How to grow Ridge Gourd in Pots

How To Grow Ridge Gourd In Pots
Ridge gourd seedling
Ridge gourd seedling

Its summer time again. And its time to plant some cooling vegetables in your garden. While cucumber is a must have vegetable in your garden in summers ridge gourd is another vegetable that you can easily grow in containers. Ridge Gourd belongs to the cucumber family and contains a lot of water along with dietary fibers. It has very low amount of saturated fats. Hence its a great vegetable for weight loss. Ridge Gourd is also an excellent source of vitamin A. Ridge gourds need very little attention and hence are well suited for any garden. But with The help of this post on How to Grow Ridge Gourd in Pots you can increase the yield and performance of your plant.

Quick Reference Table to Grow Ridge Gourd in Pots

 

Item Value
Growing Temperature 26 – 36 °C
Germination Temperature 28-38 °C Ideal
Germination Time 3-7 days
Soil pH 5.8 to 6.8
Sunlight Need 6-9 hours per day (Sun loving Plant)
Preferred Planting Method Direct Sowing
Container size 20-30 liter container works well. 2-3 plants can be grown in a single containers. Keep 4-5 inch distance between two plants.
Time to Harvest 45-60 days from germination
Harvest Period  50-60 days
Pollination Bees act as pollinators, Hand pollination can be done in absence of bees.
Typical Pests Ants, Fruit fly, leaf minor
Best season to plant in India Starting from beginning of summers till beginning of winters.

 

Choosing Container for Ridge Gourd

Plant ridge gourd in at least 20 liter pot
Plant ridge gourd in at least 20 liter pot

Ridge gourds are heavy feeders. They need a lot of nutrients and also a lot of water. So you need a bigger container to grow ridge gourd in pots. Generally a 20 liter container would work fine. You can grow 2-3 plants in one containers. You can use container of any shape. Just make sure that it is at least 12 inches deep. Use a nutrient rich potting mix which has good water retention property. A higher amount of organic compost in the potting soil mix will ensure that it is nutrient rich and also help in retaining water.

Seed Sowing and Germination

In a 20 liter pot you can grow 3-4 plants. The distance between plants needs to be approximately 4-5 inch, so that roots of all plants can spread well in all directions. For sowing the seeds it is a good idea to soak the seeds in Amrut Jal for 10-12 hours. Plain water also works fine if you don’t have Amrut Jal. Soaking seeds helps in faster germination, but is is not a compulsory step. Mark your spots where you’ll be sowing your seeds in the pot. Now make 3/4 inch to 1 inch holes in the soil using one of your fingers. Place the seeds on their side in the holes and them cover them loosely with the potting soil. Water the pot gently. Be careful not to disturb the soil. Check the moisture in the soil everyday. Don’t let the soil dry out any time. In about 3-5 days you should see happy seedlings looking out from the pots.

Grow Ridge Gourd in Pots

Ridge gourd vine can climb even on fishing net
Ridge gourd vine can climb even on fishing net

Ridge gourd is a climber and it grows at fast rate. So you need to build a trellis well in time for the plant. Keep the height of the trellis at least 6 ft. The plants can also grow vertically on a stretched fishing net. Whatever your trellis structure is make sure you have it in place by the time ridge gourd plant is 6-8 inches tall. That is when they start shooting out tendrils to climb.

Ridge gourd plants need a lot of water. And because they grow in full sunlight the soil can dry out very fast. So mulch you pot heavily to avoid evaporation. To make sure that the soil remains moist throughout the day you can use a recycled plastic bottle for drip irrigation in every pot. Make a tiny hole on the cap of the bottle. The hole should be small, so that water flows out of in tiny drops. Fill the bottle with water and place the bottle in pot head down. Fill the bottle in the morning every day during regular watering. Remember this is in addition to your regular watering.

Use Amrut Jal or any other organic liquid soil conditioner/fertilizer every 10-15 days. During flowering increase the frequency. When the first fruit appears its a good time to add extra nutrients to the pot. To do this remove the mulch and add about 2 liters of well decomposed compost to the container. Spread it evenly and mulch again.

When you grow ridge gourds in pots you don’t have to handle many plants. So it is best to do pest management by removing the pests by hand. For ants sprinkling turmeric helps. Tendrils of any climber plant help only in climbing. In fact too many tendrils would impact the yield negatively. So nip off most of the tendrils. Just retain a few of them so that the plant does not fall off from the trellis. Nipping off the tendrils will help in increasing the yield.

Pollination

Ridge gourd female and male flower buds
Ridge gourd female and male flower buds

Ridge gourd plant produces different male and female flowers. The female flowers have a small fruit attached to its bottom while male flowers do not have the fruit. Pollination is done by bees. In case you do not get bees in your garden you need to hand pollinate the flowers. Hand pollination is very simple. Just pluck a healthy male flower and remove its petals gently without disturbing its stamen. Now rub the stamen gently on the stigma of the female flower. You can use a single male flower to pollinate 2-3 female flowers. But in case you have enough male flowers use a single male flower for each female flower.

Harvesting Ridge Gourd

Ready to harvest ridge gourd
Ready to harvest ridge gourd

Ridge gourd fruits grow very fast even when you grow ridge gourd in pots. After pollination they are ready to pick in approximately 8-12 days. You can pick your gourd about 2-3 days after the fruit has stopped growing. Leaving it too long on the plant makes it fibrous and then it can not be consumed. However the fruit can be left to dry on the vine for harvesting seeds and using the fibrous part called loofah as a natural scrubber. Use a pair of scissors or any garden cutter to remove the fruit from the plant. Do not remove the fruit by pulling. It will damage the plant. 


Ridge gourd is a hassle free plant to grow when its nutrient and water needs have been taken care of. You can plant them in a staggered manner in your garden once in every 20-25 days to enjoy them throughout most parts of the year.

15 thoughts on “How to grow Ridge Gourd in Pots”

  1. Hi! I am growing ridged guard in large pots on my terrace garden but my female guard buds are not growing and dying out. I have seen that tips of the female bud is not bearing flower or have distorted flower. Please suggest.

    1. The flowers bloom in the evening and remain fresh for 2-3 hours. So other times they will look lifeless. Here are somethings you can do.

      1. Hand pollination. In the evening when flowers bloom do hand pollination of female buds as explained in the blog post above. If female buds are not fertilized they will die off.
      2. Spray panchagavya on the plant and irrigate with the same or Amrut Jal once every week to increase plant vitality and increase chance of bearing fruit.
      3. Add some compost to the soil and mulch well.

      Also remember that all female buds will not become fruits. The healthier ones will become fruits.

    2. Hi,Thanks for your reply. My plants does not have a single male flower so how to hand pollinate.there are lots of female flower . Is it possible to pollinate with other guard male flower like bottle guard.

      1. Looks like a very strange situation. Do you have any more ridge gourd plants where you can get male flower from? You can pollinate a ridge gourd with a ridge gourd flower only. Other gourds will not work. When planting gourds its good to plant multiple plants so that probability of getting a male and female flowers at the same time is higher.

  2. My ridge gourd plant in my terrace is 40 days old and plant looks healthy. But, unfortunately I don’t see even single female bud. But, everyday evening there are so many male buds blooming and falling off next day morning. Will it take some more time for female bud to come? Also, I thought bunch of buds are male and single bud is a female. But, there is no fruit in the single bud. So, I am not sure. Can you please help me to sort out the issue?

  3. can you please do a post on teasel gourd (kakrol in bengali) especially the small variety which is very rare and expensive. It is absolutely delicious.

    1. Hello Aparna,
      Thanks for your suggestion. The small variety is an absolute favorite in Odisha too. However I could not get the seeds (open pollinated ones) this season. And now it may be a little too late to plant them even if I manage to get the seeds. But I’ll surely plant them next season and then do a post on them. I guess it will be a long wait for you, but you’ll get authentic information.

  4. Hi friends ,
    My situation is really strange .My ridgegourd plants are getting so many male flowers .
    I see female bud but it is not growing & not opening a female flower .
    What couldbethe reason? & i live in Boston(US) area .
    Please any help would be great!!
    Thx
    Madhavi

    1. There could be a lot of reasons for this. The temperature and humidity level may not be suitable. Or it may be that your plant is not getting enough energy to convert buds into fruits. Or it may be that there are not enough bees to pollinate the female flowers.You can add additional compost to the plant, irrigate it with Amrut Jjal. And also try hand pollination in the evening.

  5. If the temperature if too high it will stimulate male flower production. Its advisable to plant the seedlings accordingly. Did you know that male flowers are not a waste. I used to buy gourd flowers from farmers market. They r packed with essential vitamins n all the good stuff and can be eaten raw…crispy. They r regularly in the starters menu…just dip whole flower in batter n fry/ bake😊

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