Growing Gourds (Ridge Gourd, Bitter Gourd and Snake Gourd)

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.
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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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TA34 minutes ago

Awesome instructions. Only place where I could find useful information on this topic. Also, is pruning of laterals and tendrils the same for bottle gourd. I wish you would write tutorials on beans, peas, etc. Thanks a lot.

NCgardener5 days ago
Can I grow snake gourd and Indian bottle gourd (lauki) on the same trellis?
antoniraj (author)  NCgardener5 days ago
yes, you can grow all gourd varieties together, no problem
MohammedR26 days ago

I have a young ridge gourd plant, the leaves are developing brown black patches on the edges, I am worried they may ultimately die. Is it normal or any pest infestation that might have attacked. Pls advise

antoniraj (author)  MohammedR26 days ago
It is a fungal disease known as anthracnose affecting many plants during rainfall and high temperature. Prune and throw away the affected parts. You can use Chlorothalonil, an organic compound to control this
SrividyaN8 days ago
I have a doubt regarding pruning.. I am planning to grow bitter gourd & snake hour in buchetd(like 20 l paint buckets).. Also planning to lean a wire mesh (with big squares) and planning to lean in on the wall(slanting)so, I'll have around 2 feet gap between the trellis & wall to enter inside & pick fruit. Now, as my Trellies being rested on the ground, can I let the laterals grow.. Pls help me out.

Also, I've read that we can grow one bitter gourd per 20 l can.. How snt snake gourd? Can I let SG trail on a tree or do I have to build a trellis?
antoniraj (author)  SrividyaN7 days ago
As your trellis is rested on the ground, you can allow the laterals to grow on it. As for the snake gourd you can trail it on a tree
Sunglowart10 days ago

thank you very much for the instructions.I have tried growing bitter gourds and they have always failed I am trying sponge gourd this year I hope i will have more success with your instructions.I will be growing them in pots. which size pot would you recommend?

antoniraj (author)  Sunglowart10 days ago

Gourds generally grow their roots deep and wide. So choose a container of about 12 inches wide and 20 inches in depth. Used paint drums will also serve the purpose

tschandr2 months ago
Very nice article. I am trying out bitter gourds in grow bags. I' ve planted 2 of them per bag but the soil quantity is less around 6-7 inches in depth. The bag has more capacity around 12 inches. Can i fill more soil to the bag on the top or i need to shift the planta to new bags?
antoniraj (author)  tschandr1 month ago
No need to shift the plant to new bag. As your bags have enough space, just fill soil as they grow up
Is it ok to fill more soil on the top? Tomato plants can grow roots from stem. Is it the same for gourds also?
antoniraj (author)  tschandr1 month ago

it is ok to fill soil as they grow. Gourds grow their roots deep and wide

Roots generally grow downwards so I got this doubt whether adding soil from the top will really help. Will there be more roots coming out from the stem portion which goes under soil after filling?

This is how it looks right now.

antoniraj (author)  tschandr1 month ago

they do not have much space for adding further soil. You need to have some free space also from the top of the grow bag. Just train them on supports as they grow

Actually I folded the top edges of the bags. If I unfold them it'll add another 3-4 inches i think. I also see some lateral shoots coming from nodes. As per you suggestion I'll cut all such branches till the trellis level. Planning to use thin coir ropes on the black frame as trellis.

Thank you sir! Following your instructions I had some success in my little terrace garden

Kamoldip21 days ago

Sir, Thank you for the helpful tutorial. I am from Bangladesh and happy to read your informative steps. what you write is all new to me. I read many Bangladeshi Site. Noooooooooooo. Just ABCD. Whatever, I am aplaying your instructions since today.

Best regards.

antoniraj (author)  Kamoldip20 days ago
Thank you Kamoldip for your appreciation...I am very happy you find my instructables helpful to you
Dear Sir,

I am a fresher at gardening but plan to start my own little vegetable garden on my terrace. I live in Oman and the summers here will touch 50 degrees. My terrace faces the west though. Can you give me a few tips on what are the best veggies to plant for this climatic condition? Thanks in advance.

Warm Regards,
antoniraj (author)  dodropinsoon1 month ago
Hi Pooja,
I think you can grow all sorts of vegetable in Oman. You can try tomatoes, chilies, okra, Brinjal and all. Do not expose the plants to extreme sunlight and do not allow the soil to become dry. I hope you can get all sorts of vegetable seeds there locally. Also get in touch with your neighbors who have balcony garden and ask their opinion. Good luck

I am growing bitter gourd at home and the young fruits become yellow and drops out as soon as it emerges....what could be the reason...I am in Dubai and it is very hot out here...

antoniraj (author)  tamilselvan.s1 month ago
May be due to very hot weather the young female flowers are not properly pollinated. Try hand pollinating very early morning as the efficiency of male flowers is lost by noon.

thanks for your reply sir,,,,,i did B.Sc(Horticulture) from HC& RI Periyakulam,under Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Now i am doing M.Sc(Vegetable science) @ Gujarat. My native is sivakasi in tamil nadu. what about u sir?

hai anthoni sir,,,My research work on ridge gourd,,,what is the per day water requirement of ridge gourd for better growth and development???

antoniraj (author)  amu.karthick1 month ago
water requirement depends on the type of soil and climate condition. the roots of gourd spread mostly on top 50 cm depth of soil, so you need to maintain good soil moisture minimum up to this depth. it will be better to carryout field studies in different soil and different climate conditions and record the results for your research work
vijay.manke2 months ago


psunil2 months ago
Great article. Started growing after reading ur article. i hav lot of questions... How long does this plant lost? Do I need to plant every year? also why my plant doesn't bear more than 3 ridge gourds?
Please explain.
antoniraj (author)  psunil2 months ago
thank you... this plant will last for a season only. You need to plant every year. Secondly, you need to prune the vines so that lateral shoots will emerge and bear more gourds. Please go through the instructable on how to prune your vine
psunil psunil2 months ago
Btw.... last week ridge gourd grew 800cm long. Tastes yummy.


I am from Kerala, I want to grow Ridge Gourd in my home. From Where I get the seeds

antoniraj (author)  Byjukanjirathingal2 months ago
Seeds are easily available in Kerala. I have seen vendors selling seeds in street corners. Otherwise you can get seeds from shops selling pesticides. They also stock seeds
julian.eisig3 months ago

Hi there , I'm a dibetic. Can i grow that crop in the tropics? specifically in venezuela?

antoniraj (author)  julian.eisig3 months ago

Hi Julian, yes, you can very well grow them in Venezuela... some of the gourd varieties like Bitter gourd, Ridge gourd and Bottle gourd are known to control diabetes.

123peche.3 months ago

I have been growing ridge gourd in adelaide. But they have turned really bitter. Do you know what is the reason behind it.?

antoniraj (author)  123peche.3 months ago
It happened to me also. This is due to the presence of cucurbitacin in large amounts. This may happen due to pollination by bitter pollens from other plants. Try hand pollinating the female flowers with male flowers from same plant.

Also, before cooking cut one small piece from the end and lightly touch with your tongue. If it tastes bitter discard it. Otherwise the bitter one will make all other good ones also inedible
VikramV1 made it!4 months ago

I have bittter gourd growing in acre, but the problem is leaves are turning pale yellow and most of the 3 days old fruits are turning yellowish orange when they grow upto 2 inch size. what seems to be the problem? the total crop is having yellow leaves and small young fruits with yellow colour. please help

antoniraj (author)  VikramV14 months ago
you got a very good setup for growing bitter gourds. The problem seems to be viral attack. Please give me your mail id and I will send some files to you regarding growing bitter gourds and disease management. Though they suggested use of chemical pesticides, I will not recommend them to be used on vegetables
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