The Q&A Archives: Growing Kiwano

Question: Recently I picked up a Kiwani fruit (or horned melon) at the grocery store. I was wondering about what the proper growing and cultivation conditions would be for this fruit as I saved some seeds and I am planning to give it a try next summer.
Could you also tell me more about the origin of this fruit?

Answer: This fruit (Cucumis metuliferus also called Kiwano or African Horned Melon) has only recently become available in specialty produce lines and is being grown commercially in New Zealand and California. (You may enjoy this fan club site I came across which includes some lore such as it has been around for 3000 years; another fun fact I found is that it is known for its aphrodisiac qualities.) Since it is a cucurbit I would suggest growing it as you would any other melon -- rich, warm soil, full sun, and ample water. I suspect however that it needs a very long growing season to ripen on the vine. Enjoy your melon!

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