Most people think of pumpkins as being orange, but did you know that there are also white pumpkins? White pumpkins are a type of winter squash that belongs to the gourd family.
White pumpkins, also known as Lumina pumpkins, are a relatively new type of pumpkin that was first developed in the early 1990s.
They are characterized by their white flesh and round, blocky shape, but some white pumpkins have only a white exterior and still have distinctive orange flesh.
White pumpkins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small and round to large and oval.
In general, though, white pumpkins are typically smaller than other types of pumpkins, such as the more common orange jack-o-lantern pumpkin. However, there are now several varieties of white pumpkins available, including the Baby Bear and the Snowball.
White pumpkins can be used for both decorative and culinary purposes. They are often used as Halloween decorations, due to their spooky white color.
However, they can also be roasted or pureed and used in a variety of recipes, including soups, pies, and even cocktails.
Ready to learn how to grow and use your own white pumpkins? Let’s get started!
Uses for White Pumpkins
While the orange pumpkin is the most popular type of pumpkin, the white pumpkin is a close second.
White pumpkins can be used for decoration, as they are often used for Halloween. They can also be used for carving and decorating, as they are easier to paint on than orange pumpkins.
Did you know that white pumpkins can also be used in a variety of recipes? White pumpkins have a milder flavor than their orange cousins, making them ideal for use in sweet dishes. They can be used to make pies, cakes, and even ice cream.
However, they can also be used in savory dishes such as soup or risotto. In addition to being delicious, white pumpkins are also packed with nutrients. They are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
Varieties and Names
Did you know that white pumpkins come in many different varieties?
These include the “Baby Boo”, a small pumpkin with smooth, shiny white skin; the “Casperita”, a round, creamy white pumpkin with ribbing similar to Cinderella pumpkins; and the “Lumina”, a ghostly pale variety with flat, deeply-ribbed skin.
Other white pumpkin varieties to consider growing or using in your decorations include:
- Super Moon
- Cotton Candy
- Silver Moon
- Full Moon
Each of these beautiful pumpkins adds an elegant touch to fall decorations or a Halloween jack o’lantern display.
So next time you’re at the pumpkin patch, don’t forget to check out the unique and striking varieties of white pumpkins.
Growing White Pumpkins
If you’re looking for a unique addition to your autumnal decor, why not try growing white pumpkins? Here’s how to do it.
Ideal Growing Zone
White pumpkins can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. If you’re not sure what hardiness zone you live in, you can use this tool to find out.
Soil Type for White Pumpkins
White pumpkins generally prefer loamy soil that is high in organic matter. The ideal pH range for white pumpkins is 6.0-7.0. You can have your soil tested to see if it meets these criteria.
When to Plant White Pumpkins
White pumpkins should be planted after the last frost of the season. This is usually sometime in late May or early June.
Watering White Pumpkins
White pumpkins should be watered deeply and evenly throughout the growing season. They generally require 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on conditions such as temperature and rainfall.
How to Fertilize White Pumpkins
White pumpkins should be fertilized every 2-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label so that you do not over-fertilize your plants. Composted manure can also be used as a fertilizer.
Companion Planting for White Pumpkins
Good companion plants for white pumpkins include: corn, beans, peas, squash, potatoes, eggplant, and radishes.
These plants can help improve the health and yield of your pumpkin plants by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and improving soil quality.
Another great way to deter pests is to plant garlic around your pumpkin plants; just make sure not to plant them too close together as they can compete for resources.
You should also avoid planting white pumpkins near cabbage or mustard greens as they can cross-pollinate and produce an off-flavored fruit.
Harvesting White Pumpkins
The first step in harvesting your own pumpkins is to pick the right ones! When you’re at the store or farmers market, look for pumpkins that are bright orange and free of blemishes.
Avoid any that have soft spots, bruises, or cuts. Once you’ve found the perfect pumpkins, it’s time to get started on the harvesting process.
Pumpkins are typically ready to harvest in late September or early October. To test if they’re ready, try tapping the pumpkin with your fingernail—if it feels hard, it’s ready to be picked.
When you’re ready to harvest, cut the pumpkin off the vine using a sharp knife or pruning shears. Leave a few inches of stem attached to the pumpkin—this will help it last longer.
After you’ve harvested your pumpkin, it’s important to store it properly so it will last through Halloween (and beyond!).
The best place to store a pumpkin is in a cool, dry place. A basement or root cellar is ideal, but an unused closet or even a cool pantry will work in a pinch.
Just make sure wherever you store it is out of direct sunlight. And there you have it—now you know how to harvest your own pumpkins!
Saving Seeds from White Pumpkins
Did you know that you can save the seeds from your pumpkins and grow them next year?
Start with a clean pumpkin. If you’re going to be eating the pumpkin flesh, make sure to wash it first. If you’re just using the shell for decoration, you can skip this step.
Cut open the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. You can either do this by hand or with a spoon. Just be careful not to damage the seeds in the process.
Rinse the seeds in a colander under cool water. This will help to remove any remaining pumpkin flesh or other debris.
Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel or a clean dish towel and allow them to air dry for 24-48 hours.
Once the seeds are dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to plant them next year.
And that’s it! Now you know how to save seeds from your pumpkins so you can enjoy them for years to come.
Pests and Diseases
When growing white pumpkins, it’s important to be on the lookout for common pests and diseases.
One disease that often affects white pumpkins is powdery mildew, which shows up as a white or gray powdery substance on the leaves and can eventually spread to the stem and fruit.
To prevent powdery mildew from appearing, make sure your pumpkin plants have enough space for good air circulation and avoid overhead watering which can encourage its growth.
Squash bugs are one of the most common pests affecting pumpkins. These small, brown bugs feed on the leaves of the plant, eventually causing them to turn yellow and die.
In addition, squash bugs can spread diseases like bacterial wilt or cucurbit Yellow vine disease.
If you suspect that your pumpkin plant has squash bugs, check under the leaves for small brown eggs – these are typically attached in clusters of 20-30 eggs.
You can also look for small nymphs (young squash bugs) crawling around on the underside of the leaves.
To get rid of squash bugs, you can either hand-pick them off your plants or use an insecticide specifically designed for controlling these pests.
Another common pest for white pumpkins is cucumber beetles, which can cause damage to both the leaves and fruit of the plant. These pests can be controlled with insecticides or by hand picking them off the plants.
It’s also crucial to keep your pumpkin patch clean in order to minimize pest and disease problems – removing any infected plants or fallen leaves will help prevent outbreaks in future growing seasons.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that can be found in a variety of colors including green, yellow, brown, and black.
Aphids feed on the sap of plants and are known to cause damage to crops such as white pumpkins.
Symptoms of aphid damage include stunted growth, curled leaves, and yellowing of the foliage. If left untreated, aphids can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease.
One way to prevent aphids from damaging your white pumpkins is to attract natural predators such as ladybugs into your garden.
You can also use a strong stream of water to blast aphids off of your plants. If you see signs of aphid damage, treat your plants with insecticidal soap or Neem oil.
Where to Get White Pumpkins
These unusual gourds can be found at local farmers’ markets and some grocery stores, but for the widest selection, it may be best to visit a pumpkin patch specifically dedicated to unusual varieties.
A farmers market is another good option, as is a local grocery store or specialty shop.
White pumpkins can also sometimes be found at specialty florists, providing a dramatic addition to any seasonal arrangements.
If you want unique options like “baby Boo” white mini pumpkins or ghost pumpkins with white stripes, online retailers like Etsy or Amazon may have what you’re looking for – but be warned, it may only be possible to find seeds for these pumpkins, meaning you’ll have to grow them yourself early in the year.
Carving Ideas for Decoration
One of the best things about white pumpkins is that they provide a blank canvas for you to work with.
You can go as simple or as complex as you want with your decorations – it’s totally up to you! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Painted White Pumpkins
You can either go for a traditional Halloween color scheme or get really creative with your design. Stripes, polka dots, and other patterns can look really cool on a white pumpkin.
Just make sure to use paint that is designed for use on pumpkins – regular paint will just peel right off.
Here’s an idea.
This one is super easy – just paint on some eyes and a mouth, and you’re good to go (or carve it up). You could even add a bowtie or scarf if you want to get really fancy.
Here’s an idea.
Moonlit Pumpkin Scene
This one is especially beautiful if you have LED lights to put inside the pumpkin. Just carve a crescent moon into the front of the pumpkin, and then add some stars, trees, or other elements around it.
Here’s a fun idea.
Geometric Pumpkin Shapes
Carving geometric shapes into pumpkins is actually pretty easy – and they always look really cool when lit up at night. Try carving triangles, diamonds, hexagons, or any other shape that strikes your fancy.
Here’s how to do it.
White Pumpkin Mug
Another fun idea? Trick your friends with this festive mug! Simply carve a white pumpkin into a mug shape like this.
You could also make a white pumpkin vase like this (but with a real pumpkin of course).
Jack o Lantern Faces
If you’re feeling traditional this year, go ahead and carve some classic jack-o-lantern faces into your white pumpkins. They’ll look great on your front porch come Halloween night!
Here are some tips for traditional pumpkin carving.
Initials or Symbols
If carving complex shapes isn’t really your thing, that’s okay! You can still create a beautiful carved pumpkin by sticking with simple initials or symbols. A heart always looks nice, as does a peace sign or starburst design.
Here’s a tutorial.
How Long Will White Pumpkin Decorations Last?
Some of the white pumpkin decorations mentioned above tend to work better, unfortunately, with artificial pumpkins.
But that’s not to say you can’t put your real white pumpkins to good use in your favorite fall decor! They just might not last as long.
White pumpkins are generally safe to use for about two weeks. After that, they can start to rot and become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
To prolong the life of your white pumpkin decorations, make sure to choose pumpkins that are free of blemishes and cuts.
These open wounds will provide an entry point for bacteria that can speed up the rotting process.
And if you’re not planning on using the pumpkins right away, store them in a cool, dry place. A basement or garage is ideal.
Also, be sure to clean them regularly with a bleach solution and keep them out of direct sunlight.
Recipes for White Pumpkins
While the traditional orange pumpkins get all the attention come Halloween time, white pumpkins are actually quite versatile – and delicious! Here are some recipes to help you make the most of white pumpkins this fall.
This creamy pumpkin soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cool autumn day. And it’s easy to make, too!
Just roast your pumpkin, puree it with some chicken broth and cream, then season to taste with salt, pepper, and a touch of nutmeg. Serve with some crusty bread for dipping and enjoy!
Nothing says fall like the smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven. This recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results every time.
Just mix together your dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – then add in your wet ingredients – eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, and water.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Let cool before slicing and enjoy!
Here’s a full recipe.
After you’ve carved your pumpkins for Halloween, don’t throw out the seeds! Roasting pumpkin seeds is a great way to enjoy a tasty snack – and they’re good for you, too!
Just rinse your seeds off and let them dry before tossing them with a bit of oil and your favorite seasonings.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. Let them cool before enjoying – but be warned, they’re addicting!
Here’s a full recipe.
White Pumpkin Pie
And don’t forget your white pumpkin pie recipe!
White Pumpkin Risotto
Is there anything better than a classic risotto? I used to think no – but there is. White pumpkin risotto! Check it out here.
White pumpkins are edible, regardless of whether the flesh or skin (or both) are white. They can be used in the same way as orange pumpkins.
White pumpkins are great for carving and for painting, just like orange pumpkins.
White pumpkins taste exactly like orange pumpkins.
Some white pumpkins are white on the inside, while others are orange.
You can eat white pumpkin seeds just as you would the seeds from orange pumpkins.
You can preserve white pumpkins, but not for permanent use. Using white vinegar or bleach will allow you to keep your pumpkins looking fresh and vibrant throughout the fall season, but they still won’t last more than a few months.
If you notice white spots on your pumpkin leaves, it’s likely caused by powdery mildew. This can be treated with a fungicide.
Rebekah is a high-school English teacher n New York, where she lives on a 22 acre homestead. She raises and grows chickens, bees, and veggies such as zucchini (among other things).