tend to do less well when transplanted. After the last frost, plant seeds every 6-8 inches, then thin to one seed per 12 inches.
These cucumbers need warm, moist soil and they love the sun! Plant them in an area where they can get full sunlight. Green Dragons are remarkably hardy; anyone in hardiness zones 3-12 should have an easy time growing them.
Although cucumbers can flourish in lots of different soils, they’ll grow best in loose, well-drained soil rich with organic matter and plant nutrients.
It may seem obvious to seasoned home gardeners, but for the novices out there, it’s important to note that vining plants, like cucumbers, do best when kept off the ground, so trellising is wise. Consider using an A-frame trellis, like the one we found on Amazon.
Trellising the plant will keep the fruit off the ground, where it’s more susceptible to diseases caused by excessive moisture.
It will also make your harvest easier, which you’ll appreciate. Once you taste the first ones, you’re going to want to harvest your Green Dragon cucumbers frequently to encourage more of these delicious fruits to grow!
Molding for Shape
If you want to have some fun with these, you can also buy a cucumber mold in a fun design, like this star-shaped mold we found (also on Amazon)!
Start by growing the fruit as you normally would. As soon as a baby cucumber begins to grow, place the mold over it for the remainder of the maturing phase. When the cucumber is done growing, simply remove the mold and enjoy your fun-shaped fruit!
Not only do kids love this novel way to eat a cucumber, but you can also use the slices as a garnish on a refreshing cucumber punch!
Where to Buy Seeds
Once you’ve experimented with the Green Dragon cucumber, there’s no doubt you’ll look forward to next year’s crop!
Luckily, seeds aren’t hard to come by! You can find outstanding quality Green Dragon seeds at one of our favorite retailers, Hoss Tools.
Make the Green Dragon Your New Favorite Cucumber
If you’re thinking of trying something new in your home garden next spring, look no further than the Green Dragon cucumber, which is certain to be a crowd-pleaser!
Ready to continue discovering these funky fresh vegetables? Then learn more about cucumbers by checking out my planting guides, recipe tips, brand suggestions, and more!
- About the Author
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Ronda Lindsay is a writer and editor who loves getting outside in her garden, whether that’s in the temperate climates of the Pacific Northwest or Mid-Atlantic or in the sweltering heat of south-central Texas.
Growing up, she was a regular at pick-your-own farms, where she and her siblings gathered anything that wasn’t already growing in her family’s backyard to eat, freeze, or can. As an adult, Ronda has taken the vast gardening knowledge bestowed upon her by her mother and used it to grow everything from strawberries to jalapeños, arrange beautiful container gardens, and nurse sick plants back to health.
With a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in professional writing, Ronda enjoys using her skills to share information and advice with Minneopa Orchards readers!