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

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.
SiddeshK23 days ago

The best guide on gourd Sir!! May you write more guides to guide ignorant people like us!!

Thanks a lot!! I will try this method soon :)

antoniraj (author)  SiddeshK23 days ago
thank you...

Amazing and very helpful article on growing gourds. I have planted three ridge gourds in a grow bag on our terrace. I dont know how to set up trellis. Can this plant just be left to grow on the floor?

antoniraj (author)  bkaravindkumar1 month ago
you will not get many fruits if you leave it on the ground. make some sort of trellis with pvc pipes. it is very easy
SoumyaR2 months ago

Hi there - I am growing Snakegourd (Podalakai) . Can I grow two plants in a big grow bag?

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR2 months ago
yes, you can grow two snake gourd plants in a large grow bag
BG_instructs10 months ago


what area do you live, do those plants need a warm climate?

antoniraj (author)  BG_instructs10 months ago

thank you... I live in Tamil Nadu, India.. yes, gourds need a warm climate to grow

Waw! such a nice article. That too with pictures. hats off to u. I have a ridge gurad plant in my balcony and the fruits are getting dried out when they are small and tiny. So is it because of the failed pollination? also the leaves of the main stem are getting the white patches like coated with white powder. what to do? please help. tha plant has grown so nicely and lot of flowers and small fruit buds. i dont want to lose the plant. please help antony. thanks a ton

antoniraj (author)  chandrakala.santosh3 months ago

thank you... the fruits getting dried out may be due to failed pollination. Try manual pollination. Your plant is also seems to be affected with Mealybugs. Prune out all affected leaves and throw them far away. You may wash the main stem with kerosene which will kill all the bugs. otherwise you can use a water jet aslo washing the plant thoroughly..

Wiggelstick4 months ago

Great pictures! Any good recipes for Ridge Gourd?

antoniraj (author)  Wiggelstick4 months ago
this page contains about 15 recipes of ridge gourd. I hope this wull be helpful to you
Deepu144 months ago

I was bit confused on counting nodes, what need to be consider as node.

Please explain what is node

antoniraj (author)  Deepu144 months ago

A node (in Botany) is a point on a plant stem where a leaf, flower / fruit are growing. If you see the first photograph in Step 12, you can see baby gourds growing adjacently. The point from which they are growing is a node

Deepu14 antoniraj4 months ago

Thanks a lot. Very very helpful information.

Deepu14 Deepu144 months ago


After pruning I have got lot of female flowers but after growing to 1/2 to 1 inch they are turning into pale yellow colour and not growing. Do we need to do anything to turn them to grow up, please suggest.

antoniraj (author)  Deepu144 months ago

it seems your flowers are not pollinated properly. You need to pollinate the flowers manually. Please see Step-11 above for guidance

Deepu14 antoniraj4 months ago

Thanks for the response.

The Female buds are not opening. They are turning to pale color before it opens the flower. One more problem is leaves are badly infected with some fungus. They are having brown marks all over.

antoniraj (author)  Deepu144 months ago

Prune all infected parts and throw them far away. If the entire plant is infected then you have to remove the plant from your garden before the infection spreads to other plants. Also spray the organic pesticide I have mentioned in Step 10. This may not be very effective but control the infection spreading

MIrfanepcl4 months ago

Dear Antoniraj,

Very useful topic and related to my research. First of all highly appreciated to you for a detail topic discussed here.

I have a problem , My Ridge gourd is not making flower or fruit , I grow up this plant in April-2014 and now this is very huge and grown well up to the third floor from garden. But still no any sign of flower. Kindly let me know the method or knowledge about this.

Many thanks.


antoniraj (author)  MIrfanepcl4 months ago
Did you add any growth stimulant or fertilizers like urea..? Too much of nitrogen rich fertilizers helps only foliage growth with less or no flowers. Timely pruning also helps in flowers and fruit set. Please do not add any fertilizers and do carry out pruning which may help in new growth with flowers
SoumyaR4 months ago

this is by far the best detailed article on growing gourds I have read!! Thanks a ton.

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR4 months ago

thank you...

SoumyaR4 months ago

awesome. Will this grow this in August - September rainy climate? Please guide.

antoniraj (author)  SoumyaR4 months ago
Yes, this is the right season to plant. You can plant all type of vegetables now.
sunshiine10 months ago

antoniraj, this is very interesting. Nice write up.


antoniraj (author)  sunshiine10 months ago
thank you sunshine...
tbresler10 months ago
can you do this with say....pumpkins?
antoniraj (author)  tbresler10 months ago
yes, but you have train pumpkins on the ground as the fruits are very heavy... pruning and pollination methods are same
Jobar00710 months ago

This is a handy trick to also use with bottle gourds.

Most of the time, gourds aren't pollinated by bees. They are pollinated by moths. A lot of gourds also only have flowers for a day or two so if you see them, you need to pollinate them. I like to pull off the male flower and touch it to two female flowers (touch the stamen and pistil together). I then pick another male and repeat. It's better to do at dusk to ensure the flowers will be open.

antoniraj (author)  Jobar00710 months ago
you are right... thank you for the information
eilu10 months ago

We have a bitter gourd growing up our window. No one remembers planting it, it's a very hardy plant.

antoniraj (author)  eilu10 months ago
train it on to some support and look after the plant... you can harvest fresh fruits soon