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All About Japanese Climbing Cucumbers

The Japanese Climbing Cucumber is a cucumber variety developed in Asia. It is widely available in grocery stores and has become popular because of its mild and sweet taste, as well as its versatility.

Whether you want to cut it up, pickle it, or use it as a garnish, this cucumber is the perfect healthy addition to your dinner plate.

If you’ve never heard of the Japanese Climbing Cucumber before, keep reading to learn all about it and how to grow your own at home!

Long dark green cucumbers resembling the Japanese climbing cucumber.

Characteristics of the Japanese Climbing Cucumber

The Japanese Climbing cucumber is long and slim and can be either straight or curved. This cucumber variety’s dark green skin varies from smooth to bumpy. Once it is cut open, the Japanese Climbing Cucumber has light green flesh and several tiny seeds.

Thinly sliced cucumber.

A Tasty Variety

This cucumber variety is widely sought after because of its mild, sweet taste. In fact, this is the sweetest kind of cucumber, with a taste often compared to that of a melon. It is also less bitter than other types of cucumbers, while still being crispy, crunchy, and juicy.

Using Japanese Climbing Cucumbers

Cucumbers are normally eaten sliced or pickled. The Japanese Climbing Cucumber is ideal for both of these preparation methods.

To slice a cucumber, use a sharp knife. Cucumbers can be sliced vertically to create a refreshing finger food, or horizontally for circular slices. Cucumbers’ skin can be eaten and is a great source of fiber, but if you wish to remove it, it comes off quite easily with a peeler.

Because of its mild, sweet taste, this variety of cucumber is often marinated before being served. Marinating cucumbers is an easy way to make them even tastier. First, slice the cucumber and place the slices in a bowl. Next, cover all of the slices with vinegar evenly.

Cucumbers can be marinated in rice vinegar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any other vinegar variety – take your pick! Once this is done, set the bowl aside for at least twenty minutes.

Cucumbers can last up to two weeks in the fridge, if stored properly – we suggest an airtight container.

Spicy Asian-style cucumbers.


The Japanese Climbing Cucumber is an extremely versatile fruit/vegetable (fun fact: cucumbers are, in fact, classified as both!). Here are our suggestions:

On a hot summer’s day, try this delicious, refreshing cucumber salad.

For a heartier meal, try this Mexican shrimp cocktail (with cucumbers, of course!).

Did you know that cucumber sandwiches are a popular teatime snack in England? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Health Benefits

Cucumber spears.

Cucumbers are easy to prepare and add to your diet, making them an accessible, healthy option, and a good complement to any meal.

Cucumbers are refreshing for a reason! They are made up of 95% water, and therefore support hydration. They are also filled with vitamins, namely vitamins C and K, both of which support immunity.

Moreover, cucumbers are a low-calorie food and are filled with antioxidants. Because of their slight, sweet taste, Japanese Climbing Cucumbers can easily be incorporated into kids’ diets by blending them into smoothies or using them as a garnish.

Where to Buy Seeds

Cucumber seedlings.

This cucumber variety is fairly easy to find since it’s favored by many because of its mildness and sweetness. It can be found at most grocery stores, supermarkets, and farmer’s markets.

Looking for a ripe cucumber that’s just right? To pick the best cucumber, select a firm cucumber with bright green skin. Avoid cucumbers with yellow or black spots, as well as those that are beginning to soften.

If you’re looking to grow your own Japanese Climbing Cucumber, you can easily find its seeds available online by visiting Amazon.

How to Grow Japanese Climbing Cucumbers

This cucumber variety can be grown year-round and is normally grown in greenhouses. However, it can also be from at home in an outdoor garden. That being said, it is not a beginner plant.

Since they are native to southeast Asia, Japanese Climbing Cucumbers require plenty of water and sun. Moreover, the “climbing” cucumber is, as its name indicates, a vining plant, and can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Long cucumbers in the sun.


To grow this cucumber in your garden, make sure it’s planted in an area where it receives at least five hours of sunlight a day. Six hours of sunlight is optimal. The soil should be nutrient-rich and well-draining, with a PH around 6.5.

Plant your cucumber seeds at least one foot apart, in a row. Water your seeds regularly, but be careful not to waterlog them. This is why well-draining soil is an important element in growing these plants.


Because they are climbing plants, Japanese Climbing cucumbers require support – we suggest a trellis. This will give the plant room to develop and keep it safe from ground pests.

A net trellis support for cucumber vines.

Cucumber Plant Care

If they are cared for properly, they will grow quickly. Prune the plant regularly to promote this growth and ensure that your plant remains healthy, avoiding fungal diseases and improving circulation. Small pests, such as snails, can be picked out. Do not use insecticides.

If you use fertilizer on your Japanese Climbing Cucumber plant, we suggest liquid fertilizer that is low in nitrogen (which can hinder the plant’s ability to flower) and high in potassium. A healthy plant will produce yellow flowers. They are self-pollinating, but can also be pollinated manually.

Long cucumbers ready for picking.

When to Harvest

Japanese Climbing Cucumbers are usually ready to be harvested somewhere between 60 and 80 days from when they were planted, and only around one week after the female flower has been successfully pollinated.

When deciding which cucumbers are ready to be harvested, look for firm, green cucumbers with even skin. They should measure at least 6 inches long. Avoid cucumbers that are yellowing, spotting, or softening.

A Delicious Cucumber Variety

Long, dark green cucumbers.

Best enjoyed fresh, this cucumber variety is an excellent option for those looking for a versatile, tasty, and nutritious addition to their dinner plate. If you’re up for the challenge, a Japanese Climbing Cucumber makes a great addition to your home garden.

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!