Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pumpkin, Winter Squash
Cucurbita pepo 'Jack Be Little'

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cucurbita (koo-KER-bih-ta) (Info)
Species: pepo (PEP-oh) (Info)
Cultivar: Jack Be Little

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5 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Pumpkin (winter)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Days to Maturity:
91 to 100 days

Mature Skin Color:

Less than 1 pound (0.5 kg)


Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lemurianne On Jul 26, 2009, lemurianne from Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Wow, these are unbelievably prolific!! I planted these in early May (well before our last frost, but we had an unusually mild Spring), and I've already (in late July!) got buckets of these adorable little pumpkins from just two plants! I'd never realized that these were good for eating but I'm going to give it a try since we have so many. I grew the white ones as well and they are equally prolific. I did train them up a wire cage, but they outgrew it and spilled over into an adjacent bed, so I'll give them more room next year. Very impressed with these little guys :)

Positive DRJohnson On Sep 27, 2008, DRJohnson from Bremerton, WA wrote:

These little pumpkins are fun and easy to grow.
This is my first year growing these little guys. They did take some time to set fruit.... I thought I was never going to get a female flower, but when the first one did appear they came on like crazy. I planted them next to a row of "Pumpkin on a stick" and they did just fine as neighbors in the garden. I'm looking forward to cooking with 'Jack Be Little'.

Positive CurtisJones On Sep 10, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: At 3-4" in diameter and just 2" tall, these tiny little pumpkins can fit in the palm of your hand. Unlike mini round, smooth pumpkins, this variety has a flattened, ribbed shape. Decorate them for fall display with acrylic paints, markers, or glitter - or grow them to serve as mini-desserts, or to fill with soups or casseroles. Each plant produces 6-10 fruits on compact 8-10' vines.

Positive NatureWalker On Mar 25, 2006, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This true miniature pumpkin is the tiniest pumpkin in the world! It easily fits into the palm of your hand, measuring 3" - 4" across and 2" high. The color is an attractive deep orange. Kids love Jack Be Little - particularly to paint and decorate. It makes an attractive accent for fall centerpieces. The tasty flesh is as sweet as winter squash when cooked! The compact vines are 10' to 12' long, and each plant produces 6 to 10 fruit. The fruit will keep up to 12 months when stored in a cool environment (not refrigerated of course.)

I grow them upwards on a tomato cage. They do just fine... especially with a little pantyhose!

Days to Maturity: 95
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 3 weeks after last frost. Soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees.
When to Sow Inside: 3 to 4 weeks before last frost. Not recommended except in short season climates.
Up North here Yes!
Seed Depth: 1"
Seed Spacing: 6 seeds per hill
I put 3 transplants per tomato cage; 6 in all - in 1 of my earth boxes, they came out perfect.
Row Spacing: Space hills 4 to 6 feet apart
Days to Emerge: 5 to 10
Thinning: Thin to three plants per hill
Germinates in 10 to 14 days depending on soil and temperature conditions.
Remarks: Cut the mature Jack Be Little Pumpkin from the vines with pruning shears leaving 3 inches of stem attached.

Pumpkin vines are a bit like puppies: cute when they're little; not so cute when they grow up and trample the garden. Luckily, pumpkins (and puppies) can be trained. Trellising pumpkins that are volleyball size or smaller is a great way to keep the fruit accessible and save space. Buy or build a sturdy trellis and train the vine up the support. Make a sling for each pumpkin using panty hose. To avoid shading your garden, place the trellis along the north side.

Positive rating is for staying a small vine, remaining a small managable true pumpkin; tasting really good like a real pumpkin does, and growing out true to type, which is the standard dark orange color.

To save seeds; let 1 or 2 of them reach maturity, (take them inside before a hard killer frost melts them down into mush) then store them for as long as you can in a cool area; like an unheated, enclosed back porch. Place them on top of a wooden shelf with a brown papaper bag or paper plate so they don't have direct contact with the wood. If they get more over-ripe you will have seeds that germinate better. I collected seeds from only 1 pumpkin this last season because all the other seeds were roasted.

Being a Cucurbita they can cross pollinate. So if you intend to save some seeds from a few, make sure you bag the blossom gently with a small white paper bag & tied with a piece of yarn or loose cotton netting like doubled up cheese cloth, wait only a few days, then hand pollinate. The best thing to do, I find, is to grow them out in a seperated way; away from other Cucurbitas.

Positive Terry On Dec 9, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Arguably, the most popular miniature pumpkin frequently found in fall decorations. Can also be used for single-servings of baked squash.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Longmont, Colorado
Westchester, Illinois
Nabb, Indiana
Ida Grove, Iowa
Union, Kentucky
Binghamton, New York
Leetonia, Ohio
Lynchburg, Ohio
Vinton, Ohio
Nevada, Texas
Bremerton, Washington

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