Kiwano

An odd-looking, yet delicious fruit !
Common name : Kiwano
Scientific name : Cucumis metuliferus
Family : Cucurbitaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Annual
Edible
Edible
A native to the hot, dry climates of central and southern Africa, Kiwano is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and a cousin of melons and cucumber : leaves the shape of those, and yellow flowers just like its cousins. Kiwano horned fruit performs best in full sunlight and well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Sowing & planting

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F
M
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M
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Flowering

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F
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M
J
J
A
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O
N
D

Harvestint

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M
J
J
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D

Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_4
Frost-resistance Low
Zone USDA 11b
Height 30 - 200
pH 6.5 - 6.8

Identify my kiwano

It can be sometimes difficult to recognize a member of the Cucurbitaceae familyjust looking at the leaves - but if your plant bears odd-looking, spiky, yellow-orange fruits, chances are it's a kiwano !

Plant my kiwano

Plant your kiwanos bought from the merchant in a rich, well-drained soil, in full sun, after the last frosts. Space the feet from 0.8m to 1m. Water after planting.

Sow my kiwano

Inside: Sow under cover between March and April under filtered light, above 15 ° C - at best between 24 and 32 ° C. Sow three seeds per cup, burying them lightly in a special compost for potting. Water once a day the first week. Outside: Sowing in open ground is only done in very hot and sunny regions. Sow three seeds per hole, in the garden, in full sun. Allow at least one meter between plants. Water generously.

Pinch my kiwano

When the plant has between 3 and 5 leaves, "pinch" — or rather, cut! — the tip of the stem so they can divide. Once the new branchings each have 3 to 5 leaves themselves, repeat the process. Once the fruits appear, pinch off the stems below the first first, one or two leaves further down.

Dibble my kiwano

Transplant in rich, well-drained soil in full sun after the last freezes. Space the plants 0.8 to 1 m apart. Water after planting.

Reap my kiwano

Harvest once your fruits are well-developed, around 60 days after planting.

Remove my kiwano

Pull up the kiwano plants after harvesting, and use the remains as compost.

Water my kiwano

There are three times to water — water the seedings, water after transplanting, and water in case of drought. After sowing, water at least once a week, without flooding the pot. Continue to water twice a week after transplanting if there is no rain. Finally, keep an eye out for dryness while the fruits are forming, in summer. In any case, don't get the leaves wet.

Mulch my kiwano

Mulch the base of your kiwanos after transplanting, which will limit the need for watering and save the fruits from rot.

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