In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Momordica plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.
The Momordica plant genus contains half hardy perennial vines that may reach 2.4 to 3 m (8 to 10 feet) in height.
They are often grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.
They have lobed leaves and bloom with white or yellow flowers in the summer; this is followed by fruits in the autumn.
Some common names include Balsam Pear and Balsam Apple. Latin names include Momordica charantia, Momordica cochinchinensis and Momordica dioica.
Unless you live in a warm area it is best to start growing Balsam Pear, Bitter Melon, and other Momordica Plants from seed indoors.
They should be started about six weeks before the last frost is expected.
The seeds should be sown at about 3 mm (1/8 inch) deep, into a moist and rich soil.
It should take around two or three weeks for the seeds of Balsam pear to germinate at 18 to 24 degrees (64 to 75°F).
Once ready, transplant the Momordica into a sunny part of the garden. Space the plants at about 25 cm (10 inches; small) to 60 cm (2 feet; large species) apart.
It is fairly easy to maintain Balsam pear. They are vines, so will require a trellis or similar for support.
When the weather is very dry, provide frequent watering. They should be fed every now and then. It is best to propagate Momordica plant species from seed.
The Momordica genus contains about 60 species, the most well-known of which is the Bitter melon.
Momordica plants are generally grown for their edible fruits rather than for ornamental purposes, but their distinctive fruits and vigorous vines can add interest to a garden.
Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) is often grown for its edible, albeit bitter, fruit. It's popular in Asian and African cuisines.
Momordica plants are not typically grown for their fragrance. The focus is usually on their unusual fruits.
Momordica prefers full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. It requires a warm climate and is often grown as an annual in cooler regions.
Momordica charantia can become invasive in some tropical and subtropical areas, such as parts of Florida.
Momordica can be removed by uprooting the plant. Be careful to remove all seeds, as they can germinate and establish new plants.
Momordica is a genus in the Cucurbitaceae family. Known for their ornamental and edible qualities, the most well-known species is Momordica charantia, or bitter melon. The plant produces distinctive fruits that are used in various cuisines around the world.
For best growth, plant Momordica in a location with full sun and well-drained soil. They should be grown in the warmer months and require regular watering. With their striking foliage and unusual fruits, they can add an exotic touch to the garden.