Bitter melon growing herbaceous vine of the genus Momordica also known as Bitter gourd or Momordica charantia, Cerasee or karela, Bitter melon annual plant used for the edible fruits but also used for ornamental fruits and can used as medical plant, can grow in tropic, mediterranean or subtropical climate and growing in hardiness zone 4+, in hardiness zone 4-6 need to care that will bear fruits.
Leaves color green, leaves size 7-15 cm and divided to 5+ lobes, young shoots edible.
Flower color yellow with five petals, there is male and female flower on the same plant.
Bitter melon fruits
Fruit edible color is green to orange in elliptic shape to shapeless, the fruit have pumps, taste is bitter
Bitter melon for sale – Seeds or Plants to Buy
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Requirements for Bitter melon growing and care:
What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seedling / Seed
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
Difficulties or problems when growing:
Spring to summer
Pests and diseases:
Powdery mildew, aphids, moth, virus
How to prune:
Size of the plant?
1-3 m, 40-120 inches
Growth speed in optimal condition:
Average amount of water
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
How to grow in containers:
Planting in containers need to be at least 10-20L (2.5-5 gallons), well-drained soil, the plant not react well to overwater, need to make enough holes in the container for good drainage also choosing soil for container important and need to be soil well ventilated, can be potting mix or peat soil with perlite, when use bottom for the pot need that it will dry in the same day.
Spring / Summer
General information about the flower
Yellow with five petals, there is male and female flower on the same plant
Pollination is done by:
Bees, flies +
Fruit harvest season:
Summer / Autumn
Fruits pests or diseases:
What can be done with big quantities of Bitter melon fruits?
Work requirements on the fruit:
Pick on time
How long does it take to bear fruit?
How to grow Bitter melon from seed
Easy to sow no special treatment, sowing temperature 15-40C (65-104F) but better to sow in 21-25C (70-77F)
Saving seeds until sowing:
Room temperature, dry place
Spring (but in warm weather possible in the summer) and in cold climate start in the winter indoor
How to plant:
Better to plant it in light soil that will be well ventilated and keep the moist like vermiculite
Planting spacing – How far apart to plant:
Depend if trellising 40*50cm (16*20 inches) when crawling 1*1.25m (40-50 inches), sowing to transplanting 5*5cm (2*2 inches)
Depth of Sowing:
1-2cm (0.5-1 inch) from the top
Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil, full sun
Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water, don’t let it dry
Condition of seedling:
Warm weather, big amount of water, full sun, place to trellising
Alternative names: Bitter apple, Bitter gourd, Karela, bitter squash; balsam-pear