Friday, October 28, 2011

Germinating Cassabanana (Sicana odorifera)

    This is one interesting melon.  The fruit can reach over 60cm in length and may be black, brown, orange or deep purple.  The centre of each fruit contains a large number of seeds.  These are surrounded by fleshy melon that tastes similar to cantaloupe.  The vines themselves are vigorous perennials that grow up to 15m.  They can be grown as annuals in climates with cold winters (like mine).  They thrive on heat and may grow relatively slowly until summer comes.

    I'm planning on starting them inside for the winter, then planting them out in the spring.  In the fall I'll cut back the vines, dig them up, and bring them inside for the winter.  I have no idea if they'll survive this kind of trauma, but I figure why not try?  I expect to have fruit by fall next year.

    The seeds should be soaked for a day or less prior to sowing.  Plant them about 2cm deep and they should begin sprouting relatively quickly (within less than a week).  People recommend starting them 1 to 2 months before you plan on planting them outside.  I however will probably plant them immediately upon receiving them because that's how I roll.

    I saved my carnivorous plant for last in honour of Halloween.  It's a pitcher plant of the species Nepenthes rowanae.


  1. Wow, those things are almost intimidating. Will you be able to overwinter them in the greenhouse?

  2. Yeah those are kind of creepy looking.

  3. These are amazing!!! We tried to grow watermelon this just didn't love us :(

  4. College Gardener, they are aren't they? I hope I can overwinter. I guess as long as I get new seeds it doesn't really matter.

    Kaveh, they are creepy. I like them.

    Nantucket Daffodil, I tried to grow watermelon years ago. No luck. I planted outside in the spring. I would have had to start them months earlier for any chance of fruit.

  5. For germination, soak for 3 - 7 days. Change water every day or so. They are slow to bloom and fruit. Good luck :-) In Alberta I would germinate under grow lights starting in January or so.


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