eight Illness-Resistant Cucumber Varieties for Dwelling Gardeners

Depending on who you ask, cucumbers are some of the easiest or most difficult vegetables to grow. In the right environments, the vining plants produce handfuls of cucumbers each week and bed out to break out your best pickling recipes. But these plants are also susceptible to numerous diseases that can quickly decimate previously healthy vines.

If you’ve dealt with diseases like powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, anthracnose, or downy mildew in the past, you know how devastating they can be. Since many of these diseases are tough to treat once they’ve infected your plants, prevention is often the best strategy. Maintaining good airflow and proper soil nutrition can help, but variety selection is also important.

Selecting disease-resistant varieties increases the odds that your plants will stay healthy throughout the growing season. Not all varieties resist the same diseases, so look for one that can better withstand diseases common in your garden. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these eight disease-resistant cucumbers.

A Note About Disease Resistance

Choose cucumber varieties labeled as disease-resistant for healthier plants.

Before I introduce some of the top cucumber varieties that can stand up to bacteria, viruses, and fungi, I want to clear up a misconception I often hear about disease resistance. Just because a variety is labeled as resistant to a certain disease, it doesn’t mean it’s immune. Instead, it confers that the resistant variety has a much smaller chance of contracting the disease than non-resistant varieties.

If you want to grow disease-free plants, variety selection is just one piece of the puzzle. You should also choose drip irrigation instead of overhead watering to keep the leaves dry, water so the soil remains moist, maintain adequate airflow through proper plant spacing, and ensure your plants can access the nutrients they need to fight off disease. Completing these practices increases the likelihood that your plants will remain healthy.

You should also note that disease resistance is disease-specific. That means one variety can be resistant to downy mildew but not powdery mildew and vice versa. It’s possible for varieties to contain multiple disease-resistance traits, so some varieties are resistant to more than one disease.

YouTube video

Eight Disease-Resistant Cucumber Varieties

If you want to give your plants a leg up on fighting off disease, check out one of these disease-resistant varieties. Not all of these plants can fight off all diseases, so choose a variety that’s well-suited to your garden’s history. For example, if powdery mildew destroyed last year’s cucumber plants, look for a powdery mildew-resistant variety.

‘Spacemaster 80’

Close-up of a man's hand holding a freshly picked 'Spacemaster 80' cucumber against a background of cucumber plants. The 'Spacemaster 80' cucumber plant displays compact growth with bushy foliage, dark green leaves, and cylindrical fruits with dark green skin and a slightly pimply texture.A compact cucumber variety perfect for small gardens and containers.

When you look at ‘Spacemaster 80’ cucumbers, it’s easy to think it’s a classic slicing cucumber. The dark green fruits grow up to eight inches long and feature smooth skin with a splatting of small prickles. But these plants’ compact size makes them much different from other varieties of slicing cucumbers!

‘Spacemaster 80’ vines only grow two to three feet long, making them a great addition for compact gardens, small raised beds, and even containers. Their small size means you won’t have to worry about their vines sprawling over your garden and taking over your tomatoes, peppers, and basil. Despite their short vines, they send out pounds of cucumbers throughout the season.

The variety packs a powerful punch when it comes to disease resistance. It’s resistant to both powdery mildew and downy mildew, as well as scab and cucumber mosaic virus. Since few varieties are resistant to both types of mildew, ‘Spacemaster 80’ is a great choice if you deal with one or both of these fungal diseases. To help bolster the plant’s ability to fight disease, plant it somewhere with full sun and excellent airflow.

‘Homemade Pickles’

Close-up of a wicker basket filled with freshly picked 'Homemade Pickles' cucumbers in a grassy garden, showcasing small, firm, slightly spiny fruits with a vibrant green coloration.For crunchy, sweet, and tender pickles, try this forgiving variety.

Can’t get enough of crunchy, homemade pickles? Then this variety is for you! Remaining crunchy, sweet, and tender up to six inches long, ‘Homemade Pickles’ is forgiving if you skip a harvest day or miss a cucumber hiding under the leaves. However, the tiny cukes can also be picked when they’re as small as two inches.

The name doesn’t lie: this variety makes great pickles. The firm yet tender interior holds up well to vinegar baths as well as brined fermentations. You can also enjoy the little cucumbers fresh as snacks or in salads.

The vines remain shorter and more compact than other pickler varieties, so ‘Home Pickles’ is an excellent option if you have limited space. Despite their smaller vines, the plants produce tons of flowers that will turn into cucumbers after pollination.

Finally, this variety has an impressive disease-resistance package. It’s less susceptible to anthracnose, angular leaf spot, cucumber mosaic virus, downy mildew, and powdery mildew. Couple this with proper watering and fertilization, and you’ll set yourself up for healthy plants that produce baskets full of cucumbers.

‘Tasty Green’

Close-up of a 'Tasty Green' cucumber plant adorned with ripe fruits that are long, slender, and smooth-skinned, showcasing a rich, dark green hue and succulent, crisp flesh.For sweet, seedless cucumbers, ‘Tasty Green’ is a top choice!

‘Tasty Green’ holds a special place in my cucumber-growing heart. The first farm I worked at in Virginia grew about a dozen cucumber varieties. Many of them were standard slicing or pickling cucumbers that customers easily recognized, but we also grew a few less familiar varieties, like ‘Tasty Green.’ To help move ‘Tasty Green’ cucumbers at the farmers’ market, we labeled them ‘farmers’ favorite.’ And it was true—these sweet, thin-skinned cukes were farm favorites!

‘Tasty Green’ is a burpless variety, meaning it doesn’t contain cucurbitacin. This compound causes bitterness that makes some cucumbers unpalatable and is also responsible for the digestive upset that some people experience. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about either of these problems if you plant ‘Tasty Green.’

This variety’s sweet flavor, coupled with very few seeds, makes it a beloved variety by just about everyone. The fruits taste best when picked just shy of ten inches long, but you can also harvest them when a bit smaller.

If you want straight cucumbers, it’s best to grow ‘Tasty Green’ plants on a trellis. Gravity helps pull them down into a perfectly straight form, and bolsters their powdery mildew resistance. These plants grow fine on the ground, but their fruits often grow in curvy or irregular shapes.


Close-up of a 'Corinto' cucumber plant featuring mature fruits characterized by their short, stout shape, smooth dark green skin, and juicy, refreshing flesh perfect for slicing.Choose this variety for prolific yields and seedless cucumbers.

Beloved by many market farmers, ‘Corinto’ stands out from the crowd due to its high yields and productivity. Some of this variety’s high yields are due to its gynoecious nature. This means that each plant produces only (or mostly) female flowers. Since each of these flowers can become a fruit, the plants yield more cukes than monoecious varieties that produce both male and female flowers on the same plant.

Not only is ‘Corinto’ highly productive, but the plants continue to send out flowers and fruits during cool springs and early heat waves. And since the plants are parthenocarpic, they don’t require pollination to produce fruit. That means you can plant them in a greenhouse or cover them with insect netting to protect them from pesky cucumber beetles that transmit bacterial wilt. It also means the cucumbers will remain seedless as long as they’re kept away from pollen-producing varieties.

‘Corinto’ seeds are more expensive than many other varieties, so not every home gardener wants to splurge on them. But if you’re looking for a reliable and prolific slicing cucumber, it can be a great option.

The plants have moderate resistance to powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic virus, and cucumber vein yellowing virus. Since they’re not resistant to downy mildew, I encourage you to use drip irrigation and plant your cucumbers far enough apart to allow for proper airflow.


Close-up of a 'Diva' cucumber plant graced with ripe fruit exhibiting a slender, elongated form, pale green skin, and a delectably crisp texture.
Experience the delightful crunch of these smooth-skinned cucumbers.

If you prefer a thin-skinned cucumber of moderate size, ‘Diva’ is a great option. The fruits are ready to harvest when they’re five to seven inches long and sport a smooth, thin skin that’s a key characteristic of Persian cucumbers. Their size makes them great for snacking on, slicing on top of sandwiches, or chopping up for salads.

Despite their thin skin, the cucumbers are relatively safe against regular handling. That means you don’t have to worry about slicing or bruising their skin when you’re harvesting them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can throw them in a harvest basket or bin and expect them to remain unscathed!

As far as taste goes, ‘Diva’ is delicious. The flesh is crunchy and sweet, and the parthenocarpic nature means the fruits end up seedless unless you plant a pollinating variety nearby. ‘Diva’ only produces female flowers, so you can expect a larger harvest than you would from a variety that produces both male and female flowers.

This hybrid variety also has moderate disease resistance. It’s less likely to become infected by scab, cucumber vein yellowing virus, and powdery mildew. Since few cucumber varieties are resistant to scab, ‘Diva’ is a great choice if you’ve historically dealt with this fungus in your cucumbers, squash, or melons.


Close-up of a 'Marketmore' cucumber plant showing mature fruits characterized by their elongated, slightly curved shape, dark green, slightly bumpy skin, and juicy, refreshing flesh.Enjoy the classic flavor and resilience of this beloved variety.

‘Marketmore’ is one of the most iconic and long-standing cucumber varieties. It was first introduced in 1968 by Dr. Henry Munger of Cornell University as an open-pollinated, disease-resistant variety. Munger later released an updated version of it in 1976 known as ‘Marketmore 76.’

The plants produce classic green slicing cucumbers that range from six to eight inches long. Their green skin is slightly waxy and moderately thin, protecting the interior of the fruits from damage without becoming displeasing to bite into. This variety does produce seeds, but if you stay on top of harvesting and pick them while they’re small, you won’t have to deal with larger seeds.

The original ‘Marketmore’ is resistant to cucumber mosaic virus. The updated ‘Marketmore 76’ is also resistant to powdery mildew and scab. Since both of these varieties are open-pollinated, you can save the seeds and plant them the following year. Just make sure to let the cucumbers fully mature and turn yellow before you harvest them for seed-saving purposes.

‘Poinsett 76’

Close-up of a 'Poinsett 76' cucumber plant featuring ripe fruits with a cylindrical shape, smooth light green skin, and tender, juicy flesh.Embrace resilience and flavor in your Southern garden with this variety.

‘Poinsett 76’ is another variety bred by Dr. Munger at Cornell with the help of plant breeders at Clemson University in South Carolina. It’s renowned for its impressive disease resistance and ability to thrive in hot and humid conditions (hello, Southern gardeners). You can expect the plants to show moderate resistance to powdery mildew, downy mildew, scab, anthracnose, and angular leaf spot.

As far as looks go, ‘Poinsett 76’ is a classic slicing cucumber. It’s ready to harvest when it’s seven to eight inches long and about two inches in diameter. While you can harvest these fruits when they’re smaller, they’ll quickly become soft. Larger cucumbers tend to have tough skins and less crunchy interiors.

‘Poinsett 76’ is an open-pollinated variety, so the seeds will breed true. You can save the seeds from mature cucumbers and plant them out the following year. Or, try cross-pollinating them with another open-pollinated variety to create a new variety!

‘Muncher Persian’

Close-up of a 'Muncher Persian' cucumber plant boasting ripe fruits characterized by their slender shape, smooth, thin skin of dark green color with a glossy surface.Indulge in crispy, burpless cucumbers, perfect for snacking or salads.

This variety name isn’t lying; these cucumbers are perfect for munching! The fruits have a thin skin and crunchy texture that’s perfect for snacking on whole or slicing up for charcuterie boards and salads. They’re also burpless, so you don’t have to worry about any of the off-putting bitter flavor some cucumbers develop. And since you can enjoy them in a variety of sizes, you can harvest five-inch cukes for snacking and let them grow to eight inches long before you chop them up for salads.

Along with their thin skins, ‘Mucher Persian’ cucumbers do not produce the prickles that other types of cucumbers do. That means they’re even more enjoyable to eat!

‘Mucher Persian’ is stacked as far as disease resistance goes. The variety has moderate resistance to cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew, alternaria leaf spot, and anthracnose. Just keep an eye out for downy mildew since it tends to pop up in many gardens.

Final Thoughts

Planting one of these disease-resistant cucumbers will increase the odds that your plants make it through the year free from fungi and bacteria. Remember to pair a disease-resistant variety with care practices like drip irrigation and proper plant spacing. And if you find your plants still develop disease, try a different variety the next time you grow cucumbers.

Leave a comment