I have two cucumber plants in pots (pics below) the one in the terracotta pots is a type of slicing cucumber and the cream colored pot is pickling cukes. Neither are burpless.

I read that moving and transplanting cucumbers can do a lot of damage but the pots appear to be too small. I don't know much about growing cucumbers, but I know I always transplant my tomatoes into big 5gallon buckets after they've reached about a foot tall but they transplant easily since they're in the nightshade family. These are both about two feet.

I just bought a trellis to put behind them between the pots and a bench. What should I do? Should I leave them in their current pots because it'll do more damage than harm or transplant them? If so, how big should the pots be? Is there anything special I should do to prevent shock? Also, when I remove the rigged wire trellis's I have now, is it okay to snip the viney, spindly light green vines that have curled along, or do I gently unwind them? Please help!

Pickling cuke 2'7" incl.pot

Slicing cuke 2'4" incl.pot


3 Answers 3


It's true that cucumbers are best planted as seed in the location in which they will grow. There are however many considerations to work through when contemplating a relocation.

What I'm thinking in this situation...

Leave in small pots:

  • no risk of transplant shock;
  • water daily;
  • apply tonic (such as seaweed emulsion) weekly;
  • apply fertiliser fortnightly;
  • greater risk of plant disease;
  • expect smaller plants with low yield / small crop.

Transplant to large pots or into ground:

  • risk of transplant shock;
  • water weekly;
  • apply tonic (such as seaweed emulsion) fortnightly;
  • apply fertiliser monthly;
  • lower risk of plant disease;
  • expect larger plants with higher yield / larger crop.

Also what season are you currently in? Heading into winter or summer? I'm assuming the latter. So you should be in peak growing season, ensuring the plants are at their greatest potential for adaptation.

Ideally the plants would go into the ground or those 5 gallon buckets you use for your tomatoes, or larger if possible. The more good soil you can provide for your plants the happier and more resilient to pests it will be.

Untangling the vines would be a difficult task, however necessary if you want to transplant. You'd be better cutting the tendrils that have latched onto the trellis and cutting the vines that have wrapped around the trellis. This may seem difficult to do but the plant will heal and will, for the transplant, provide a smaller plant that will have a greater chance of recovery.

What you'll be attempting to achieve during transplant is minimal root disturbance. Do not water for at least a day before transplant. A dry soil is more likely to hold together than a wet soil when removed from a pot.

Make sure that if you decide to transplant, have everything ready so all that is needed is to turn your cucumbers out of their existing pot, carefully place in their new larger pots, carefully fill soil around the edges and finally water in.

A reminder that what you'll be attempting to achieve during transplant is minimal root disturbance.

When you water in the transplanted plants, make sure you include a liquid tonic such as seaweed extract or bacterial "probiotic". This should help your plant minimise "transplant shock" and repel any pests and disease.

Lastly it's worth mentioning an alternative - that you could also set up the new larger pot/s, buy two new advanced cucumber plants from a local nursery and plant your existing and the new plants at the same time, so that if you did lose the older more advanced plants at least you would be likely to retain the smaller less advanced plants.


I wouldn't transplant them if I were you. I've tried transplanting cucumbers before and it wasn't a successful experience. However, if you do, you may experiment by soaking the roots in water until the roots grow and heal some before transplanting to see if that helps. I don't know if it'll help, though.

You could try a few things instead of transplanting:

  1. Plant new seeds in the soil (recommended).
  2. Layer your cucumbers without transplanting them. What this means is you can put your pots where you wanted to transplant your cucumbers, and bury portions of the vines in the ground; and, let them grow roots. When they have roots, you can either leave them attached (I would probably do that, personally), or cut them off after they're doing well enough. Be sure to water the container enough until it has roots in the ground. (I'm not sure how you'll know if/when it gets roots, though.) Layering cucumbers is a way to prolong your season, even for those grown in the ground, I've read.
  3. Take cuttings.
  4. Bury the whole container deep enough such that the roots may grow out of it and into the ground. Soil from above the container will leach nutrients into the container when you water it. This should work, but I've never tried it.

Well, these answers are quite logical and good. I have to say I would definitely transplant these very healthy plants into a larger pot; 5 gallon would be perfect. I would also start others so you have more longevity and more produce but I think most people think plants are more fragile than they really are...I sincerely hope you use bagged, sterilized potting soil in the new pot, no rocks or gravel at the bottom and only add a bit of OSMOCOTE extended release fertilizer 14-14-14 for the new soil. Plants love transplanting...fresh soil, more room, a few broken roots actually enhance root growth. Where did you read that the nightshade family is easily transplanted? Potatoes hate and will not handle transplanting. Eggplant and peppers so so. Tomatoes, love transplanting as do cucumbers. Cucumbers are not part of the nightshade family. Make sure you use potting soil. Transplanting is not the big huggaboo many people imagine. It is part of raising vegetables in pots. Before a vegetable grown in a pot can reach harvestable it will need at least 3 or 4 transplantings...for health and harvest. Potting soil only.

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