Cinderella Pumpkins add a bit of autumn magic to the garden.
No doubt, that magic is rooted in the bezillion times that I have watched the Fairy Godmother turn a pumpkin into Cinderella’s magical carriage.
Pumpkins grow in all sizes and shapes. The Cinderella pumpkins are flatter pumpkins, and they are dark orange. But not all flat pumpkins are Cinderella pumpkins.”
Flat White Boer Pumpkin – Image Credit: Annie’s Heirlooms
I am planting some Cinderella Pumpkin seeds in my 2023 garden.
“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).” Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
“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. Minnetonka Orchards
“Use natural fertilizer like compost or manure to make the plant grow healthily. Add fertilizer to the soil every seven to ten days. Minnetonka Orchards
Days to Maturity
“The Cinderella carriage pumpkin generally matures in 100 to 110 days. Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
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. Minnetonka Orchards
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.”