Saturday, May 16, 2009

Planting Egg Gourds

Back in November, I showed you some of the egg gourds that I bought and cleaned and painted and made into ornaments. I've been patiently waiting for spring so that I could plant my own, but it was a bit heart-wrenching cutting a few gourds open to get at their seeds. I love their shapes. They're so perfect. And of course I picked the most perfect of them to open so that their offspring would be equally well-shaped.

I wasn't even completely sure what I'd find. When I shook
them, there was no sound.

But I wasn't disappointed. Inside each gourd (I opened two), there was a cluster of small pumpkin-seed shaped seeds (surprise!) encased in dried up gourd pulp (surprise!).
Egg Gourd Seeds

I counted about 120 seeds in each packet. Each one measures about 3/8" long x 1/4" at its widest point. Because gourds cross-pollinate, there's no guarantee that these seeds will have egg gourd babies, but I'm hoping they do.

Egg Gourd Seeds

So far, I'm letting them sit on wet paper towels to see how well they germinate.

Egg Gourd Seeds

I read in Gourds in the Garden, an otherwise helpful book, that seeds from gourds that have dried outside in freezing weather won't grow. That doesn't make any sense to me at all. How would plants ever propagate themselves if they had to rely on people to bring them into non-freezing weather? At any rate, since I didn't dry these egg gourds myself, I don't know if that's even an issue here.

I'll let you know!


  1. Please post pictures of your egg gourd plants. I have started some this year and most of the pics on the internet are of the eggs themselves. Thanks for the post!


  2. I had a really hard time getting them to sprout on the paper towel... usually seeds'll sprout with no trouble, but I left these for a week and a half or more and nothing. Then just as I was gonna throw them out, I noticed that a few of them had sprouted. I finally decided to plant them all in pots to see if more regular watering (and some soil) would help. And they all sprouted just fine. I have about a million. They look just like any other gourd or pumpkin sprout... pretty identical, but I'll try to take a picture and post it just the same.

  3. Does anyone have a picture of this mature plant? I have been looking for one also.

    I have the seeds but don't know if its a vine or just a plant and if it needs sun or part shade? The information online is only the gourd itself and how to use it in crafts?
    Cathy A

  4. Full sun. And the plant looks just like any other gourd plant, just smaller.

  5. Oh, yes, it's a vine! I planted some in a hill of soil mixed with horse manure and they grew up into a tree and are crawling onto the second-story roof. They also spread out in all directions on the ground. The vines on the ground send out roots, too. Some of the original vines are losing their leaves, I suspect because they are shaded out by the leaves above them. I keep thinking I hear "Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum!" coming from above.
    The flowers are big and bright yellow and the leaves are 6 - 8 inches across. There are little "eggs" hanging everywhere. It's been a hoot!

  6. just a side note to those who planted this and might have been having trouble getting them to sprout. (yes i know its been a while since a post was made but hey, i stumbled across it right?) take a pair of nail clippers and just barely nick the pointed in. just clip off the very end. every one of mine sprouted within a week and i had 25 in there. just put them outside to day so i will see how it goes. never planted gourds before. good luck to everyone!


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