Melon, Bitter (Bitter Melon) (Momordica charantia), packet of 10 seeds


Family:  Gourd (Cucurbitaceae)

Perennial in Zones 10 to 12, grown as an annual in temperate climates, 50 to 60 days to harvest.

Perennial vine native to Africa, currently pantropical.  This is a choice green-skinned cultivar I first obtained in Yunnan during my travels–the plant is widely grown and appreciated in China. Traditional usage (TWM, TCM): bitter digestive, antidiabetic.  Vines are vigorous, fruits are very large (we weighed our first one in this season at 1.2 lbs).  The plants prefer full sun, warm days and nights, and a trellis.  Insect-pollinated. A single vine can easily cover 10 square feet.   Soak seeds overnight before planting.  Pour very warm water in a pint jar and drop the seeds in there, allow to soak overnight, then plant the next day.  Helps immensely.  Sow the seeds about 1/2 inch deep in good potting soil in the greenhouse or a nice, composty hill of garden soil in the spring or summer garden and keep moist and very warm until germination, which takes about a week. Thin or transplant to 3 plants per hill and space hills 6 feet apart.

10 seeds per packet, Open Pollinated, Untreated, NO GMOs


Melon, Bitter (Momordica charantia), packet of 10 seeds

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  1. Richo Cech

    Admin Richo Cech

    we use when they are green. We take out the seeds, slice very thin, soak in salted water for one hr or so to take out some bitterness. It’s the fried style with minced garlic onion and chilli powder, dried shrimp powder and some salt. Shrimp powder balances the bitter taste I also use mushroom powder.

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  2. Laura

    Laura (verified owner)

    Grew these for the first time this year for a special customer, it could have used a taller trellis than I used which was 3ft high. We had a cool wet spring so I suspect not nearly warm enough, the fruits were small about 6 inches. I found if I left them to go bigger, they turned yellow and popped open. Do all the fruits pop open with the red gelatinous seed coats when overripe? I also had a brownish scale on the outside of some, almost looked like it was aging. There is a demand for this, but not sure my growing conditions will favor it. I am on the edge of 6a and 6b.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Thanks for your good comments. When growing summer annuals, zone is not particularly pertinent, it is days to maturity that you want to watch. Apparently your summer was plenty warm and long enough if the fruits were ripening on the vine. Normally these are harvested in the green stage, before they go soft and yellow, before they split open to reveal the shocking red interior. 6-inch fruits are normal, not small. A tall trellis is definitely useful, or bend a piece of stock fencing into a tunnel and the fruits will hang down inside, which is convenient. Cheers!

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