Growing Bitter Melon Or Bitter Gourd (Karela

In this video we show you how to grow Bitter Melon in Terrace Garden. How to identify bitter melon leaves, male and female flowers and some tips to grow and protect your fruits in your terrace.

I have been doing terrace gardening from past two years in Bangalore, India. We made this video of Bitter Melon in our terrace garden to share our experience of the same.

Bitter Melon/Bitter Gourd which is called Karela in Hindi is a tropical/subtropical vine which belongs to Cucurbitaceae (pumpkin and watermelon) family. It mainly used in Asia and Africa, and originated in Indian Subcontinent. Bitter melon is used for culinary purpose around Asia and also used for medical purpose around the word and in Ayurveda.

Growing bitter melon in your terrace is very easy and one of the best thing about this plant is they don’t need one complete pot. You can grow flowering plant like Rose, Marigold or other Vegetable plants like Okra, Eggplant with bitter melon sharing space in the same container. In fact these plant provide support for bitter melon and you need not worry about other plant too because Bitter Melon is very light weighted. But it is essential that you provide some support for the bitter melon (climber) to hang on grow either vertically or horizontally.

Just like other melons Bitter Melon/Bitter Gourd flowers bloom for a single day. And a single plant will bear both male and female flower. If you have a big garden with lot of flowering plants then you need not hand pollinate Bitter Melon as bees and other insects will take care of it. If it’s NOT the case then you may have to HAND POLLINATE. In a healthy plant plenty male and female flowers bloom in a day and the male to female ratio will usually be 4:1. Which means every female flower gets 4 male flowers for pollination.

You can use just a regular compost which is rich in nitrogen and carbon. Bitter melon thrive in a variety of soils and also it should have good drainage.

Bitter melons grow very well in summer as most of vegetables does, they require less attention and care. Only thing is make sure that the vine is finding its support currently and all the curls are firmly grasping to something especially new ones. I sow the seeds in winter (India, Bangalore) usually first week of November and In February arrange for sticks for its support, from March till June I get regular 6-7 bitter melons per week from one plant. I remove the plant when it stops blooming flower somewhere in July where heavy rain fall occur in India and continue the cycle based on weather conditions.