Friday, January 14, 2022

The Diva Cucumber

Of all the cucumbers out there, Diva really seems to stand out. Diva is not only an All American Selection winner, but is also a very balanced combination American cucumber size and Lebanese cucumber texture on a hardy disease-resistant vine.


My experience with Diva was that it produced much like other Beit Alpha or Lebanese cucumber varieties. This means that it can be picked as a young tender cucumber to be snacked on and its skin is both thin and tender. Because of this, any leaves or branches that brush against the fruit during wind or anything passing by can leave scars on the fruit.


As previously mentioned, the skin is thin as well as tender. The flesh is juicy and the taste is relatively bitter-free. While I have eaten some Beit Alpha cucumber varieties that gave me indigestion, Diva did not. This, along with the somewhat pleasant taste made Diva a really good cucumber for me.

While Diva is listed as parthenocarpic (able to set seedless fruit without the need for pollination) I did notice some of the first female fruits abort. I am not sure if this is something typical in parthenocarpic cucumber varieties, but I thought it was a bit odd. After several fruit not setting, the remainder of the fruit set, primarily without seed. At this point, I would like to make a clarification. Cucumbers can be pollinated and, due to problems with poor pollination or poor reception of pollen from the female fruit, the vines can produce fruit that is seedless. Cucumbers or melons that are seedless are not necessarily parthenocarpic. For a cucumber to be parthenocarpic, it requires setting without any form of male pollination from any vegetable of the same species. I have had plenty of cucumber that produced seed poorly or not at all. Rather than this being a characteristic of parthenocarpy, the non-existent seed production was a symptom of poor pollination. Sometimes the plant is stressed in some way that results in fruit being produced that is absent of seed. 


In any case, Diva does exhibit characteristics of a parthenocarpic cucumber in that it often produces seedless fruit, though I have yet to verify for myself that Diva will also produce without pollination.

Another positive characteristic of the Diva cucumber is that it lasted a long time. Only vigorous cucumber varieties can produce fruit for several months without wearing out. While this was only my experience, this may be true of the Diva cucumber no matter where it is grown. Long-lasting vines are helpful for people who would like to enjoy a continuous harvest of cucumbers without having to worry about succession planting throughout the summer.

Near the end of the season, I had the opportunity to harvest the Diva cucumber plants I grew for seed. While I did harvest an entire bucket of fruit, I found very minimal seed. Altogether, I only harvested a small handful of seed.

If you are looking to grow an all-around good regular snacking and slicing cucumber, you may want to consider growing the Diva Cucumber.


  1. Hi Jay! I'm just a little confused.. it's not Diva advertise by seed companies as a hybrid? And if it is a hybrid, that would mean it shouldn't grow true to seed

  2. That's a great question, Jose. Diva was released by Johnny's Select Seed. If you go on their website, it will be listed as open-pollinated, because it is. It was an All-American Selection winner that was supposed to be parthenocarpic. However, it was never parthenocarpic for me or for many others. It may have been altered by some other companies to be parthenocarpic. I have saved seeds from the variety and grown it myself, but I'm not a huge fan of the flavor.


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