How to grow momordica

Momordica is a tasty and medicinal vegetable plant

Momordica Long-fruited

A lot of exotic grows in our beds vegetable crops... One of them is momordica, a vegetable that belongs to the numerous pumpkin family.

Momordica (Momordica) has many popular names. It is also called donkey cucumber or Indian cucumber, yellow cucumber, cucumber crocodile, mad or bitter melon, Indian giant etc. Momordica can be successfully grown not only in the open field, but also on the windowsill. Probably, this, as well as the exotic appearance of this plant, has made it very popular with gardeners lately.

The motherland of Momordika is China, Japan, the countries of South Asia. However, it can be grown not only in the south, but even in the latitudes of the middle zone of our country. Practice has shown that momordica can be successfully grown in greenhouses and greenhouses on a personal plot, as well as on a bright balcony and on a windowsill as an indoor culture.

Despite the tropical origin of this plant, momordica grows in our garden. Even a short summer is enough for the ripening of its fruits. Her leaves are tripartite, flowers are simple, yellow. Male and female flowers differ in shape. The fruits have small outgrowths in the form of papillae. The color of momordica fruits is bright orange, yellow or white. Its fruit has an elongated shape, the length can be from 5 to 50 cm, depending on the variety and species. The taste of the fruit is close to ripe pumpkin... The seeds are large, in the form of a turtle's shield, flat, rounded with lobed edges, have a very unpleasant odor.

Anyone can grow momordica, because it is not at all difficult. However, there are still some features that must be taken into account if you take on this business. Before sowing momordica seeds into soil extract, they must be scarified by simply rubbing the sharp tip of the seed on a piece of sandpaper. And after scarification, the seeds must be disinfected.

After pre-sowing treatment: scarification and disinfection - Momordica seeds should be placed in a pre-moistened cloth or toilet paper and placed in a warm place (with a temperature of about + 25 ° C). Thanks to this, they will germinate much faster. Spending very little time treating Momordica seeds in this way will greatly increase their germination. Once the seed coat is cracked, it can be sown into seedling pots. The nutritious mixture for the Momordica is prepared "fatty".

To do this, mix 10 kg (approximately a bucket) of garden soil with 10 kg of coarse sand and 5 kg of leaf humus or compost... The soil should not dry out until the seeds germinate, so always keep it moderately moist. Since momordica is a thermophilic plant, it should be planted in open ground no earlier than in the second half of May. We transplant young, still immature plants together with a lump of earth, so as not to damage the delicate roots.

After transplanting, every 2-3 weeks we feed momordica with yeast nutrient solution, diluting 10 g of yeast in 1 liter of water. It won't be long after planting in the ground, and Momordica will thank you for proper care with a gorgeous look of its decorative foliage, bright yellow flowers smelling like jasmine, and a little later - exotic fruits.

Momordica's fruits are lumpy, as they grow, they change their color - from dark green and light white to bright orange, depending on the variety. But this is by no means the only feature. The main secret of the Momordica fruit is its shape, which changes as it ripens. Ripening, they open and outwardly become very similar to a crocodile, which has opened its mouth, from which peep out bright crimson seeds, covered with dense jelly-like pulp. By the way, it is for such an amazing resemblance that momordika is also called a crocodile cucumber.

Types and varieties of momordica

Momordica varieties Taiwan White

Momordica balsamic Is the most curative of all momordics. For medicinal purposes, seeds, fruits, berries, leaves, stems are used. The fruits are small, bright orange.

Momordica warranty - up to 50 fruits can be obtained from each bush. These fruits are original, round-fusiform, up to 15 cm long. Outside, they are covered with papillary projections. When fully ripe, the fruits acquire a bright orange color and crack into three lobes, revealing ruby ​​pericarp with seeds.

Momordica long-fruited - the fruits are strongly tuberous, resemble the skin of a crocodile, in technical ripeness they are green, in biological ripeness they are orange, they are up to 20 cm long.

Momordica variety Japan Long - fruits up to 60 cm long, cylindrical, elongated. In technical ripeness they are green, in biological ripeness they are yellow. Inside the fruit is a berry up to 2 cm in diameter, very sweet, like a persimmon.

Momordica large-fruited - fruits are round, large, when ripe - orange.

Momordica variety Taiwan White - fruits are round-fusiform, when ripe their color gradually changes to orange, they are up to 20 cm long, large.

Read part 2. The healing properties of Momordica →

Anyone who wants to grow this interesting and useful plant, visit our online store, +7 (861) 646-28-76, Valery Ivanovich Brizhan, (from 16:00 to 18:00 and from 08:00 to 09:00 Moscow time)

Valery Brizhan, experienced gardener
Photo by the author

Momordica care

To obtain a good harvest of Momordica, it is recommended to avoid thickening of its crown. Up to a height of 50 cm, it is necessary to remove all lateral shoots, usually up to three main stems are left on the plant. Shoots above 50-70 cm are removed after the first fruit is tied. Momordica needs support for normal growth and fruiting. Usually, the support is made in the form of a vertical trellis, which adequately provides the plant with access to sunlight.

The flowering period of Momordica coincides with the period of shoot formation. The plant has male and female flowers, with male flowers appearing slightly earlier than female ones. Before fruiting, the leaves and stems of momordica cause skin burns when touched, like nettles.

In order for the plant to begin to set fruits, it is necessary to ensure pollination of the flowers. When grown outdoors, this is done with the help of insects. At home, pollen is removed from male flowers and transferred to female flowers by hand using a brush or cotton swab.

Momordica charantia, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia). © Crimson Pages

It is recommended to harvest momordica fruits on the 8-10th day after their appearance, then they do not yet have a bitter taste. It is known that frequent fruit harvesting stimulates more active fruiting. At the same time, if too many fruits ripen on a plant at the same time, it weakens.

As a member of the pumpkin family, momordica is similar to its relatives not only in appearance. Their diseases and pests are also the same: powdery mildew, bacteriosis, white rot, aphids. The latter appears in conditions of insufficient air humidity. Treating affected momordica plants is the same as treating cucumbers, for example.

How to grow momordica - garden and vegetable garden

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Growing Momordica

The plant prefers good lighting and warm climates.

In a nutritious and drained soil, the root system develops better, due to which a rich aboveground mass is formed.

Subject to the recommendations and providing favorable conditions, it is possible to grow momordica up to 3.5 m in height.

Indoor cultivation is preferable in some regions.

Due to the size of the vines and the peculiarities of growth, they are planted along the fence, arbor, net.

Momordica clings to the supports with her antennae quite tightly and does not need a garter.

The liana grows quickly enough, therefore, having planted it near the gazebo, by the middle of summer its unusual decorative leaves (up to 10-12 cm) will create partial shade.

Grow momordica from seeds. They are sown in 10x10 peat pots from March to mid-April. If the vine is supposed to be planted indoors, then it can be done earlier - in February.

Before sowing, the seeds must be disinfected and germinated, for this it is necessary to stratify and stand for several days (10-12) in a damp cloth and in a warm place.

After release from the shell and the emergence of sprouts, momordica seeds are planted in the soil mixture. Use 3 parts of humus and 1 soda earth. Sowing depth up to 3cm.

Before emergence, it is better to cover with foil and put in a warm place (25 ° C).

Then the film is removed, and the pots are transferred to the light. In this case, the ambient temperature should be in the range of 18-20 ° C.

You can grow Momordica seedlings on a windowsill, in a greenhouse, a greenhouse, the main thing is that the growth conditions are close to optimal.

Usually, seedlings are grown up to one month of age. They make sure that she does not stretch out and outgrow. Before planting in the ground, the seedlings are hardened, just like tomatoes.

When the soil warms up to 16 ° C, it can be planted. The distance between plants is about 10cm. At first, it is necessary to provide shelter from sunburn and in case of night frosts.

At the initial stage, it is advisable to install supports to support the vine, then it will cling to its antennae itself. Momordica loves moisture, especially at an early stage of growth, so watering is needed daily.

The grown plant is watered periodically, preventing the soil from drying out.

Top dressing is carried out as needed, but if the soil has not been prepared in the fall, then once every 2 weeks, fermented mullein diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10, but it is better to prepare the site in the fall. When digging, 7kg of manure is applied per 1m. sq.

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