How To Grow And Care Bottle Gourd

Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) is an annual, vigorous, climbing vine with large leaves and white flowers. It had been cultivated in Asia, Europe and the Americas for thousands of years. It is also known as Opo squash, bottle squash, long Opo, long upo, calabash, Po gua, Pul Qua, and long melon (Chinese melon), yugao, and in India as lauki, dudhi, doodhi, aal or ghiya, Bhim. In Southern Italy, a similar plant is cucuzza, which grows to 3 feet long!

Follow the step-by-step guide on growing lagenaria siceraria bottle-gourd with information on its flowers, pollination, pests and diseases and fertilization.


Opo Squash or bottle gourd, sometimes called as a melon, is a squash from cucumber family (how to grow cucumber).

It is a squash with smooth skin resembling a large zucchini of yellow green colour.

Bottle gourd or lauki is low in calories and a very good source of potassium. It has many health benefits (health benefits of bottle gourd juice).


There are several shapes of lagenaria siceraria bottle gourd, namely,
Bottle Gourd Plant
Bottle Gourd Young Vine
  1.  round (called calabash)
  2.  high round,
  3.  cylindrical
  4.  bottle
  5.  long
The bottle gourd is an easy to grow at home. You can grow it in a pots or in ground starting from seeds.

Each year you have to grow a new plant as it is an annual plant. The plant grows quite quickly, very vigorously and spread to long distances.

In 75 days you will be having lots of bottle gourdsgrowing on the vine.


Bottle Gourd Growing Instructions


The following step-by-step instructions will show you how to grow and take care of your bottle gourd plant.
Shapes of Bottle Gourd
Shapes of Bottle Gourd


Lagenaria Siceraria Planting

It is easy to grow bottle gourd if you follow the guide and tips given below:
Bottle Gourd Seeds
Bottle Gourd Seeds
  1. Growing in Pot or Ground: Bottle gourd can be grown in ground in your garden or in pot. If you plant lauki in a pot, select a wide and deep pot, at least 50 cm diameter.

    If you have only small place to grow bottle gourd, you can grow it in a pot, spread the vine on trellis or roof. If you are growing it on your terrace, then spread the plant on the fencing (the outer wall on the terrace).

    Last year I sowed one seed in a pot and another in ground. While the bottle gourd in the pot produced good number of gourds, the one in ground was not very rewarding.

    The problem with bottle gourd in ground was that it grew to very long distances climbing on to a nearby high tree, from where I could not hand pollinate the bottle gourd flowers. On the other hand, the bottle gourd in the container grew to a manageable distance.
  2. Buy lagenaria siceraria gourd seeds from any garden shop or you can use the seeds prepared from last year's crop.
  3. When to Plant: Bottle gourd is a summer growing vegetable. Raise the seedlings in a 4 inch pot indoors (growing vegetables from seeds) or in a hot frosts free place (temperature at least 20 deg C) in ground by sowing 2 seeds, half inch deep. Keep the pot moist. You can soak the seeds in water overnight to speed up germination.

    In about 10 days, the seeds will germinate and the plant will emerge from the soil. Let it grow to 2-3 leaves and discard the weaker plant. (In cold regions of USA, plant the seeds in small pots and keep them inside in the hottest area of the house. Move the baby plants outside when when the danger of frost is over, may be in the mid May.)
  4. In late spring, transfer the plant to the prepared bed containing compost (composting) and manure.. Water regularly. They need plenty of water in the growing season but hate wet feet.
  5. When each main vine grows to about 6-8 feet long, cut off the growing tip. This will force the plant to produce side branches that will produce fruit much sooner, more flowers and more fruits.
  6. Spray seaweed solution or liquid fertilizer or comfrey tea fertilizer regularly every 3rd week.
The plant can grow to over 15 ft, so they need a solid support to climb by the tendrils or trellis along the stem.
Bottle Gourd Male & Female Flowers
Bottle Gourd Male & Female Flowers

I made a cross string net and long sticks between two papaya trees and guided the plant.
The leaves of the bottle gourd are up to 15 inches wide and have a velvety texture because of the fine hairs.

Bottle Gourd Flowers

After about 45 days of planting, both male and female flowers started to emerge. The plant produces white flowers, up to 4 inches in diameter.

The male and female flowers look similar, the males on long peduncles and the females on short ones. You can identify the female flower which has an ovary of the shape of the fruit.

Bottle Gourd Pollination

Sometimes your bottle gourd plant may have flowers but no fruits. This happened to my bottle gourd vine.

I was very sad to see that none of the female flowers were producing fruits,they were dropping without growing into a bottle gourd. This was due to the failure of pollination as there was no bee activity in the garden area. As there were no bees in my garden, I pollinated bottle gourd by hand.

Hand Pollination
When the flowers open, rub a soft brush first in the male flower and then in the female flower.
I also got success by just rubbing softly the inside of both the flowers together.

You could spray the vine with sugar water to attract bees.

Fertilizer For Bottle Gourd

  1. Bottle gourd needs a fertilizer high in phosphorous and potassium than nitrogen. Bottle gourds need nitrogen to grow vigorously, but excess nitrogen will encourage more leaves instead of fruit. A NPK fertilizer with ratio of 6:10:10 or 4:8:5 can be used. Add about 20 g in the soil for each plant before planting.
  2. Feed every 2 weeks with a liquid fertilizer or comfrey tea fertilizer.

Pests and Diseases

Bottle Gourd plants are quite carefree but they are attacked with same pests that plague cucumbers and pumpkins.
  1. Powdery mildew can be a problem in humid hot weather. If mildew develops, remove the affected leaves and water the roots regularly.
  2. Cold wet weather can develop grey patches on the leaves. If that happens, remove the infected leaves, and move the shoots far apart for air circulation.
  3. Fruit fly: Cover the fruit with polythene or paper bags. Use fruit fly traps as in tomatoes plants. Destroy the affected fruits.
  4. You can see white or grey bugs underneath the leaves with several tiny gold eggs and dark brown adult pest on the stems.
  5. You can see beetles inside the blossoms in the morning that you can pick by hand.

Very Long Fruit (Giant Bottle Gourd)

I wanted to grow a very long fruit, so when the gourd started to grow, I just plucked away all new female flowers. This allowed all the food and energy of the plant available to the only one fruit.

I also tied a soft poly-tape at the bottom of the fruit and hanged a small weight. This way my bottle gourd reached to a length of 1.23 m and weighing 10 kg. It could have grown even bigger had I not plucked it, if I would have decided to grow it for making seeds.

Many of my friends and neighbors had come to see this huge bottle gourd (long melon).
Very Long Bottle Gourd Grown, 1.23 m long
Very Long Bottle Gourd Grown,
1.23 m long weighing 10 kg

It was very difficult for us to consume so much so I distributed it to four of my friends.

There are some varieties like New Guinea Beans and Bhim bottle gourd which grow about 3-5 feet long.

Bottle gourd makes very healthy and tasty curries like lauki channa dal and lauki kofta curries. A popular north Indian dish is lauki channa dal curry, (channa dal and diced gourd in a semi dry spicy gravy). It can also be used to make bottle gourd halwa.

165comments

My bottle gourd vine produced a large number of small gourds, but none of them grew to an adult fruit and all fell down. What may be the reason of not producing any bottle gourds?
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The small bottle gourds on your plant were actually the female flowers. They did not grow because they were not pollinated. In the absence of bee activity in your area, you have to hand pollinate the flowers. For this, rub a small soft brush inside a male flower and then in the female flower.
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My female flowers are burning and dropping to the ground, even the newest small flowers are burning on the ground. I hand pollinate the flowers and the bottle gourd does grow, but now baby female flowers are burning and falling on the ground. Please help
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It appears that you have given too much fertilizer or your bottle gourd plant is water stressed.
If the pollination has not taken place, then also the flowers will fall although the female flowers initially grow and you think that the pollination occurred.
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Hi. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!!Last year all of the female flowers dropped off and I thought I wasnt fertilizing or watering sufficiently. I will try hand pollination. Can I use tooth brush for it? How often do I need to hand pollinate? How soon will the fruit develop after hand pollination?
Can you post a video of hand pollination?
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You should use a soft colouring brush for hand pollinate. First move the brush in the middle of the male flower and then to the middle of the female flower. You should repeat the procedure for 2-3 days. After pollination, the fruit will start growing in 3-4 days.
Sometimes, I just open a male flower and bring it closer to a female flower and lightly rub it on its middle part. One male flower can be used for a couple of female flowers. This method also pollinates.
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How often do you water the plant?
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It depends on the temperature. I water my bottle gourd plant (in ground and pot) daily. Generally, all vegetables need much water.
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My plant was growing perfectly. A couple days ago I noticed that many plant leaves were turning yellow. I water them and fertilize them regularly. I also started to see that the plant had stopped growing. It grew to about 20 feet and started to die. Then the bottle gourds grew only to a hand's length and started burning at the bottom and rotting. The leaves also look like as if someone put medicine on them and changed their color. I am really worried because my plant only gave about 35 fruit, and normally it says that one plant give from 100-200 fruit. While my two plants together only gave 35. Please help! Thank You
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1. 35 fruits in 2 plants may be on the lower side, but not bad. The bottle gourd plant can produce 100 fruits, but it depends on several factors including the seed variety, soil and weather conditions, bee activity, etc.
2. If you have added fertilizer near the main stem of the plant, or if you have fertilized your bottle gourd plant heavily, then the plant will burn and die.
3. Your plant may have finished its life.
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Thanks a lot for the hand pollination tip. The fruits are now growing!!
I noticed that some of the fruits have brown coloration towards the tip of the fruit. Is this something I need to worry and take care of?
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I think, the brown colour should not be a concern. The colour will change to green as the fruit matures.
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I have a vine that is growing 5 ft long bottle gourds. What is causing this to happen? Looks very weird. I did not do anything metioned in this article about plucking away female flowers etc. I have currently 10 dudhi hanging each 4-5 ft long
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There is some varieties of bottle gourd which produce very large fruits if they get proper growing conditions. I have also grown bottle gourds of length 4-5 ft.
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I have a Question. I would like to know that when my Bottle gourd plant finishes, should I pull the roots out and plant again next year, or should I just leave the plant, to regrow next year? Thank You
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The bottle gourd plant will not regrow. When the plant finishes, you should pull out the roots.
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i have hand pollinated bottle gourd but this month its not working ,after pollination also fruit is not growing ,earlier we have seen bud result by it ,,and also i have seen some small pest in flower is this the reason
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1. Sometimes it appears that pollination had taken place, but actually it didn't. Repeat hand pollination on each flower 2-3 days.
2. Small pests may not be the problem.
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How to save lauki seeds from fruit, I grew lauki from seed I got from a friend, the last lauki I picked had hard seeds but edible flesh
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You separate the seeds from the flesh. Eat the flesh. Wash the seeds and put in sun to dry. Store the seeds in a closed container. They will germinate in the next season. I am doing this for the last several years.
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Thanks for your quick and helpful reply , appreciate that !
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Further to my above comment, if you really want to take seeds and preserve for the next season, you should wait for the bottle gourd to over ripe on the vine. The seeds of such a gourd will be matured ones. Wash and dry them and preserve.
However, you can preserve any hard seeds that you can find while using a bottle gourd.
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I have planted one in a pot. Initially it was not growing, the nearby store have something. Then it grew up to our terrace. But even after 2 months, no signs of flowering. Should i use some fertilizer specifically containing phosphorus?? Please help
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1. Cut the growing tip of branches more than 1 m to encourage flowers.
2. Add cow manure or some other organic manure in the soil.
3. You may use bone-meal in the soil, but the above 2 steps should yield fruits.
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I see a bunch of 5-6 small buds each, everywhere on the plant. And i see many flowers all around the plant. The flowers are blooming for one day and then wilting and falling. Please advise. Which one is male flower and which one is female? And what can i do?
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1. On the female flowers, you will see a tiny bottle gourd shape beneath the flower. See the pictures of male and female flowers above.
2. Initially the male flowers will be formed which may fall off.
3. Just cut off any side branches reaching about 1 m long to encourage female flowers to form.
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Which flower actually produce fruit ?

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Thanks for the information but i want to know do i need to pluck the male flowers to pollinate female flowers
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Please read my comments of August 4, 2014
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Female flowers produce the fruits.
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My one day plant has seed intact on leaves, please let me know what to do
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Don't worry, the seed will fall down and new leaf will emerge. This is the birth of a new plant.
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You mentioned that pot needs 50cm dia. I have 30cm dia and 40cm height grow bags. Is it enough for bottle gourd ?
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actually my plant leaves were turning yellow and white spots were occuring on the leaf .so, i chopped all the leaves and some of them which were not infected i did not chopped . is it correct?
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Yes, this will work well.
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It is advisable to chopp off the infected leaves. You may spary milk solution on both sides of teh leaves. Mix 10 ml full fat milk in 1 liter water and spray.
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we planted a bottle gourd yesterday one plant one student will take care and our adviser said to all of the student that who will be first bottle gourd to bear fruit the student will receive 95 points i want in my bottle gourd to bear fruit faster than other
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When the plant grows to 1 m long, cut the growing end. This way the plant will bear more female and male flowers. Then you may hand pollinate them.
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Hi, How often cow manure should be put it in to the soil? What's the best practice? Can I use Bio-farm manure?
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Hand pollination helped. Thank you! Please tell me how to take care of gourd plants during summer
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My plant is producing lots of male flowers and very few female flowers, I have karela plant. Please advise.

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Cut all the branches which have grown to about 2-3 ft long. The new growth will have both male and female flowers.
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Lot of good information. Thank you !! My major problem is I am planting seeds since past 3 years not a single saplings sprout. I water them regularly and also soil is good as my other vegetables are growing in the same soil. But have hard luck with Dudhi plant, not sure if I am doing something wrong.

This year I had 1 seed that sprouted but next day that small plant was eaten by some bug.

Please advice.
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1.One reason for seeds not sprouting may be that the seeds are not good.
2. Soak the seeds overnight in water and then plant in the next morning. if raising seedlings in a small pot, then place the pot in a warm or morning sun postion.
I think it will help.
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Dear sir in my bottle gourd plant there are so many male flowers but not a single female till date what should i do?

Saurabh
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Cut all the branches more than 2 feet long. The new growth should have both the male and female flowers.
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I have planted Tindora in pot but when it was about 1 foot , I have tranffered it to big box but after that it just not look good . The leaves look littele down and not shiny as it was before . What shoul I do to help them ?
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My bottle gourd is not producing any female flowers. Is there any remedy for it
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Sir, I bought 2 type of thin lemon tree 2 years back. I gave a big pot and fertlise every 15 days. Yet there is no fruit/ lemon. Plrase help.


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Please post your question on lemon related page like
http://www.mykitchengarden.info/2015/04/citrus-leaf-curling.html
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I have tried growing bottle gourd in my backyard .. But the flowers just fall off without any fruit ... Is it possible that my plan is not growing any female flowers... Please help .. Thank you
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If there are no female flowers, trim all the branches more than 2 feet long. The new growth should have both the male and female flowers for pollination and fruit formation.
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Hi I seem to have many female flowers - shouldI take your advice and cut the plant at 1 metre to encourage more male flowers? Many thanks
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You may try cutting a few branches without flowers and leaving a few with female flowers. Anyway the existing female flowers will fall off without germination as there are no male flower at present.
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Hi my cucuzza plant has 1 cucuzza so far and 3 feet long but only 1 inch width. How do i get the cucuzza to increase in width? Thanks
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I think, it is a very long variety. It will grow in width also after some time.
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all little bottle gourds having red dot and dying
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Thanks for your reply. 3 of my plants already turned yellow what can i do? Also is it ok to plant pumpkin plant and cucuzza plant side by side?
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your picture shows that female flower with tiny fruit. Does it mean that since tiny fruit has developed and it doesn't require any hand pollination?
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The female flower with tiny fruit does not mean that the fruit has developed, it is actually the ovary. The female flower needs to be pollinated by bees or by hand pollination. When it is pollinated, the flower will close in a day or two.
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Hey there. This is my second year growing cucuzza. Last year i was pretty successful, however this year i noticed brown dry rot looking stems. In the last 2 or 3 three weeks it has moved up the stem. The brown dead looking stem now starts at the dirt and is about 2 to 3 feet upward. The plants have some yellowing leaves and is not yet producing large fruit. There are lots of bees around and other plants are pollinating fine. One plant has about 4 fruits on it, 2 are growing very slowly and the other 2 dont seem to be growing at all. About 4 weeks ago I gave the plants some phosphate in a granular form. There's a good chance I might have gotten some on the plant Stem. Not sure if this is the problem or what to do about it.
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My 8 plants have grown well and yielded some fruit. The last 3 weeks, the leaves towards the bottom of the plant turned yellow, then brown and died off There are NO green leaves at the bottom 6 feet of my 15-20 plants. Plenty or yellow ones. Fruit appears to grow OK. We have received plenty of rain this year, and I water often. The ground around the ground around the plant appears moist. Am I overwatering, under watering, what could be wrong?
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Yellowing leaves may be due to following reasons:
1. Older leaves can become yellow due to the aging. It is normal.
2. Deficiency of nitrogen. Feed fertilizer.
3. Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum) causes leaf surface wilting and yellowing of the leaves.
4. Powdery white spots on the undersides of leaves and yellowing leaves are due to fungal disease Powdery mildew.

Management
1. Remove the infected leaves and destry them.
2. Mulch the plant.
3. Too much water and poor drainage can encourage fungus diseases. So improve drainage.
4. Plant rotation.
5. Spray plant with neem oil spray.
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Please see my reply to the next question.
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Hi,
Both my bottle gourd and ridge gourd plants have growth well. They both are more than 6 feet long but I am yet to see a flower. 
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You may feed some liquid fertilizer high in potassium like seaweed solution or comfrey tea.
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sir how do i know when my bottle gourd is ready to eat?
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My bottle gourd is infected with squash bugs, any home remedy to get rid of those? Also I left one bottle gourd to over ripen for seeds,is it going to slowdown more fruits production.
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When your lauki grows to a sufficient size, press your one finger nail in it. if the nail easily goes into the lauki, it means it is soft and tender. At this stage you can pluck the fruit. When the lauki becomes hard for your nail to penetrate, it means it is getting over-ripe.
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1. Most of the bugs and pests can be controlled by spraying Neem oil spray.
2. For making seeds, the gourd should not be plucked until it is very ripe and drying. remove the gourd and hang it is shade. Take out the seeds and store in an air-tight bottle.
3. Yes, it may slow down the production of fruits, however, it depends on the health and size of the plant.
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Sir, Thank you very much for a very informative journal. My first experiment at growing bottle gourd is now bearing fruit however one of my plants is infested with bugs under the leaves and beetles and these have stunted the growth of that plant. I have sprayed the plant with neem baan pest repellent but it is having no effect on these bugs. I am concerned that these will start to spread to my second plant which is now fruiting. Please guide me.
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First of all remove all the infected leaves and destroyed them.
Try spraying milk solution on both sides of the leaves of your both the plants.
Mulch the plants.
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Sir.. i have grown a bottle gourd plant... the flowers are pollinated but d problem is that the fruits wont grow to more than 1 inch.. some gets spoilt and rotten and the good ones dont grow even after having sufficient soil n water supply... what should i do?
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If the fruit does not grow more than an inch, that means that the flowers are not getting pollinated. Please try hand pollination as explained above.
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sir i have grown bottle gourd plant 2 months ago. it produces only leaves n no sign of fruit plz suggest me wat to do?

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Thanks for all this information. I have an enormous gourd plant( planted it on the ground ) all of the branches are more than 1 meter long, which branch do you recommend to cut so I'll have more female flowers.
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My gourd fruit will split /Crack when they are 2 inches long, what causes that?
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Cut off the growing tips of all the branches that have grown about a meter long. This will encourage flowering.
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Cut off the growing tips of the branches which are about 1 meter long and have no female flowers.
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hi..i read all ur posts...i have grown bottle gourd in my kitchen garden( pot is as u suggested height n width).plant has grown very good but thing is buds are getting dry n falling down..buds r not blooming in to flowers ..please suggest me why and what i have to do...
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1. Probably there is too much nitrogen fertilizer in the soil. Add some cow manure in the soil and keep the soil damp.
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This article is very helpful. My mother has been able to successfully grow lauki after I had pointed her to this post. I am publishing a post on lauki halwa for my blog Andcakestoo and I am linking your article, in case some of my readers would like to grow their veggies. Great work. Thank you.
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Thanks Dr Shreyashi Ganguly. I am glad that your mother has successfully grown lauki. I am very much interested in knowing the recipe of Lauki Halwa and Cake. I also have a cooking and health related web site and would refer your recipe there.
http://www.FatFreeKitchen.com
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I have linked your site for my recipe here http://andcakestoo.com/lauki-halwa/ Thank you again for the information provided.
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Sir I have three healthy saplings of bottle gourd in one ft. pot. Six to eight leaves each.
Will they grow in it or should I transplant them. How deep their roots go so that I can know how big pot I need. Can I use 1 ft deep and 2 feet wide crates and sow al three saplings in one .
For past few days no new leaves have come . Which fertilizer should I use to increase its length. Urea or NPK
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1. You can use 1 ft deep and 2 feet wide crate for planting your gourds, only one plant in one pot in 1 ft round pot.
2. Urea is rich in nitrogen, so not good. You can use a NPK fertilizer initially, but later a fertilizer rich in potassium will be better.
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Dear Sir,
Is it okay to sow bottle gourd in the month of october, I live in Bangalore and planning to sow in my balcony garden in a pot.
Surendra
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mykitchengarden.info October 12, 2015 at 5:49 PM

It is not the correct time to sow the seeds in Bangalore in October as the winter is approaching. The best time in India is spring/early summer.
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i planing to planting bootle, gourd but i really curious my area not full sun because so many trees here. to shade its about 2 metters to get full sun i ready make trellis. and i plant luffa gourd and others. thankx for advice
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Thank you for the Good information. very helpful. I dried my seeds in the sun. How do I store them until I plant them next spring? in an air-tight plastic bag...in paper bag....in jar with lid.. in refrigerator or in the dark? please advise
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If you do not get enough direct sun light, then plant in a place which receives direct sun light for maximum time. You will be able to grow gourds but with reduced harvest.
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Place the seeds in a zip lock bag and store in a shade area.
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MY both bottle gourd and ridged gourd are having plenty flowers, but gourds after a little growth having dark patches and are not growing further. the recent leaves are also not growing in size where as initial leaves have grown large enough. I have planted them in vermicomposte and have good water drainage and are under good sunlight please advice
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Sir my bottle gourds are getting burn from bottom part what should I do? No flowers and fruits stay for a long time and it get damage.

Pria
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MyKitchenGarden.info October 20, 2015 at 8:11 AM

1. Apply a thick layer of mulch
( http://www.mykitchengarden.info/2014/03/mulch-guide.html ) at the base of the plant.
2. The flowers are not getting pollinated. Try hand pollination.
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MyKitchenGarden.info October 20, 2015 at 8:13 AM

There is no pollination of the flowers due to insufficient bee activity. Try to pollinate by hand.
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i want to grow bottle gourd on my terrace in pots. you have give plenty of information but still i have some questions.
1do transplnt is necessary?
2 i stay in mumbai, can i grow in this month. it is quite hot.
3 my terrace get sunlight for 1/2 day in the morning. does morning sun is must?
4.i dont want to use chemical fertilisers. i want to use only organic fertiliser. ir it OK.
thanks. M.M.Gupta
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1. Transplanting is not necessary. You can sow the seeds directly in a big pot.
2. You can try to grow this month.
3. Whatever sunlight you get, you place the pot there, it will be OK.
4. Chemical fertilisers are not necessary at all. You can use compost, cow manure, wood ash and seaweed solution.
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My neighbor had long bottle gourds growing up in her tree many years. This past year, everyone she gave the squash to became sick from the squash, though the seeds and plant look the same as usual. Do you think it was in the soil?

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My bottle gaurd plant is having only two branches. Leaves are also scanty. Plant started bearing both male and female flowers. I hand pollinated three female flowers but at a time only one showed good growth. Only after plucking this fruit when it was about 35 cm long did the second fruit show the signs of growth and the third fruit is waiting for its turn to grow big. Why is it so?

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It appears that your palnt is weak and not growing properly. Give some fertilizer. Suggest remove all the flowers and let the plant grow before it can bear fruits.
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Hi, my bottle gaurd plant female flower not developing they turning to brown, male flower seems good but female flower not good not developing into fruit
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It is a common problem due to the absence of bee activity in the area. The female flowers are not being pollinated. Please try pollination by hand as explained in the article and other replies.
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Thanks for the information , could you please look at my profile pic .. My plant female flowers turning brown from bottom ...I can't to pollination as the flowers didn't bloom ( not opened) they turned brown before opening ..
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I looked the brown female flower. You cannot pollinate such flowers. The reason for not blooming of flowers may be either the plant needs to grow more or excessive water. Try cutting the tip of the growing branch to encourage new growth which will bear more flowers.
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Hi. I hvae put some ant killer powder in the garden bed where my bottle gourd plant is. Can I ask if the fruit would be poisonous to eat? The fruit was not grown at the time of putting ant killer. Thanks
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I think, the fruit will be safe to eat.
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Thanks a lot. Your site is very informative and useful. Alam
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Hello sir my bottle guard has lots of fruits in it but they are turning black and dying( rotten). Please advice me what to do. Thanks
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If your gourds are small and becoming black and not growing and getting rotten, that means that the flowers are not being pollinated in the absence of bee activity in your garden. Try hand pollination as explained in the article.
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Thanks very much for sharing the manual pollination tips, i had very healthy bottle gourd creeper with many female and male flowers. The female flowers (100s of them) use to die after few days due to lack of pollination. I tried this manual method and it seems it s working i can see more than 20 gourds growing well. One question how many female flowers can a single male flower can pollinate ? I used manual method to rub male flower on female flower, Also how can we make the gourd long ?
Thanks in advance
Manohar
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It is good to know that you have been successful in hand pollinating your gourds. Yes, you can use one male flower to pollinate many female flowers, if you use a small paint brush to pollinate. You could also remove the petals of the male flower and just tap it (zatko) in the female flower. This way you can pollinate many female flowers by a single male flower.
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Hello Metha, I have sowed bottle gourd, cucumber and ladyfinger in compost bed, its been 8 days now and none of them have germinated, so today i dig up where i put the bottle gourd seeds and they were in the same condition. I thought that they will be rot by now but they are not. So I put gourd seeds in a small pot having sand. I wanted to know that whether they will germinate or not? should I wait ( if yes then how long) or should i sow new seeds? and what should I do this time if I have to sow new seeds? I have been sowing ridge gourd for almost 10 years and they do absolutely wonderful but not even once I am able to germinate cucumber or bottle gourd. Please help
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The number of days in which the seeds germinate depends on the temperature and dampness in the soil. If the temperature is 25+ deg C, the seeds may take 10 or more days to germinate. Soaking the gourd seeds in water for overnight speeds up germination.
Germinating bottle gourd and cucumber seeds should not be a problem. I generally germinate them in a small pot filled with fine soil mixed with river sand. You mix sand and garden mix in equal ratio, sow the seeds, put in sun and keep damp and wait for at least 2 weeks.
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Dear sir,

I farming botle gaurd in block soil, but plants are not spead growth? Please inform me about best results and growthing tips and pertilizer details.....Raubabu, E.Gdt
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Hello Mehta,

I live in a region where the night temperatures is around 36-45F and day time is in 60sF. Can I start seeds outdoors for Bottle Gaurd and Cucumbers or do I need to wait till the nigh temperatures raise to 50s?
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It is a bit early to grow the seeds outdoors. You can try indoors by placing the pot in a warmer place like near fridge.
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Hi! this is my first time so i have no idea in this field at all. I had a bottle gourd plant which gave me one fruit and it increased to 3 inches also. suddenly, the fruit started drying and changed to brown colour. I could see one more fruit which also dried and changed to mud brown colour. I could not understand anything. Can you please help?
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The reason is the flowers are not getting pollinated. You can try hand pollination as explained in the article and other above replies.
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Dear Sir,
My gourd fruits (the female flowers before blossom) are turning reddish- brown and rotting. I made a vertical section to examine, I found reddish brown flesh inside as well. Kindly tell possible reason. If it is due to over-watering, how to determine optimum amount of water as it is very hot summer these days.
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Hi I planted my lauki seeds ,it's been 24 days only 2 seedlings out of 8 emerged. The first one germinated about 5 days ago the tiny leaf were not healthy they looked like they are burnt , that seedling is totally dead now. the other one germinated that also a part of leaf looking like burnt . I used miracle grow organic choice potting soil ,it's very light smells like manure when I opened the bag and gets dried up fast. I started indoors soaked seeds overnight and keping it next to sliding door facing east , can you please tell me what am I doing wrong or any suggestions about sowing directly outdoors .i got seeds from Amazon from myseed.co I live in Maryland , thanks !
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Hi, i planted turai seeds in pots and two plats grew very nicely, thanks to your blog.But the issue is:
1. Now a days after growing 7-8 feets around the leaves near to root starting turning yellow then brown crushed and falling off, its going one by one up starting from near root. Please suggest if i am over watering or watering less. I water once a day in morning.
2. Other two seeds i planted in small pot and once they grew slightly(1-2 week old) i shifted to bigger pot but they died in few hours. What precautions we should take while transferring?
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Hi, i planted turai seeds in pots and two plats grew very nicely, thanks to your blog.But the issue is:
1. Now a days after growing 7-8 feets around the leaves near to root starting turning yellow then brown crushed and falling off, its going one by one up starting from near root. Please suggest if i am over watering or watering less. I water once a day in morning.
2. Other two seeds i planted in small pot and once they grew slightly(1-2 week old) i shifted to bigger pot but they died in few hours. What precautions we should take while transferring?
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Hi i planted two turai seeds in pots and they grew nicely initially. Thanks to your blog. The issue is below:
1. After growing for 6-7 feet the leaves started turning yellow and then brown crushed and falling starting from roots and then going upwards. Am i watering less or over watering plants.I water about 2/3 mug every morning. Please advice.
2. Another two seeds i potted in small pots and once they grew 5-6 inches they dried down and fell. What could be the reason because i shifted to a more sunlight area once they grew. I live in Pune which is not very hot but till 37-38 in summers now a days.
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Looks like the potting soil comtains manure which is burning the the plant. Or you are not watering properly. Leep the soil damp.
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If 2 inch below the top soil is dry, it means the plant needs watering.
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May be your lauki plants are water stressed. Put a thick layer of mulch on the soil and water regularly. During intense sun, creat shade. Do not put young plants in intense sun.
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Hello Mr. Mehta,

I am planning to grow lauki in New Bunswick, Canada.
Our growing season is quite short generally 1st week of June to 1st week of September. One of my friend gave me four lauki plants.
Wondering whether I should plant two plants together in one hill or 1 plant in one hill. Also planning to put lots of sheep manure at the panting time with slow release 12-4-8 fertilizer. After two weeks I am planning to use slow release 6-12-12 fertilizer every two weeks. Not sure what type and how much fertilizer I should use. Will really appreciate if you please comment on the planting and fertilizers mentioned above.

Thanks

Bijoy

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1. Plant them separately
2. The second fertiliser should be given when the vines have grown to a few meters and they start to flower.Do not fertize near the main stem coming out from ground. Liquid fertilizer is best. You can use fertilisers for tomatoes.
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Hi
I have been growing bottle gourd in my kitchen garden for the past 8 years, however for the last three years, the plant does bear fruit. But suddenly the entire plant dies in a matter of couple of days. The leaves wilt and the plant dies. This takes from about two to three days.
I have tried spraying with bavastin, mallethon, Rogor, but to no avail.
please advise.
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How many bottle gourd plants can be planted in a 26litre grow bag
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My vegetables become hard at an early age and are not tender. Pls help.
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It appears, the plant is water stressed. Water regularly.
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I have 3 dudhi plants that produce a lot of only male flowers. So far I have got only 2 female flowers and only one of them pollinated and is producing a dudhi. How do I get female flowers? Thanks, Niranjan
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Try cuttong the growing ends of all the branches of one plant who are about 1 meter. The new branches emerging from these ends may contain more female and male flowers
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Dear Mehta , I regularly read your insightful articles and are very helpful . I am first time gardener and live in Michigan . With your inspiration I planted the bottle gourd with seeds from MAHICO . I planted 3 seeds inside and took them outside to garden and they have fabulous growth . I have on the average 1:10 Female to Male flowers . Initially I got the first 3 fruits good large in size and afterwards - I started now seeing my female fruits after growing to finger to Feet size- becoming charcoal dark/brown starting from stem side or opposite side and ending with no growth . I have so far 12 fruit buds become like this . I have sprayed the Need Sprey last week. I used to water regularly by sprinklers every day in morning (8 min) and now I cut it off to once in 3 days . I am clueless . I wanted to attach photos but the site is not allowing . Please advise
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Dear Mehta, I found your site very informative and unique.
Every year, I get little fruit as most female flowers die, as I hadn't known due to not pollinating and also gets very long. Now I see all the female flowers have nearly burn out, and one male flower still 'alive'. Is it too late?
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It appears that the plant is infected by fungus. Cut the fruit and vine at about 6 inches below the fruit and discard the fruits. Spray with a fungicide like copper fungicide. Repeat after 2 weeks. Avoid spraying water on the leaves and stems of the plant to stop developing fungus.
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You can still try to pollinate. If no male or female flower left, then cut the growing ends of the branches. You may still get some flowers on the new growth. Good luck!
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Thanks Mehta. How to water the plant and frequency pl.
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dear sir i have bottle gourd plants the bottle gourds are developing black dark spots on the fruits and ultimately they get rotted the entire fruit is rotted what causes this
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Water on the ground near the main stem, try no to wet leaves. Wet leaves can be attacked by fungus and other diseases. In hot summer days, you need to water daily in the morning.
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The plant is diseased. remove the fruits along with 10 inches of stems and discard. Spray with some copper fungicide. Apply fungicide again after two weeks.
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Hello Sir,I read the above replies and they are extremly good.
I am trying to grow lauki in my window grill.I had so far 5 female flowers with tiny fruits which grew upto one inch,then stareted becoming brown from top end and gradually died without growing.What is the problem?Is it disease or lack of hand pollination?

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It is no disease. The lauki flowers are dying because of lack of pollination.
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Which fertilizers should be used plz name it i am growing it on my home and there is some problems when ever fruit comes it get burned and fall down also now days there are lots of white patches on leaves..!
Plz help and name the fertilizer to be used and how to use it..!!
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You apply cow manure around the plant. For the treatment of white patches, make a solution of 10% milk (add 10 ml milk in 1 liter water) and spray on both the sides of leaves. Fruits are falling, may be because they are not being pollinated.
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How do I tell when it is ripe
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The fruit is firm and you can slightly push your finger nails. The fruit will start turning yellowish when it begins to ripen.
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Can you please let me know where i can find or prepare Neem Oil Spray.
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My bottle guard is infeted with white and brown color small insects. Also There are numerous ants on the vine. Will neem oil spray work on it. If yes how to prepare it. If No, What else can save the vine.
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Neem oil spray should work. Mix about 1 ml neem oil in 1 liter water and spray. If you cannot find neem oil, get some neem tree leaves and boil them in water. Dilute the solution and spray.
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I tried neem leaves soltion that you mentioned and spayed it three time on gap of two days, it controlled somewhat but problem still persist, now the vine main body start to grey out in some potion due to pests.
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Do not spray the neem oil for 10 days and watch the plant. It may recover, I hope so.
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Dear Sir my problem is on my bottle gourd there is some kind of brown sticky thing and green insect on leaves.
Kindly suggest me what to do
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You can do 2 things. First spray both the sides of the leaves with neem spray. After 3 days spray a milk solution on both sides of the leaves. To make these sprays, read on the above. answers. Repeat after every 2 weeks.
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thanks a lot sir already did neem spray now after 3 days will do a milk spray .. thanks a lot sir :)
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How to determine that the problem of rotting of fruits of bottle gourd are due to bad pollination, calcium deficiency or due some disease like phytophthora or by insect


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Sir, I see many green Worms eating the new leaves and flower buds. Also the small fruits that are coming up have getting brown or red patches. Can you please suggest any solution.
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Spray with neem oil spray (read above comments for making neem oil spray). You could also flush out the bugs with a very dilute solution of detergent soap.
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sir, i have planted some okra plants (ladyfingers) and i wanted to know why the plants which are only 5 to 7 inches are already bearing its fruits? What should I do so that the plants grow taller? Thanks in advance.

Sat
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Remove all the flowers and fruits. Let the plants grow. i can't say the reason for early flowering, however, if you have planted very late in the season, then the plants can produce fruits quickly.
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