Ivy gourd is a fast-growing perennial vine that grows several meters long. The leaves, root, and fruit are used to make medicine. Ivy gourd is a forceful climbing vine. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants. They usually grow singly with long tubular petals each with six lobes. Male flowers have long 6 mm filamentous stamens while female flowers have a two-lobed stigma. They bear blossoms that shaped like stars which transform into fruits. When mature they are bright red.
Scientific Name: Coccinia grandis
Common Name: Ivy gourd, scarlet gourd, and Kowai.
How to grow and maintain Ivy gourd:
The plant needs to be grown in full sun. The plant will not fruit if grown in the shade.
It prefers well-drained rich sandy soils are beast for its cultivation. Heavy clay soils, acidic and alkaline soils should be avoided. The soil pH of 6.0-6.5 results in best yield and quality of the vegetable.
Water lightly at 4-5 day interval during seedling and growing stage. Limit the water system one week before blooming. The plants should be irrigated during hot weather and care should be taken to keep the root zone sufficiently moist.
The perfect temperature range of 20°c to 32°c is best for its growth, quality and good yield.
Liberal utilization of farmyard fertilizer alongside 70 g nitrogen and 25 g each of phosphorus and potash per pot would prove to be rewarding. Compost application should be followed by loosening up the soil. Make sure that watering is done immediately after fertilizer application. If the growth of the plant is weak, the vegetable blend can be applied at frequent intervals.
Regularly this product is propagated vegetatively through stem cuttings. The stem cuttings should be semi-hardwood and about 20 cm long with a thickness of 20cm. The stem cuttings should have no less than 4 to 6 leaves. 2 or 3 cutting should be planted about deep with basin diameter of 60 cm. The distance between the basins should be around 2 meters.
The ivy gourd comes to harvesting in 3 months period. hand picking or sickle is utilized to collect the vegetable. Hand picking may harm the vine, so better utilize a little cutter to harvest the ivy gourd vegetable.
Pests and Diseases:
No major pests and diseases are known to affect this plant.