19 Fall Pumpkin Ideas Perfect for Your Fall Décor
Many of us instantly think of big, round, orange fruits when we hear the word “pumpkin.” However, there are so many different kinds of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes all with unique flavors, interesting shapes, breath-taking colors, and practical uses! Pumpkins grown for carving have been bred to be flat on the bottom and mostly hollow. Because of that, they aren’t typically very good for eating. While the seeds are yummy, people don’t usually eat the flesh because it is bland and watery. On the other hand, many pumpkins that may not look delicious end up holding some of the richest flavors. One cool fact that you may not know relates to the nutritional value of pumpkins. Did you know that they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, as well as iron and other vitamins and minerals? Their nutritional value aside, it is that time of the season where pumpkins begin to make an appearance in decorations and recipes everywhere. And to help you find the perfect pumpkin to meet your needs, we've listed some of the varieties we carry along with some information about their characteristics and uses. Our pumpkins, squashes and gourds are all naturally grown and pesticide-free, meaning you can feel good about your purchase no matter how you end up putting your pumpkins to use. So, when you are looking for the perfect pumpkin for either cooking or for your seasonal décor, be sure to turn to Bath Garden Center!
Jack O'Lantern Pumpkins | Wolf Pumpkins | Pie Pumpkins | Baby Bear Pumpkins | Wee-B-Little Pumpkin | Jill-Be-Little Pumpkins | Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins | Cinderella Pumpkins | Red October Squash | Porcelain Doll Pumpkins | Peanut Pumpkins | Blue Hubbard Squash | Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins | Marin Di Chiogga Pumpkin | Kabocha Squash | Cushaw Squash | Lumina Pumpkins | Snowball Pumpkins | Valenciano Pumpkins | Casperita Pumpkins
1. Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkins
This pumpkin, as can be gleaned from its name, was bred specifically for making Jack O' Lanterns. This variety is typically round to oblong in shape, and despite being bred specifically for carving, is actually delicious in a variety of pumpkin recipes as well, from soups to pies and other baked goods.
How to Grow Jack O' Lantern Pumpkins
This variety of pumpkins grows best in full sun. They take approximately 100 days for the plant and its fruit to reach maturity, so be sure to time your planting so that your pumpkins are ready for the fall season! The vines of this plant grow long and can take up a large area, so be sure to give your plants plenty of space. You can create extra space by training them to grow up a trellis. If you do this, just make sure to create slings for the heavy fruit, as the stems are not strong enough to support the developing pumpkin through to maturity. Jack O' Lantern pumpkins often reach a mature size of 7-10 lbs.
These pumpkins are most often used for carving, hence the name. While they are most often used as fun or spooky decorations around Halloween, they are also wonderful to use in a variety of dishes, including pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin soup!
2. Wolf Pumpkins
Wolf pumpkins are distinct due to their thick and burly stems, which make for great handles. They are round, deep orange, and great for carving. Their thick flesh makes this variety of pumpkins heavier than you might expect. This also contributes to the consistent "roundness" of these pumpkins, as the thick flesh helps prevent flat-sided fruit. Their exterior displays moderate ribs characteristic of pumpkins.
How to Grow Wolf Pumpkins
Plant these pumpkins in full sun for the best results. Be sure to give your plants plenty of space, making sure to keep a six-foot distance between plants. Less is more with these pumpkins, as inadequate plant spacing or too many plants in one area can affect the production of this plant, giving you a reduced harvest. Wolf pumpkins require approximately 120 days to reach maturity and can grow to be anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds.
Wolf Pumpkins are most often used for carving, though they have a sweet flavor and smooth consistency that is perfect for a variety of different dinner dishes or desserts.
3. Pie Pumpkins
Also known as Sugar Pumpkins, Pie Pumpkins are small and dense and usually have medium to dark orange flesh. They are great for eating because they are sweet, dense, and less stringy, unlike carving pumpkins. If you want to make a pumpkin pie, these are your pumpkins! One pumpkin usually makes around 1-2 pies.
How to Grow Pie Pumpkins
Plant these pumpkins in full sun and make sure they have lots of room to grow and spread their vines. Planting them in soil that is rich in organic matter will help them grow strong and produce a healthy harvest. Rotating your crops every season will also help maintain healthy soil. This variety takes anywhere between 100 and 120 days to mature, producing fruit that is usually around 3-4 pounds, though sizes can vary!
While there is no real reason why this pumpkin cannot be used as a carving pumpkin, they are definitely best put to use in a variety of recipes. The sweet flesh is dense and much less stringy than other larger pumpkin varieties, making it a choice selection for pumpkin pies and other delicious recipes.
4. Baby Bear Pumpkins
This variety of mini pumpkins comes in a deep orange color and features a long, sturdy stem. They make for great carving pumpkins, are delicious to eat, and have seeds that are fantastic for roasting.
How to Grow Baby Bear Pumpkins
Plant these pumpkins in full sun. They require fertile soil that is heavy in organic material. Fertilizing your plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. They also have high water requirements and will grow best with at least one inch of water per week. Allow for 105 days (approximately) for the fruit to reach maturity. Once grown, these pumpkins should weigh around two pounds and average around five inches in diameter. Be sure to give the vines plenty of room to grow. In optimal conditions, each plant should produce around 8-10 pumpkins.
These mini pumpkins have several uses. They are great for carving and generally are easier and take less time and effort to carve due to their size. They also have flesh that is moist and flavorful when roasted. Additionally, the seeds are fantastic for roasting! No matter how you put this pumpkin to use, it is a perfectly compact and versatile pumpkin.
5. Wee-B-Little Pumpkin
Another variety of mini pumpkins, these baseball-sized pumpkins are perfectly cute and suitable for decorating or eating! Your young ones will also love them, as they are just the right size.
How to Grow Wee-B-Little Pumpkins
Plant these little cuties in full sun. This variety has a slightly bushy growth habit, so they do not require as much space as larger pumpkin varieties. They reach maturity in approximately 90-100 days and generally grow up to a pound with a 3-5 inch diameter. Due to their bushy growth habit, they can be planted anywhere between 2 and 3 feet from their neighboring plant.
This variety of pumpkins is typically used as a decoration, though they are edible as well. Due to their small size, they are perfect for kids. Have fun carving little faces or designs into these pumpkins, paint faces on them, or simply leave them as they are. You can't go wrong with these perfectly sized mini pumpkins!
6. Jill-Be-Little (aka Jack-Be-Little) Pumpkins
These pumpkins are perfect for displays and decorating, and kids love them too! Try drawing faces on them, hollowing them out to stuff them with food, or using them as a planter pot for succulents. No matter what use you find for them, they will be an adorable addition! Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins, while they are not exactly the same as Jill-Be-Little Pumpkins, are very similar. They look the same, but the main difference between the two lies in their genetics. Jill-Be-Little Pumpkins are an improved version of Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins that have been bred specifically to have stronger vines and a higher tolerance to powdery mildew.
How to Grow Jill-Be-Little Pumpkins
Plant your pumpkins in the full sun. They require on average 90-100 days to reach maturity, so plan accordingly! Just like all other pumpkin varieties, these too are big feeders and require fertile soil. The use of compost, manure, fertilizer, and the like is highly recommended. Keep the soil moist and provide these with plenty of space to stretch their vines. Provide a trellis for vertical growth if you do not have excessive garden space. Under the right conditions, each plant should produce 8-10 cute little pumpkins.
This variety of mini pumpkins is most commonly used for decoration. They are a bit small for carving and are most often seen in their natural state or painted. If you really want to get creative with your mini pumpkins, cut the top off, remove the insides, and use what remains as a pot for your annual flowers, succulents, or some other decorative plant. These pumpkins are edible and are delicious stuffed. They are also very fun to use as bowls for a variety of desserts!
7. Cinderella Pumpkins (Rouge Vif'd Etemptes Pumpkin)
Cinderella pumpkins get their name from their shape, as they resemble Cinderella’s carriage. These French heirloom pumpkins aren’t just pretty, they are also edible and delicious! They have delicious orange flesh that is great for pies and savory dishes alike.
How to Grow Cinderella Pumpkins
Plant in direct sunlight and ensure that the soil is rich. Adding compost, manure or fertilizer is recommended for best results. Avoid planting in clay-heavy soils. Amending your soil so that it retains moisture while also draining well is very important. Make sure to give the vines plenty of space to grow. Cinderella pumpkins generally need around 100 days to reach maturity and can grow to anywhere between 15 and 35 pounds.
Like many pumpkins, this variety is a fantastic decoration and also a delicious ingredient. They are choice pumpkins for making pie and other tasty treats, as well as savory entrees. Due to their unique shape and exquisite color, they also are beautiful centerpieces or porch decorations.
8. Red October Squash
These interestingly shaped squashes, which are actually a type of Hubbard squash, come in a vibrant red color with light orange stripes running vertically across their oddly-shaped bodies. Their unconventional shape and strange stems give them an interesting look that adds originality to any fall display. Looks aren't the only notable feature of this variety, however. Its sweet and fine-grained flesh also makes for fantastic eating.
How to Grow Red October Squash
Plant this variety of winter squash in the full sun. This vining plant needs lots of space to grow, so do not plant anything else within several feet of your Red October squash plant. The fruit takes approximately 90-100 days to reach maturity. Mature plants can reach up to 24 inches in diameter and often weigh around 6-10 pounds. They are hardy to zones 3-12 and can tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions.
Red October squash has many uses in food and decoration. They are not often carved, due to their odd and inconsistent shape, and they are also not often painted, due to their already striking color. When used in decorating, these squashes are often left in their natural state. As mentioned, these are also often used in cooking and baking. The flavor of the golden flesh is smooth, dry, sweet, and rich, making for an exquisite addition to a wide variety of dishes.
9. Porcelain Doll Pumpkins
This premium pumpkin variety is a hybrid of the most interesting shape and color. The big, chunky pumpkin, paired with its deep ribs and light pink color, is hard to miss and even harder to beat! This pumpkin, being the only pink variety currently in the market, is primarily used for its ornamental qualities, though it is fantastic to eat as well, containing dense and sweet flesh.
How to Grow Porcelain Doll Pumpkins
Plant in the direct sun for best results. Each plant should produce 2-3 pumpkins in ideal circumstances, each ranging between 16 and 24 pounds. This variety requires approximately 110 days to reach maturity. Due to it being a hybrid, it is highly resistant to powdery mildew, which is a disease that is largely prevalent among plants such as pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, and other garden plants.
Because of this pumpkin's eye-catching color, shape, and features, it is most commonly used as an ornamental pumpkin. Despite this, however, it is delicious to eat, producing dense and sweet flesh to be used in a large variety of pumpkin recipes.
10. Peanut Pumpkins
This odd-looking heirloom variety is quite interesting indeed. They are covered in what looks like peanut shells, hence the name "Peanut Pumpkin." These weird and not entirely appealing growths are created by the build-up of excess sugars in the flesh. So, the more "peanuts" there are covering the exterior of the fruit, the sweeter and tastier it will be!
How to Grow Peanut Pumpkins
Plant this variety in full sun for the best results. As with all pumpkin plants, making sure the soil is full of organic materials such as compost or manure is best. This will allow the soil to hold onto moisture while also maintaining its well-draining qualities. It takes around 100 days for this plant to reach maturity, at which time each plant should produce around 3-6 pumpkins weighing on average anywhere from 10-20 pounds.
While these can be used as decorations, they are not usually a person's first pick among all of the other uniquely shaped and beautifully colored pumpkins. And as you can imagine, they are not good for carving due to the nature of their exterior. That being said, Peanut pumpkins are most commonly used as the primary recipe in a wide variety of baked goods and desserts. From pumpkin bread and muffins to pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and more, this variety is fantastic for use in the kitchen.
11. Blue Hubbard Squash
Another unique-looking specimen, the Blue Hubbard squash, is a sweet-tasting winter squash that pairs well with any dinner entree or makes a smashing dessert. Often used as a decoration as well, this variety provides wonderful visual interest, with its lumpy shape and grey-blue coloration.
How to Grow Blue Hubbard Squash
Plant Blue Hubbard squashes in full sun. They require up to 120 days to reach maturity. A full-grown squash can weigh anywhere from 15-50 pounds! Make sure it is planted in soil that is rich in organic material for best results. The vines of this plant do not have as great of a reach as many other pumpkin and squash varieties, though 3-5 feet is still recommended between plants.
This variety of squash is fun to use as a decoration and also delicious to cook with. The yellow fruit works well in savory and sweet recipes, though many say it is best pureed as a pie filling. Hubbard pumpkins have a hard rind so people usually cook them in their skin. You can cut it in half, take the seeds out and bake it until you can pierce it with a fork or you can cook it into casseroles, stews, or pies. These squashes do it all!
12. Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins
This pumpkin is wonderfully decorative due to its unusual grey-blue color. This pumpkin traces its origin to New Zealand. They have mild, slightly sweet, almost fruity, golden-yellow flesh that smells as delicious as it tastes! They are good for displays as they have strong handles and a flat base. These pumpkins are dense and their flesh is rich.
How to Grow/Plant Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin
Plant these pumpkins in full sun for the best results. They can tolerate part shade. They require around 110 days to reach maturity, so plan accordingly! Make sure the plant has plenty of space to stretch its vines. Even, consistent watering is best, and a drip irrigation system is recommended as over-head watering can often encourage diseases such as powdery mildew. Mature Jarrahdale pumpkins can reach up to 24 inches in diameter.
This may be the hardest part...figuring out how you want to use your Jarrahdale pumpkins! They are quite versatile, with their beautiful coloring making them a perfect table decoration or porch accent. Their sweet, golden yellow flesh is absolutely delicious in a wide variety of recipes too, from pies and other baked goods to stews and other more savory meals.
13. Marin Di Chiogga Pumpkin
This heirloom variety has perhaps one of the most unique looks with its short and squat shape, deep blue-green color, and odd lumps covering its exterior. Delicious to eat and interesting to look at, these pumpkins are a great option!
How to Grow Marin Di Chiogga Pumpkin
Plant in an area that receives full sun exposure. This variety requires approximately 100 days to reach maturity, at which time you will be able to harvest the wonderfully odd pumpkins. They average around 10-12 pounds each. As with so many other pumpkin varieties, consistent, even watering, coupled with soil that is rich in organic material, will make a huge difference in the health and production of your plants.
While these pumpkins have a very unique look and bring some fun variety to any display, they may be even better for eating. Their flesh is sweet and dry and is excellent for use in stews, soups, and pasta. A fun tip with this one: it stores very well and its flavor improves with time!
14. Kabocha Squash (aka Japanese Pumpkin)
Kabocha Squash, also known as Japanese Pumpkins, are a type of winter squash that are tasty when used in a variety of recipes.
How to Grow Kabocha Squash
This variety of winter squash grows best in zones 2-11. Plant in direct sun with plenty of space for the vines to grow and spread. When you water, give the soil around your plants a good soak once a week. Make sure the soil stays moist, though try to avoid overwatering as this could lead to root rot. Making sure you plant in well-draining soil will help avoid this and make sure your plants have all the nutrients they need. Kabocha squash requires around 90-100 days to reach maturity, and the squash can be anywhere from 12 to 20 pounds.
Kabocha squash is used primarily for culinary purposes. Roast it, stuff it, puree it...these squashes are delicious and can be prepared in a large variety of ways.
15. Cushaw Squash
This heirloom crookneck squash has a beautiful appearance with its green and white striped exterior. It can also be stored for up to four months after harvest, so you can enjoy it throughout the winter season.
How to Grow/Plant Cushaw Squash
Plant in full sun and be sure to amend your soil with organic matter such as compost or manure. Cushaw squash requires around 100 days to reach maturity. At this time, you can expect squash between 10 and 20 pounds. Keep in mind all of the growing tips mentioned above, as they apply to this squash as well!
While these make for a fun decoration with their shape and coloration, they are also delicious to eat. Their light yellow flesh is mildly sweet and is often used in sweet or savory dishes.
16. Lumina Pumpkins
This beautiful white variety of pumpkins is fantastic for painting, carving, AND baking! The smooth white exterior is a perfect canvas, and the flavor and texture of its interior are excellent as well.
How to Grow Lumina Pumpkins
Plant these pumpkins in an area that receives full sun. The soil should be rich in organic matter. You can amend your soil with compost or manure to enrich it as well as improve drainage. The roots of pumpkin plants like to stay moist, however, too much water will cause root rot. Lumina pumpkins require around 95 days to reach maturity. Each pumpkin should weigh around 10-12 pounds with a diameter of 8 to10 inches. Each pumpkin plant should produce somewhere between 3 and 5 pumpkins, given all of the growing requirements are met.
While these pumpkins are edible, they are more commonly used as decorations. Due to their white color, they provide a nice contrast among other fall-themed decorations. They are also often carved into Jack O'Lanterns for a fun, ghostly appearance that will light up under the moonlight due to their stark white color!
17. Snowball Pumpkins
These pretty pumpkins get their name from their perfectly white color and spherical shape. One way to easily pick them out among other pumpkins is by their distinct dark green stems. They stay rather small, only reaching 2-4 pounds on average. This variety of pumpkins is quite versatile, making for a lovely main ingredient in a number of dessert recipes, as well as a lovely visual display on any table, countertop, or porch.
How to Grow Snowball Pumpkin
Grow in fertile, well-draining soil in an area that receives full sun for best results. Make sure to plant with appropriate spacing so as to not over-crowd the area. Inadequate spacing will limit the production of the plant. They require approximately 100 days to reach maturity. These pumpkins stay relatively small, only reaching an average size of 2-4 pounds.
While Snowball pumpkins can be used in a wide variety of dessert recipes, they are most commonly used for decoration. Their smooth, rounded surface is perfect for carving, drawing, or painting, and their white color creates the perfect canvas for any art project.
18. Valenciano Pumpkins
Technically, this fruit is more of a squash than it is a pumpkin. Its exterior color can vary from bright white to an almost blue-grey color. The flesh of the pumpkin is a pale yellow to light orange color and offers delicious flavor, though it can tend to be slightly watery and stringy.
How to Grow Valenciano Pumpkins
Plant in full sun and keep the soil moderately moist. The roots of pumpkins do not like to dry out completely, though if they sit in soggy soil for an extended amount of time, the chance of developing root rot is very high. This variety needs around 80-100 days to reach maturity. Mature fruit can range anywhere from 6-10 pounds and measure anywhere from 11-15 inches in diameter.
These pumpkins are often used in the kitchen and as decoration. While the flavor is delicious, it can tend to have a slightly stringy/watery texture. If the texture isn't for you, using these beauties as decoration is the way to go. Their lovely color makes a statement even in their natural state. They are also fun specimens to paint or carve!
19. Casperita Pumpkins
Ideal for home decorating, these miniature pumpkins resemble Jack-Be-Little and Jill-Be-Little pumpkins, except they are white! The deep ridges and smooth exterior of this hybrid variety are often so perfect that they look almost fake. They hold their color well and are resistant to powdery mildew.
How to Grow Casperita Pumpkins
Plant in soil that is well-draining and rich in organic material. Full sun is ideal, and consistent watering is necessary. These little babies only require around 75 days to reach maturity and weigh on average around one pound.
While these pumpkins are edible, they are most often used as decorations on front porches or around the house. They can be emptied and used as dessert bowls, or you can plant your fall flowers or succulent plants in them for a fun and unique decoration!
Find Fall Pumpkins at Bath Garden Center in Ft. Collins
Our pumpkin selection varies from year to year, but these are some of the most common pumpkin varieties that we usually have available here at Bath Garden Center and Nursery in Fort Collins. Stop by our store today to shop all sorts of fun fall decorations including pumpkins, hay bales, gourds, corn stalks, fall flowers, mums, and so much more!