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Growing Cucumbers for Pickling? Cut Off Those Blossom Ends!

By on July 18, 2012

The blossom end of the cucumber has got to go.

When you’re pickling cucumbers, you must cut off the blossom ends.

It’s easy to tell which is the blossom end if you’re harvesting cucumbers from your own garden. You can see the stem and you’ll know that the blossom was on the opposite side of the fruit.

If you buy cucumbers from the store they probably won’t have any stems. Find the blossom end by looking for the rough dot (instead of the smooth, indented dot) at the end of the cuke.


Why does this matter? There’s an enzyme in the blossom that can make the pickle soft and unsafe to eat. Who says so? The National Center for Home Food Preservation, that’s who. So go ahead and cut at least a 1/16-inch slice off the blossom end.

Make that slice, and when you preserve lovely jars of dill pickles, like Wendy and Joe in our video, the pickles will be crisp and crunchy.

Click here to find out why doing the opposite makes your cucumbers less bitter.

  Comments (13)


I have canned pickles for years and have never known about the blossom end enzyme.
Hmmm! Maybe that is why sometimes the pickles are soft.
I’m just beginning to can pickles now.
Thank you for the inforation.

Posted by Jennifer on Jul. 21, 2012 at 3:03:35 PM

Jennifer, Glad to help! Happy pickling! Send us a photo of your finished jars?


Posted by on Jul. 30, 2012 at 12:11:40 PM


It’s great little tips like may seem an “optional” part of pickling, but it really makes the difference in the end. I’ve pickled for many years, and actually now supply American style dill pickles to small cafés and bistros in Germany and I use the same recipe my great grandmother taught me and tips like these.

Posted by Red Haircrow on Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:45:21 AM

Red Haircrow, Nice story! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2013 at 4:24:33 PM


30 minutes processing?  Those pickles will be mush.

And you use mustard seed in bread and butter pickles, not dill pickles.

They may be professional chefs, but I’m not so certain they have ever canned before.

Posted by Brad Lucht on Jul. 19, 2013 at 6:18:50 PM


Thanks a lot madam for your good advise and guidance
With this advise I will always be aware whenever handling cucumbers
I do farming and training therefore with this kind of information majority
will freely know about it
Even my family will never again complain about this bitterness as always
been the issue

Posted by Washington kinyua mbiuki from kenya on Jul. 21, 2013 at 1:53:41 AM

Washington, We’re happy to hear this information will be useful to you and your family!

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:26:16 AM


It sounds like a good idea but I have never seen it done on store bought pickles and I don’t recall any soft one from the store

Posted by Paul PAQUETTE on Aug. 18, 2014 at 8:42:38 PM


I have made a couple of batches of Dill pickles after seeing this post…and still soft & mushy. :(

Posted by Nancy on Sep. 16, 2014 at 5:18:50 PM


I usually can’t tell the difference between the blossom end and the stem end, so I just slice a bit of both sides. That’s a less error-prone solution.

Posted by Paul on Oct. 04, 2014 at 5:24:12 PM

I found an article from a person who had the same issue, soft mushy cucumbers. Seems like it has to do with the temperature of processing. Here is a link with a good recipe to follow.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Oct. 07, 2014 at 11:43:01 AM


Hi just wondering if any of you have ever tried using a grape leaf in you pickling process? Supposedly, it contains an enzyme that helps keep them crunchy. Is that true?

Posted by John on Jul. 21, 2015 at 4:45:06 AM

John, that is true about the grape leaves. But if you remove the blossom end of the cucumber (source of the undesirable enzymes) your cucumbers should stay crunchy.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 21, 2015 at 9:35:18 AM

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