Histone deacetylase (HDAC) proteins participate in diverse and tissue-specific developmental processes by forming various corepressor complexes with different regulatory subunits. An important HDAC machinery hub, the Histone Deacetylase Complex1 (HDC1) protein, participates in multiple protein–protein interactions and regulates organ size in plants. However, the mechanistic basis for this regulation remains unclear. Here, we identified a cucumber (Cucumis sativus) short-fruit mutant (sf2) with a phenotype that includes repressed cell proliferation. SF2 encodes an HDC1 homolog, and its expression is enriched in meristematic tissues, consistent with a role in regulating cell proliferation through the HDAC complex. A weak sf2 allele impairs HDAC targeting to chromatin, resulting in elevated levels of histone acetylation. Genome-wide mapping revealed that SF2 directly targets and promotes histone deacetylation associated with key genes involved in multiple phytohormone pathways and cell cycle regulation, by either directly repressing or activating their expression. We further show that SF2 controls fruit cell proliferation through targeting the biosynthesis and metabolism of cytokinin and polyamines. Our findings reveal a complex regulatory network of fruit cell proliferation mediated by HDC1 and elucidate patterns of HDC1-mediated regulation of gene expression.