5+ Tips to grow Cucamelon Flowers – Do Cucamelons need to be pollinated?
Be ready to be amazed as we bring a few tips to grow Cucamelon Flowers for your Cucamelon plant. Your garden can produce many lovely veggies, but the Cucamelon is the only one that truly merits the label “cute.” It is easy to understand why they are also known as mouse melons: The inch-long fruit has the appearance of a watermelon that a mouse would carry home from the store.
- It belongs to the larger cucumber family, the Cucamelon (Melothria scabra) is not technically a cucumber or a melon (Cucurbitaceae).
- The Cucamelon is a fast-growing, vining plant that is sensitive to frost.
- Despite being an annual in other climates, when it is typically planted in the spring, it is a perennial in tropical regions.
- Late spring to early summer sees the emergence of tiny yellow blooms, which are followed by enormous, grape-sized, striped green fruits.
- White makes up the fruit flesh. Cucamelons have a distinct crunch and flavor that is similar to cucumber but tangier.
|Cucamelon, mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, sandita
|1 ft. tall, up to 10 ft. wide
|Humusy-rich and well-drained
|Acidic (6.1 to 6.8)
Tips to grow Cucamelon Flowers
When to plant?
After the threat of frost has gone in the spring and the nightly temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, cucumbers are typically directly sown in the garden. The seeds need 10 to 14 days to germinate and sprout, and they take 60 to 70 days to mature.
Selecting a Planting Site:
Cucamelons need a sunny location and soil that drains well. Another choice is container growing. As plants begin to leaf out in the spring, make sure that no taller plants in the area will shadow the Cucamelons.
For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, Do Seeds need Fertilizer to Germinate?
Spacing, Depth, and Support:
Plant seeds approximately two feet apart, nearly half an inch deep. Even though they don’t require nearly as much room as other vine vegetables, cucumbers should nevertheless be grown on a trellis or other support structure to keep the fruit off the ground, where it can rot in humid conditions.
Because they are so delicate, the vines are easily hurt. Cucamelons can therefore be grown on a trellis, making it simpler to identify the fruit for harvesting without uprooting the vines. Cucamelons can also be supported by tomato towers, tomato trellises, or round tomato cages.
Full daylight, or at least six to eight hours of direct sunshine every day, is ideal for Cucamelons’ growth. However, in hot climes, they may prefer some midday shade because they can handle a little bit of it.
Cucamelons tend to grow in humus-rich, well-drained soil. They prefer a somewhat acidic soil pH. They also profit from the addition of organic matter to the soil, as do the majority of vegetables. So before planting, incorporate some compost into the ground, especially if the soil is infertile. Mulching aids in maintaining a uniform soil temperature and soil moisture. Mulch is another tool that can be used to inhibit weed growth. Due to their short roots, cucumbers are more likely to be harmed if you don’t need to weed around them.
Make sure your plants receive one inch of water every week, including rainfall, as Cucamelons need damp but not saturated soil. The best options for adding extra water are a soaker hose or drip irrigation, so you need to know how to use it. If you want to water a plant by hand using a hose, be careful to aim the water at the plant’s base so that it soaks into the roots.
If you must use overhead sprinklers to water, do so first thing in the morning so that the foliage has time to dry before dusk. The fungus does not develop on dry leaves; the fungus is more likely to spread through wet foliage.
Temperature and Humidity
Because they are frost-sensitive, cucumbers do best in warm, humid temperatures similar to those found in their native Central America. In soil that is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the seeds won’t grow. High humidity is preferred by these plants over dry environments.
Seedlings should be fertilized with a starter fertilizer solution, which should be a balanced fertilizer at ¼ the label strength when they are three to four weeks old. Fruiting will be encouraged with second, light fertilization in the middle of the summer.
Cucamelons use the wind and garden pollinators to self-pollinate from male and female blooms on the same plant.
Do Cucamelons Need to Be Pollinated?
Because of their size, flavor, prolific output, and superior resistance to pests and diseases compared to cucumbers, cucumbers are increasingly becoming a common addition to gardens. You might question if Cucamelons require pollination to yield fruit like cucumbers are hand pollinated do if you wish to cultivate them.
Although the male and female flowers on the same plant can pollinate each other, the Cucamelon blooms do not pollinate themselves. For Cucamelon plants to produce fruit, insects must pollinate them. Cucamelon flowers can, however, also be manually pollinated.
Do Cucamelons Self-Pollinate?
Cucamelons, as their name suggests, are related to both melons and cucumbers, and they all belong to the cucurbit family. Known for having separate female and male flowers on the same plant, cucurbits are monoecious.
Although they can “self” pollinate, unlike tomatoes and peppers, they require pollinators like bees to move the pollen from male blooms to female blossoms. Even though Cucamelons are technically self-pollinating, the individual flowers are not.
The issue comes if only male or female flowers bloom at the same time, or if there aren’t many pollinators in your garden to assist you. Fortunately, there are strategies to improve pollination efficiency and harvest size.
Ways for increasing Pollination Success:
Here are some best ways which will help to increase pollination success:
Plant More Cucamelons:
When you grow cucamelon plants the pollinators are used to go from flower to flower to collect nectar and pollen on the same plant. If you plant more cucamelon plants the more you use to get male and female flowers. The pollination process helps to get more cucamelons per plant.
I will suggest you grow at least 2 to 3 plants at a time. It is not necessary to grow them together as bees will do their part of pollination.
Attract More Pollinators to Your Garden:
Growing cucamelon plants helps in attracting beneficial insects to your gardens such as wasps and ladybugs and they are used to eat pests from your garden. The bees are the pollinators that are attracted to yellow flowers so planting cucamelon plants helps to attract the bees in large numbers. The other colors to which bees get attracted are Purple, yellow, and blue.
The most benefit behind growing cucamelon plants is they are able to attract more pollinators. A single sunflower in your garden is used to grow hundreds of tiny flowers that help in producing seeds. From the point of view of a bee, a sunflower is more like a giant pile of fresh donut holes.
Manually Pollinate Your Cucamelons:
You can also complete the pollination process but will really not recommend you to do so.
It is not so tedious process but once you start it will some time but after that it will be easy to continue and make it your morning routine. For completing the process you need to have a brush or cotton swab.
Types of Cucamelon:
Here are some different types of cucamelon plants:
Cucamelon vs. Cucumber:
- The cucamelon plants does look similar to tiny cucumber and have the same flavor.
- This is not the case a cucamelon does have a rounded shape but the cucumbers are of elongated shape.
- The cucamelon plants are smaller than cucumbers.
- If we compare the flavor of the plants they do taste the same as the cucumber.
- The harvesting of cucamelon plants needs to be done not more than one inch in diameter. Don’t let the plant grow taller as they will then become seedy and less palatable.
- You need to check for ripening of fruit every other day after completing 60 days of planting them.
- In order to protect the plant from damaging the vines, you need to cut the fruits off with the help of snips or scissors, not make them only pull off.
- You can store the cucamelons as a vegetable in your refrigerator and use them in many ways such as slicing to add to salads, chopped and added to salsa, or pickled and canned.
- You can also use them to garnish the glass.
Cucamelons, which resemble miniature watermelons in appearance, are fruits that are typically eaten fresh from the vine rather than in the kitchen. These inch-long fruits, which are a distant relative of cucumbers, do have a flavor that is somewhat tangy and cucumber-like. Cucamelons are a unique crop that may be grown easily in garden beds and containers.
Thanks for reading! Happy gardening!