Bitter Melon Momordica charantia
How to sow bitter melon: Direct seed indoors, transplant seedlings outside after hardening off.
Sun requirement for bitter melon: Plant in Full Sun
Bitter Melon has been planted 2 times by Growstuff members.
Bitter melon is a tropical and subtropical vine in the Cucurbitaceae family. It can be grown like cucumbers, but needs at least 3-4 months of warm to hot and humid weather for fruits to develop and mature. Fruits have a warty exterior and oblong shape with tapering ends and a bitter taste. They are usually eaten cooked when young. As the fruits age, the skin becomes tougher and less edible, but the pith becomes sweet and intensely red and is often used raw in salads. The fruit turns orange and mushy and splits when it is fully ripe. Bitter melon is used in Ayurvedic medicine and eaten as a treatment for malaria in some countries (it's bitter flavor is due to the melon's quinine content.) To aid germination, scarify and dunk seeds in boiling water for no more than four seconds, then drain on a paper towel for a few minutes before sowing. Plants should be trellised to reduce disease and prevent the fruits from rotting on moist soil.
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