Kiwano (horned melon)

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:57 pm

I grow outdoors & in the greenhouse. Outdoors I just give them wind protection when they are little with some scaffold netting around the bed, but your patio edge will do that & once they are over it's height they are on their own. Cuc's are smaller & it is the spiny ones (usually a free pack on the mag), that do best but just a rub with a gloved hand they are spine free.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed May 01, 2019 11:09 am

Hmm still doubting to put the kiwano outside, but the temperatures need to be a little bit higher first or they will definitely stop growing or even worse...
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Wed May 01, 2019 1:31 pm

I grow my cucumbers outside in a border in summer but don,t generally plant them out until about June because they really don,t like the cold nights.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed May 01, 2019 8:36 pm

Great plan! I think I'll just wait till then. Do you think I should cut the growing tip off the kiwano plants and let the shoots near the leaves grow more in width?
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed May 08, 2019 11:23 am

With great fear I have finally cut off the growing tips of my kiwano plants entirely. If I didn't they might have reached 2 metres in height by the end of the week! I also pinched out some of the side shoots so the plant remains balanced. Fortunately, everything went exactly as planned and now the remaining side shoots coming from the main stem are growing really fast. Just like I predicted! I saw a video that explained; this is what they do to cucumbers too in professional food production.

Now I hope they'll live untill the end of the year and obviously, also set fruit! Can't wait to pick myself a fresh kiwano and scoop it out like passion fruit, on the couch :lol:

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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed May 29, 2019 6:17 pm

Just a small update on the kiwanos, they are in the window sill. It's not the perfect spot but I just can't put a greenhouse on the balcony. Perhaps they can grow outside in a couple of weeks as the temperatures at night are rising above 15°C now. At the end of the week we'll be facing daytime temperatures of 30°C, that's amazing for kiwano! Still experimenting around though...

Oh by the way, don't mind the smaller pots in the kiwano container. Those are just the Bhut Jolokia peppers, some of the hottest peppers our planet has to offer :lol:

Kiwano had a little nutrients problem, some leaves started curling up. After fertilizing, the new shoots look beautiful again. It grows very fast! Hopefully it survives for fruiting!

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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Wed May 29, 2019 6:31 pm

It is an attractive plant with or without fruit, but I'm sure you will be rewarded if you monitor, as now you know when it is trying to tell you it needs more feed, which it probably will do in abundance when it fruits!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Wed May 29, 2019 6:36 pm

Westi wrote:It is an attractive plant with or without fruit, but I'm sure you will be rewarded if you monitor, as now you know when it is trying to tell you it needs more feed, which it probably will do in abundance when it fruits!


Let's hope for the best! The fruits may not be as large as in the Kalahari desert where they originally grow, but it's possible :mrgreen:
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Wed May 29, 2019 6:38 pm

Am watching your experiment with interest Elmigo. I'm just a little concerned, given the height of your plant now , that the pot may be too small for the roots to enable it to fruit adequately. It's difficult to tell from the photo. What is the pot diameter size?
Do you have any flowers appearing yet? I'm not sure whether they are self fertile or whether they will need pollinating.
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Fri May 31, 2019 11:48 am

The plant is about 125 centimeters tall now and the pot is 30 by 30 centimeters, and 30 deep. What would you suggest? When growing cucumbers in a container, what size comtainer is used for that? It still seems to grow very well. I also cut the tip off so it wouldn't get even taller and rather grow in width...
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby retropants » Fri May 31, 2019 1:02 pm

I would think that is a big enough pot. I have grown cucumbers in much smaller!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:54 pm

As promised, I'll keep you updated on my kiwano plants. It's been a while since the last update so here we go.

The kiwano plants don't look as healthy as I hoped they would but they are still growing, especially the fresh and young side shoots. Now that it's officially summer, even by the temperatures, I can finally put the kiwano outside and so I did that last week. I placed it together with my watermelon and a few sweet peppers which are all doing great in the summer heat. The kiwano top leaves are a bit darker because, when it was standing indoors the sun only reached the bottom part. I can't think of another reason. It's a very informative experience and hopefully they will set fruit. One way or the other, I'm definitely trying again next year!

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Westi
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Westi » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:22 pm

Looks good! I'm sure it will perk up now it is outside & realises it really is Summer!
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Elmigo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:57 pm

Today is a very special day! Why? Because I just discovered my first tiny little kiwano on my kiwano plant! It seems to be still developing and there are also a whole lot of things on it that appear to be the upcoming male flowers...

Just to give you an idea, this plant is literally full of those things! There are so many that I really have absolutely no idea how to tame this wild one. I can't go and cut off shoots because this plant made not only a stem with a few side shoots, no. Even its side shoots made new side shoots with side shoots on them. Let this be a warning for anyone who likes to try this next year.

This really looks like a mini kiwano...
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These appear to be some male flowers... I have no idea!
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And there are some more tiny kiwano look-a-likes
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Re: Kiwano (horned melon)

Postby Primrose » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:28 pm

Just as well that you're planning to move house soon Elmigo because it sounds as if this plant has the capacity to drive you out of house and home if it grows much more !

Seriously, your efforts look exciting. It looks from the photo if everything is covered in thorns but I'm no sure from the photo whether they are thorns or just very fine little hairs. How big are the fruit normally when you buy them commercially?
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