Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
Hello gardeners, we are back with another article. Today’s article is about growing organic ivy gourd on the balcony. If you want to grow organic ivy gourd on your balcony then follow this article completely. In this article, we also cover the following listed topics about growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony.
- Introduction to growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Types/varieties of ivy gourd and common names
- Organic soil for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Suitable position for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Suitable container for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Support for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Propagation for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Propagation of organic ivy gourd from seeds
- Limitations or drawbacks of growing organic ivy gourd from seeds
- Propagation of organic ivy gourd from cuttings
- Flowers and pollination of ivy gourd in the balcony
- Planting procedure of organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Organic fertilizers for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Benefits of using organic fertilizers
- Water requirement for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- The required temperature for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Pruning of organic ivy gourd in the balcony
- Pests and diseases of ivy gourd
- Harvesting of ivy gourd in the balcony
- Commonly asked questions for growing organic ivy gourd in the balcony
Introduction to Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
Ivy gourd belongs to the family of cucumber, and its fruit resembles somewhat like cucumber in taste. The only difference is in the size of both fruits – the size is only about two inches long and a way too smaller than the cucumbers.
A Step By Step Guide for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
This ivy gourd is considered an aggressive grower. It is also declared as a weed in Western Australia, Florida, Hawaii, and in some other countries because it grows rapidly and covers everything up like fences, trees, shrubs, or any other supports within its reach. In a suitable climate, it will be very easy to grow ivy gourd and it is very productive. Ivy gourd is native to the Indian subcontinent and usually grown as a vegetable in subtropical and native to tropical climates of South-East Asia, South Asia, and Africa.
Types/Varieties of Ivy Gourd and Common Names
There are two types of ivy gourds you can grow up with they are listed below:
Ivy gourd is classified by the appearance of the fruit.
- Striped ivy
When you observe stripes on fruit then that comes under striped ivy.
- Non-striped ivy
When you observe plain skinned and clear green fruit then that comes under non-striped ivy.
The common names of ivy gourd are listed below:
- Baby watermelon
- Little gourd
- Gentlemen’s Toes
- Scarlet Gourd
- Calabaza Hiedra
- Coccinia Cordifolia
- Coccinia Grandis
- Coccinia Índica
- Courage Écarlate
- Little Gourd
- Tela Kucha
- Kowai fruit
- Thai Spinach
- Phak Khaep
- Small Gourd
Soil for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
The soil pH must be between 6.0 – 6.5 which results in the best yield and quality of the fruit. Ivy gourd is called a no demand vegetable vine because that can even grow in poor and heavy soils also. You need to opt for a little sandy soil and it should be rich in organic compost or manure. You need to avoid very poor drainage. Well-draining, loose and porous soil mix is very better when you have decided to grow it in containers.
Suitable Position for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
You need to find a spot where your plant can receive full sun for better growth. It may grow better in the partial shade as well. In the initial or starting stage when the roots are establishing, you need to protect the plant from the afternoon sun. The ivy gourd plant may grow in the shade also but it will not produce fruits very well.
Suitable Container for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
You need to select or choose a 10-12 inches pot for growing ivy gourd on the balcony, as the plant has very invasive growth. You need to make sure the pot or container has at least one drainage hole at the bottom of it to let excess water escape out. Better to go for a clay pot, as it prevents waterlogging conditions for your plant.
Support for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
You need to install a climbing frame, stake, or any support nearby the planting site from the beginning, or your plant will find the way on its own, it will trample one of your favourite shrubs in your balcony. The ivy vine can grow very tall, in fact, very huge if you do not trim or prune it well. It can grow more than 13 meters tall.
Propagation for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
There are two different ways to propagate Ivy gourd, from seeds or cuttings:
You can propagate ivy gourd in two different ways they are:
- From seeds
- From cuttings
Propagation of Organic Ivy Gourd from Seeds
You need to buy the seeds in an online store or just get a ripe, scarlet-color tindora fruit to remove seeds from it for sowing. If you stay in any tropical or subtropical climate, you can start seeds anytime except in peak summers. In a cool climate if you are growing ivy gourds from seeds, do this in spring and summer or when the weather is warm. The ideal or optimum germination temperature is between 15-27 °C for growing ivy gourd.
Transplanting the seedlings
If you stay in a hot climate, transplant your seedlings when the temperature is optimum, you need to except for the hot summer. In cooler regions, before transplanting wait for the passage of the last frost.
You need to choose a site or location that receives full sun. Till the soil is well and adds a lot of compost or well-rotted manure in the planting container or pot.
You need to install a pole or trellis nearby the plant at the time of transplanting also.
Limitations or Drawbacks of Growing Organic Ivy Gourd from Seeds
One of the major limitations or drawbacks of growing ivy gourd from seeds is it may not grow true growth. In this case, it will never fruit unless you grow a male and female plant together. Ivy gourd that grown from seeds takes time to start its first production. This ivy vine may take another year to fruit out.
In case if you miss this: Container Garddening Tips For Beginners.
Propagation of Organic Ivy Gourd from Cuttings
Propagation of ivy gourd from cutting is super and very easy and it assures you that your ivy gourd will fruit compulsory, that is why propagation of ivy gourd from cuttings is a more common and successful method. To do this propagation you need to take a hardwood cutting from a well-developed and healthy stem of the self-fertile ivy gourd plant, that should be about six to eight inches in length. You need to make sure that you go for a sturdy cutting that is well-trimmed.
Flowers and Pollination of Ivy Gourd in Balcony
Ivy gourd flowers are white, star-shaped, and have 5 narrow sepals that are 6-8mm long that join at the base. Male flowers of ivy gourd have 3 stamens in them and female flowers of ivy gourd have 3 hairy stigmas in them. Simply you need to break off the male flower, and hold it over the female flower, then “tap” the pollen from the male flower to the female flowers. Then they get pollinated.
Planting Procedure of Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
- You can start growing ivy gourd plant in a large 16 inches pot or you can select a medium-sized 5-gallon pot with 10-12 inches depth.
- Once ivy becomes something bigger, you need to move it in a much larger pot for better growth.
- You need to choose a sunny location for this plant. Afternoon shade is also good for this plant’s growth.
- You need to use regular potting soil and you need to add 1/4 of compost or aged manure to this plant.
- You need to water it regularly; keep the soil evenly moist in the initial or starting stage because the plant prefers a slightly moist growing medium.
- You need to side-dress the plant with organic compost or aged cow manure for healthy and better development of the plant.
- You need to provide support to the plant so that it can climb easily.
Organic Fertilizers for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
Mixing a lot of compost or well-rotted cow manure at the time of planting for your ivy plant will provide enough nutrients to plant. Also, side-dressing your plant with the compost, once or twice a year will end or stop the need for additional fertilizer.
Benefits of Using Organic Fertilizers
- Organic fertilizers work very slowly – To work organic fertilizers, the soil has to first break them down. This means that both soil and the plants get the nutrition when they need it.
- Organic fertilizers improve soil fertility – Organic materials or organic fertilizers improve the soil texture and they allow it to hold water longer, and they even increase the bacterial and fungal activity in the soil.
- Organic fertilizers are safe – Organic fertilizers are very safe to use because they will not contain any harmful chemicals.
- Organic fertilizers are very easy to apply – Organic fertilizers are easy to apply as their synthetic, non-organic counterparts. Adding them to soil or spraying them on leaves may be very helpful in the growth of the plant.
Water Requirement for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
You need to water regularly as ivy gourd prefers moist soil over dry. In the hot or windy weather and when your plant is young, keep the soil evenly moist. Keep the soil evenly moist for the perfect growth, but not waterlog it. If you are growing in a garden bed, water it deeply at a one-week interval. You should not water in the monsoon season. And for pots or containers, you need to pay a bit more attention, as water evaporates very sooner. Check the consistency by poking with finger, 1 and a half inches in the soil. Water deeply if it looks dry.
Required Temperature for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
This ivy gourd can grow throughout the year in tropical places or areas, as it likes humid and warm climate to grow. Also, it grows well in a wide range of temperatures, but the ideal and optimum temperature for growth ranges from 20°C to 32°C.
Pruning of Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
Ivy gourd grows very fast and it can turn invasive if you never check it. So, you need to prune off the stems that are growing behind the limit. You need to make sure that the pruning shear is very sharp and it should be well-oiled. After pruning you need to dispose of the fallen stems, or they might root.
Once your plant has stopped producing the fruits after the fruiting season, you can prune it off by leaving only 2-3 feet of thick bottom stem left. Again the fresh growth will start from it. If your living or staying in a warm climate and if your growing it for the ornamental purpose you can skip pruning the plant.
Pests and Diseases of Ivy Gourd
The ivy gourd is a very tough and very strong climbing vegetable or plant so that cannot get affected by any serious pests and diseases. But you need to keep a close watch for common garden pests like aphids, mites, thrips, and whiteflies. If the infestation is severe, you need to use organic fertilizers to reduce their population.
Harvesting of Ivy Gourd in Balcony
In favorable conditions, around three months after planting your plant will start to produce flowers and set fruits also. Fruit production will be at a high rate that you need to harvest daily. Either handpick the fruits or snip off the fruits using a sickle. Handpicking may damage the plant better you use the sickle to harvest your fruits. You should not wait for too long, you need to harvest them when they are still young bulbous, and green.
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Usually, Ivy gourd fruits are harvested when they are young and when the fruits are firm, crunchy, that means around 1.5-2 inches in size. You can even taste them raw to identify the fruits right time. You can leave them for a long time to overripe then they’ll turn beautiful scarlet but taste very ugly.
Commonly Asked Questions for Growing Organic Ivy Gourd in Balcony
How do you grow ivy gourd in pots?
You need to just choose any ripen gourd, extract its seeds, and dry them for sowing. Now, you need to fill the pot with potting mix, leaving some room or place it at the top. Then make a hole and you need to insert the seeds about an inch deep in it and cover them with soil.
Will gourds grow in shade?
Gourds prefer or need full sun and rich well-drained soil that is rich in organic material to survive well.
What is the harvest time of ivy gourd?
It takes around 3months to harvest after planting ivy gourd.
Is ivy gourd is easy to grow?
It is very easy to grow ivy gourd because they don’t take much time for growing and harvest.