The Q&A Archives: Wilting And Harvesting Miniature Decorative Gourds

Question: My miniature decorative gourd leaves and vines are yellowing and dying. There was no harvest date on seed packet. When and how do you determine harvest time in order to dry and use and ornaments? Also, why would the leaves and vines just suddenly start to wither, turn yellow and die? And how do I dry and save for decoration?

Answer: Gourds can take up to 120 days to mature. If your vines are wilting in mid-summer, I'd suspect a problem either with the roots, or with insects invading the vines. Usually a frost will kill the vines back. When frost threatens, the gourds are harvested and dried in a protected area. When completely dry the seeds inside will rattle when you shake the gourd. You can try harvesting the gourds from your wilting vines and placing them in a dark, airy place to dry. If they are mature they will dry and you can decorate them. If not, they won't harden and your crop will be a total loss. If you grow gourds again, be sure to plant them in a different part of the garden.

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