The effect of initial water-curing period on the strength properties of concretes was investigated. Three types of cement, one ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and two natural pozzolanic cements (blended and trass cements), were used in the concrete mixtures. Six different curing regimes were applied to the specimens, the first of which was continuous water storing, and the second continuous air storing. In the remaining four regimes, the specimens were stored under varying initial water-curing periods of 3, 7, 14, and 28 days, respectively. The compressive strength tests were carried out on the cubic specimens at the ages of 7, 14, 28, 90, and 180 days. The variation of compressive strength with time was evaluated by using a semilogarithmic function and the strength-gaining rates were calculated by using this equation for different curing conditions. It was found that poor curing conditions are more adversely effective on the strength of concretes made by pozzolanic cements than that of OPC, and it is necessary to apply water curing to the former concretes at least for the initial 7 days to expose the pozzolanic activity. However, when the pozzolanic cement concretes have sufficient initial curing, they can reach the strength of OPC concretes in reasonable periods of time. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.