Porcelain Doll pumpkin

Porcelain Doll Pumpkins are unlike any other pumpkin variety available. But what makes them so special?

The Porcelain Doll pumpkin is a large hybrid pumpkin cultivar known for its pale pink-colored rind and fundraising connection for Breast Cancer awareness. The plants are disease-resistant and will each produce 2 or 3 pumpkins. The pumpkins weigh about 20 pounds each due to the dense flesh inside. They are perfect ornamental pumpkins for decorating, but can also be used in cooked recipes.

Read on to learn all about Porcelain Doll pumpkins!

Porcelain doll pumpkins

Porcelain Doll pumpkin basics

Porcelain Doll pumpkins are extra-large, pink pumpkins. These beauties take 110 days to grow to maturity and grow their best with ample water and access to sunlight.

While they have an heirloom-type appearance, Porcelain Doll Pumpkins are actually a modern hybrid developed by Jacob Froese of Colorado Seeds in Cheraw, Colorado. The Porcelain Doll Pumpkin was the inspiration for the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, a non-profit set up by the Froese family to honor their breast-cancer survivor and Colorado Seeds co-owner Carol Holsopple-Froese. Colorado Seeds donates $10 to the Foundation for every 1,000 seeds sold. Commercial growers are also encouraged to donate 25¢ per pumpkin sold to the Foundation.

“Jacob Froese said the development of the pink pumpkin variety known as Porcelain Doll was serendipitous. Created unintentionally, the Froese family, Cheraw, Colo., worked backward to segregate the original pink pumpkin and develop seeds for distribution. Colorado Seeds, the Froese’s seed breeding company, distributes Porcelain Doll seeds, as well as multiple other varieties, directly to seed companies.”

Porcelain Doll pumpkin variety is bringing used to fund benefit breast cancer research, by Rachel Gabel, The Fence Post
Porcelain doll pumpkin

Growing season for Porcelain Doll pumpkin plants

Like other pumpkin varieties, Porcelain Doll pumpkins need plenty of sunlight for healthy growth. You should plant seeds in the summer months for the best growth. A Porcelain Doll Pumpkin takes about 110 to 120 days before it. is fully mature and ready to harvest. Harvest this pumpkin in October and other fall months.

In order to have pumpkins that are fully mature by October, you should plant them by the end of June. However, Porcelain Doll Pumpkins are a resistant variety that can also survive planting in late summer or early fall. Keep in mind that planting the seeds too late will reduce the size and quality of the harvest.

Inside pink princess pumpkin

Avoid planting pumpkin seeds in the garden until the last frost of the season has passed. Although the season outside may not be best for pumpkins, you can get a head start by planting the seeds indoors a few weeks before the final frost. (You will learn more about this process in the next section).

At the end of the growing season, you will have a pumpkin featuring deep ribs and a blocky shape.

Porcelain doll pumpkins

How to grow Porcelain Doll pumpkins

Porcelain Doll pumpkins require nutrient-rich soil that drains well. If you want to grow bigger-sized pumpkins, mix some compost and manure into the garden bed.

As mentioned above, you should start your seeds inside before planting them in the garden. Plant two or three seeds into a biodegradable container. Using biodegradable containers will help prevent root disturbance during transplanting. Keep the containers in a room that maintains a temperature between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the seeds frequently to ensure their soil is moist.

Once the seeds have sprouted, move the pots to an area with abundant sunlight. Although Porcelain Doll pumpkins are resistant plants, they will not survive a temperature drop below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the final frost has passed before you plant them outside.

Plant one container every foot or so. Cover the rows to help the plants establish healthy root systems. Once the plants start flowering, remove the row covers. As sprouts start to grow stronger, spread the plants out with two feet between each of them. More room between plants will give them enough space to produce larger fruit.

Avoid mildew growth on your pumpkins by not overwatering. If there is a lot of rainfall in your area that keeps the pumpkins in moist conditions for an extended period, use an organic fungicide. Fortunately, this hybrid variety is relatively resistant to powdery mildew.

Porcelain Doll pumpkins will start out pale yellow but will turn a pale pink color when they’re fully mature. Another way to tell if the fruit is ready for harvest is by checking the stem. If the pumpkin’s stem has hardened, it is ready to be harvested. However, if the pumpkin’s stem is still soft, leave the fruit there until it is.

As the fruit begins to mature, reduce the amount of water you use on the plants. Less water closer to maturation will result in a richer-tasting fruit.

Pink porcelain doll pumpkins in big farm bin

Harvesting ripe Porcelain Doll pumpkins

Each plant should grow two or three pumpkins that reach about 20 pounds each. After cutting each pumpkin from the vine, they need to cure. Set them in the sun or a dry room for ten days to cure. Do not leave the pumpkins in the sun past maturation and curing. Doing so will negatively impact their quality and color. A Porcelain Doll Pumpkin left in the sun will turn either yellow or white in color.

Once the pumpkins have cured, store them in a cool (but not cold), dry place. Porcelain Doll pumpkins can last in these conditions for a few months. If you do not have a cool, dry room to store whole pumpkins in, you may need to consider other means of pumpkin storage. Learn more about preparing harvested pumpkins in the following section.

After harvesting all the pumpkins, remove the plants from the soil. If left through the winter, they can collect fungus spores and suck the nutrients from the garden. Rotate your crops annually to ensure your garden remains nutrient-rich.

If you choose not to grow them yourself, Porcelain Doll Pumpkins can be found in local farmers’ markets.

Pink porcelain doll pumpkins

How to cook Porcelain Doll pumpkins

Although Porcelain Doll Pumpkins are ornamental pumpkins, they are also excellent for cooking. Their thick flesh has a strong sweet flavor that is excellent for baking pies or cooking soups.

To make pumpkin puree from Porcelain Doll pumpkins, first cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and set aside. Place the halves cut side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 45-55 minutes in a 375°F oven.

The pumpkin flesh should be soft and tender when cooked. Wait for it to cool, and then scoop the cooked flesh into a food processor or high-powered blender. You can also use an immersion blender in a bowl. Blend until the puree is creamy and smooth. The pumpkin rind can go into the compost.

Use the pumpkin puree in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe! As well as pie, Porcelain Doll Pumpkins are a flavorful addition to any soup. There are thousands of different recipes that use pumpkin out there.

Roasted Porcelain Doll pumpkin does not have to be pureed to taste delicious. If you’d like to enjoy cubed pumpkin in curries or other savory dishes, simply chop the raw pumpkin flesh into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes prior to roasting. Add a bit of oil and salt to bring out the flavor of your delicious roasted pumpkin cubes.

Pumpkin can be added to almost anything and still taste delicious. Develop your signature pumpkin curry or vegetable side dish recipe. By the time the next growing season comes around, you will have plenty of pumpkin recipes under your belt.

Similar pumpkins to a Porcelain Doll

While pink pumpkins are rare, the breeders have come out with a mini version:

  •  Porcelain Princess pumpkin
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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