Kiwano (horned melon)

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Elmigo
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Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:24 pm

Hi, I am new here.

Kiwano fruits...
Kiwano or horned melon is a member of the cucumber family. They originally grow in Kalahari (Africa). Last year I bought two Kiwano fruits and kept a lot of the seeds I found in there. All of them germinated succesfully!

Cucumber family...
Now I know cucumbers and melons are both easy to grow in a greenhouse. We live in a temperate maritime climate (Netherlands) and they can be grown outdoors too but only during summertime when it's hot and sunny. They require a lot of nutrients and water. Cucumbers even more water than melons, but I don't know much about the Kiwano or horned melon fruits.

So my question is...
Do you have any advice for growing Kiwano fruits in our climate? Do they require more warmth than cucumbers? Do they require more water?

Kiwano seedlings...
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So this is a picture of one of my Kiwano seedlings. They are currently placed indoors near the heating system in front of a window on the sunny side of the building so they stay warm and bright. They are now about a month old and the first couple of real leaves are growing. They look a lot like a cucumber plant. I used airy, permeable soil and keep them moist but not wet.
Last edited by Elmigo on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby robo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:26 pm

I must admit I've never seen one
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:30 pm

I've never heard of them I'm afraid.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Geoff » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:44 pm

I know nothing about them and have never heard of them, you will have to be a pioneer!
If you can't keep them going this early in a heated greenhouse or similar I would sow some more of the seeds much later and try and grow them the same way as it sounds like you have grown cucumbers in the past. I guess that means sow late April / early May to put outside at the beginning of June.
There is video but I haven't watched it through https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9CPzFdzPxM
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:27 am

Geoff wrote:I know nothing about them and have never heard of them, you will have to be a pioneer!
If you can't keep them going this early in a heated greenhouse or similar I would sow some more of the seeds much later and try and grow them the same way as it sounds like you have grown cucumbers in the past. I guess that means sow late April / early May to put outside at the beginning of June.
There is video but I haven't watched it through https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9CPzFdzPxM


Thanks! Don't think they are very difficult to grow. If anybody has a tiny piece of advice I'd appreciate it. Let's see how this goes...
Last edited by Elmigo on Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Stephen » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:51 pm

Sorry, I have never heard of them.
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Elmigo
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:23 pm

Stephen wrote:Sorry, I have never heard of them.

Well, I guess I got a bit of a challenge then...
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:53 pm

They sound very interesting & very good for you from Geoff's wee bit of research, remind me of passionfruit inside. It does say in cooler climates you will need a greenhouse but not much good indoors as not enough light. Your maritime climate should support them nicely as you get hot & sunny weather, but I would be inclined to protect them from the wind with a surround of something as I find we can kick along nicely with cucumbers outside but the wind off the sea can be cooler & causes a bit of tip burn & can slow them down. (I live in Dorset overlooking the Isle of Wight with the allotment just about 1/2 mile away from the beach).
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:53 am

Westi wrote:They sound very interesting & very good for you from Geoff's wee bit of research, remind me of passionfruit inside. It does say in cooler climates you will need a greenhouse but not much good indoors as not enough light. Your maritime climate should support them nicely as you get hot & sunny weather, but I would be inclined to protect them from the wind with a surround of something as I find we can kick along nicely with cucumbers outside but the wind off the sea can be cooler & causes a bit of tip burn & can slow them down. (I live in Dorset overlooking the Isle of Wight with the allotment just about 1/2 mile away from the beach).


Putting them in full sunlight is going to be difficult here, but we have garden facing the south where the sun shines most of the day, except for early morning. Thanks for your advice! I think they'll do fine.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:46 am

Another person who has to claim ignorance I'm afraid so I will watch your progress with them with interest as the season progresses.
Are they a vegetable type like cucumber or. Fruit type like melon when it comes to eating them, Ie do you eat them in a Vegetable salad or a Fruit salad ?

I suspect if they originate from Africa they will thrive better in a warmer climate than here but benefit from regular watering.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Monika » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:08 pm

IIf you google Kiwano, Elmigo, or Cucumis metuliferus, there is a lot of information, including its cultivation, so good luck on growing them successfully!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:16 pm

Never heard of Kiwano either before I bought them in the stores, it tastes a bit like cucumber with a slight touch of banana and I believe it is a fruit. Looked up the internet and found that they can be used for garnish, in fruit salad, smoothies or just scoop out the fruits.

Currently the seedlings seem unhappy about the lack of sunlight, perhaps I was a little too early with sowing. Regardless they are growing their first tendrils at the moment. Put up some bamboo sticks to let them climb up.

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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:28 am

Promised to place an update on my Kiwano seedlings. I am not sure if anyone is still reading this but if you are, there you go! Out of all seedlings I kept three of them in a container and they are growing very well behind glass in the heat. I did not put my Kiwanos in full sunlight, as opposed to the instruction video, as apparently those prefer having it slightly shady but still warm. I'm not sure, also there is no space with full sunlight available so I'm gonna have to do it this way. This is how large they are growing now:

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Last edited by Elmigo on Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:55 am

Morning Elmigo, every post has an interest on this forum and with a picture to go with an update of proceedings, makes it more so.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Stephen » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:34 am

I try to look at all the posts.
I hope you get some fruit.
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