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Langenaria spp.

Beninsas spp., Momordica spp.

Gourds come in three general types: ornamental gourds, utilitarian gourds, and vegetable sponge gourds. Ornamental gourds are brightly colored and oddly shaped, typically used as decoration. The have orange and yellow flowers. Utilitarian gourds are green while growing, and then dry a brown shade. These gourds flower white and are most often used for tools and utensils because of their tough shell. Vegetable sponge gourds have a shell that can be peeled off, revealing a center that can be used as a sponge. These have yellow flowers while growing. Consider training ornamental gourds. If you’re growing ornamental gourds, it is common for growers to train them into interesting shapes and structures. There are two general ways to train the shape of a gourd: bending over time, and by giving it a mold. You can slowly bend parts of a gourd as it grows, if you want a winding snake-like gourd in the end. You can also create a mold for your gourd by placing the small fruit inside a breakable vessel of some sort (like a vase). When the gourd has grown, it will fill the container and match its shape; you simply have to break the mold to remove it when done.


Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn


Leave the gourds to cure on the vine. When your gourds have reached their full size, the vine they’re growing on will start to die off on its own. Then they are ready for harvesting. Give them several weeks for the curing process to harden off.


Sow indoors at the end of winter and transplant later or sow in situ if warmer outside. Gourds take about 180 days total from planting till they produce ripe fruit.

Special features

Attractive leaves
Huge green leaves provide shade if trained up.
Attractive fruits
Most pretty fruits sometimes in odd shapes and even in mixed colors. Fruits vary in shapes and sizes.


Natural climate


Full Sun
Soil moisture
Soil type
Clay, Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness


Some gourds have edible flesh.
Decoration and holders or utensils
Dried gourds will remain pretty for a long time. Use as decoration. Sometimes the insides are removed and the hard shell used as holders, cups or to make utencils. Kalbassies were used to store and carry water and milk by Khoi and San people.


Flower colour


Small gourds can be susceptible to the same problems as cucumbers and pumpkins. Avoid planting in the same spot 2 years in a row to minimise the chance of disease occurance.

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