Picture of Growing Gourds (Ridge Gourd, Bitter Gourd and Snake Gourd)
It is spring... Time for garden enthusiasts like me to wake up and prepare the backyard to plant our own vegetables... Even people with very little space use their terrace to plant vegetables in containers. Gourd varieties like Ridge gourd, Bitter gourd and Snake gourd are some of the popular vegetables which can be very easily grown in the home garden. These plants do not require much attention. However, by putting in a little more effort you will enjoy a great yield from the same plant from which you used to harvest very few fruits only.

A step-by-step instructable on growing Ridge Gourd at your home garden... These methods apply to other varieties of gourds like snake gourd and bitter gourd also.

Step 1: Seeds

Picture of Seeds
Let us start with seeds...

Either you can save seeds from previous year's fruits allowing one or two to fully mature and dry in the plant itself or you can buy seeds from shops.

in the first picture you can see the ridge gourd seeds being collected from last year's dried fruit. The seeds are protected by the sponge-like network of fibers. You can extract the seeds from the fruit whenever you are planning to plant.

The second picture shows the seeds stored in cow dung. You can harvest the matured seeds and press them into flattened fresh cow dung and dry it in shade. Cow dung is natural protector and will not allow any pests to damage the seeds. You can break the dried  cow dung cake and take out the seeds any time.

The third picture is of the store-bought seeds. These seeds are treated with chemical pesticides and are artificially colored to show the presence of pesticides. Take care while handling store-bought, chemically treated seeds and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
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sishaliz made it!3 days ago

I had already typed my comments but cant find it here..so doing it again

This was a very informative article.Thank u so much.I am new to terrace gardening and has grown a snake gourd from a plastic sack.I wasn't aware of pruning,so there are a few lateral branches which are quite long.My plant's first lateral branch is at the tenth node from bottom and since then very third node has given a lateral branch..I have a few doubts

1.All of a sudden there is premature yellowing of leaves starting from the edges eventually involving the whole leaf.It is slowly moving up.There yellow dots on the top leaves as seen in the picture.Is it deficiency or infestation? I use neem emulsion every week.Fertilisers used are vermicompost/slurry from home compost/neemcake dried cowdung mixture.One of these is given every week.In fact I have prepared and kept neemcake dried cowdung mixture fortified with trichoderma for next application.What should i do abt the yellowing?I cant find any insects per se.

2.Since there are plenty of male flowers and on or two female buds on each lateral vine,should i prune now?should i cut off the main shoot ?

Kindly advise..Thank u so much.

sishaliz3 days ago
hamzass13 days ago
When it will give fruit plzz tell
antoniraj (author)  hamzass13 days ago
Train the creeper on the trellis. Prune all laterals to 12 nodes. In about 20 to 30 days you will find lots of male and female flowers.
pushpagadde25 days ago
My snake gourd is about 2 + months old now and has lot of male and female flowers. I however do not see the females blooming for some reason. Any tips I can use to make the females bloom so they can be pollinated? I am afraid tht the season will be over soon with no fruits. Kindly advice. Thanks in advance.
antoniraj (author)  pushpagadde24 days ago
The flowers bloom late night or very early morning. if your plant is in your home garden, make a visit during night or early morning time. I hope you will find flowers in full bloom
VrkV29 days ago

how many days will it take for rigid gourd,snake gourd,cucumber,bottle gourd and broad beans plants to produce their respective vegetables .I have planted all the above mentioned plants before one month and i am not getting any flowers...what to do?

antoniraj (author)  VrkV29 days ago
they will take 2 to 3 months for flowering and fruiting. wait for few more days

sir i want to know viral diseases of sponge gourd.

antoniraj (author)  imtiaz ali28 days ago

Diseases for all gourd varieties are almost common. Please go through the article at below link which describes diseases and their management...


imtiaz ali29 days ago
imtiaz ali29 days ago
Vrkanani1 month ago
My spunge gaurd growing fruit but it's daying small , what's wrong??
antoniraj (author)  Vrkanani1 month ago
they seem to be not properly pollinated. try manually pollinating the female flowers
Vrkanani1 month ago
My ridge gaurd have fruit but it's daying small , what is wrong?
antoniraj (author)  Vrkanani1 month ago
they seem to be not properly pollinated. try manually pollinating the female flowers
NikhilD31 month ago

Hi There

I just started growing this year, I've grown bottle gourd, ridged gourd and cucumber plants. Its been 3 months now, they started flowering together since a month ago and they are still flowering but there is not even a single vegetable I got :-(

bottle gourd has only white flowers and ridged gourd has only yellow flowers, both of these plants are entangled together so that sometimes I could not tell which one is which. Also I did not do any pruning they have spread like all over the lawn. Cucumber plant is separate and has small yellow flowers. I just read your article and now thinks that pollination is something which could be required but I don't think if I have male and female flowers coming on my plants ? Any suggestions please ?

antoniraj (author)  NikhilD31 month ago
You should have managed the plants by pruning from the start itself. No problem, you can do it now. Remove whatever laterals below the trellis level or 3 to 4 feet from the top if it vertical. Make sure only the main stems remain below this level. Now thin out the laterals on the trellis leaving about 12 nodes in each lateral. You will have both male and female flowers soon. it is ok about the color of flowers. look early morning for female flowers. If you find any you can pollinate them manually
harshaa11 month ago

how to save seeds from bottle gourd, ridge gourd and long yard bean(Chawali in hindi)

antoniraj (author)  harshaa11 month ago
Allow one or two fruits to mature in the vine itself. When they are completely dry, you can collect the seeds. Commercial vendors protect and save the seeds using chemicals. We store ridge gourd, bottle gourd and bitter gourd seeds in fresh cow dung. You can save long yard bean seeds in plastic or glass containers after drying them in shade. they should not contain any moisture
Thank you sir
ChamV1 month ago
Hi, my ridge guard plant has some white stripes on leaves suggest something.
antoniraj (author)  ChamV1 month ago
seems like fungal attack. you can try neem oil spray. mix 5 ml neem oil with one liter water and spray on leaves.
RaviM5 made it!1 month ago
Pointed guord in my garden does not hshahave white flower. But they have yellow ones. Why is the difference .can we eat. Looking for a reply
antoniraj (author)  RaviM51 month ago
No problem they are all same. You can eat the fruits
Thank you Mr Antony. Your blog is awesome. And the blog regarding the medicinal plants is so professional. Capt MRavi
AlborzA1 month ago


I didn't know how to grow bitter melon until I saw your
post just now. Because of that, I got these tall metal "trellis" as
shown in the photos, which the plant wraps around. Your article says to
cut 12 nodes above trellis and any below trellis, but if the setup is
like this, what should I do? I can't plant it out of the pot as we don't
have room; should I add a trellis above the red metal support? What can
I do now? And how do I prune and cut off laterals with a setup like

Much appreciated!!

antoniraj (author)  AlborzA1 month ago

Your plant is growing well. Just leave it as it is. After flowering, you can prune the laterals after say about four to five fruits to get healthy ones.

Thank you very much for the help! :)

raiavinash1 month ago
Hi Antoniraj,
I'm growing bitter gourds. Overall length of the plant(/main stem) was be 6-7 feet. I accidently cut off its main stem about 2 feet from the top 10 minutes back while sprunning. Argh!!!!
But there are 4 suckers (of about one inch each) still there in the main stem.
Have I harmed the plant real bad? :(
How do you suggest I proceed from here!
Please advice...
antoniraj (author)  raiavinash1 month ago

Nothing to worry, just leave the plant as it is. Laterals will grow from the nodes below the point where you cut off the main stem

thanks Antoni.. God bless you.

Good Morning Antoni,

These are my findings.........I waited for dusk and the buds that were closed during the day opened up. They are a distinct off white color and almost yellow (pollen like) in color. This tells me that the yellow flowers are the male flowers, and the white are the female. I have not seen any of the flowers with a fruit bulge at the bottom, almost like a "giraffe's head with long bulging neck": I did check out this site though and it confirms that the male flower has a yellowish appearance. Can you confirm this is true? Thanks much......have a great day.


Quote: The Male flower, (top) has a yellowish satin appearance, this is due to the pollen that is concentrated on the center parts of the male flower. The female flower initially has a glossy or semi glossy appearance. If you use ourhand pollination technique, you will be able to see a very noticeable difference when the female is properly pollinated as it will take on a satin appearance from the pollen.

antoniraj (author)  Calbygardener1 month ago

yellowish and satin appearance of the snake gourd male & female flowers rspectively may be due to the pollen. there are so many varieties of snake gourd, most of them have white flowers only

Hi Antoni, just saw your site and am pretty impressed. Thank you for educating me. I live here in Northern California and have been growing snake, ridge, pumpkin, eggplant, capsicum, heirloom tomatoes, winter gourd and hot peppers and some Mangalore veggies since 2009. Had great results early on, but since the decline of bees and other winged insects combined with powdery mildew I have had a dwindling harvest. My query today is the small to zero female flowers on my snake gourd plant. Only one plant survived, as compared with three ridge gourd and a lot of cucumber. I had exactly 5 snake gourds and maybe 6 ridge gourds (vegetables) last year. This year I have seen a few nature pollinated ridge gourd so far (transplanted from my indoor pots on May 22nd 2015) and will use your instructions to hand pollinate the others. As for the snake gourd plant, I have not seen any female flowers. I read today that the snake gourd female flowers open up only at night, or just before darkness sets in. I will keep an eye out for them later this evening......I will also post some pictures of my plants and the vertical trellis I train them on. Also need to prune these plants, something I have never done yet. A bit confused about the laterals and the nodes.......could you post a picture of this section so that we don't go pruning the wrong parts? Thanks so very much for taking the time to share your knowledge with others. By the way I fertilize once every 10 days with "weed tea", tea made from the weeds that grow in my yard. Am I using the wrong fertilizer? Could this be just nitrogen?? . . Thanks once again......

antoniraj (author)  Calbygardener1 month ago

If you look at Step 4, you can see a lateral growing sideways in the first picture which I have removed. Node is the point from which laterals, tendrils and flowers grow. By removing unnecessary laterals, the main plant gets more nutrients and grows healthy. As for as your fertilizer is concerned, adding the same type of fertilizer like "weed tea" again and again will provide same kind of nutrients only. The plants won't have other nutrients required for their growth which may be missing in weed tea. So try to mix other kind of organic fertilizers like vermi compost, farm yard manure and other kinds from time to time.

For hand-pollinating the flowers, visit your garden very early morning. It is the time the male flowers start to open up like here in this pic


Thanks very much, Antoni. The male flowers were open this morning as you describe. I was unable to spot any female flower with a bulge at the bottom. It has been 54 days since I transplanted the gourd plants. Do the female flowers take time? I understand the males arrive first. Since I am growing them up a vertical trellis, it was hard to decide what to prune off. So I left 4 laterals in place with the main stem. I did rearrange them to grow vertically up instead of across. it's too bright now for a picture. Will post later this evening. Thanks again Sir.

antoniraj (author)  Calbygardener1 month ago

you can wait for a few more days to get female flowers. Normally, the new shoot after pruning will produce more female flowers. Prune the 4 laterals also after about 12 nodes

Good Tuesday morning to you Antoni. i have attached pics of the trellis spread and of the snake gourd plant setup. Please comment on the sex of the white flowers and the pruning location of the vines. Thanks a million.....JR

Veggies2015 003.jpgVeggies2015 004.jpgVeggies2015 015.jpgVeggies2015 017.jpgVeggies2015 019.jpgVeggies2015 020.jpgVeggies2015 022.jpg
antoniraj (author)  Calbygardener1 month ago

you have a very nice setup. The white flowers with the spider's web like structure on them are male flowers. the female flowers do not have them and are attached to a small immature fruit. it is very difficult to point out the pruning locations from these photographs. However, you can trim off any unnecessary and unhealthy laterals from the plant as you can visualize. try to grow a single stem up to the top of the trellis.

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