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Hi, has anyone grown ornamental gourds ?

I was thinking of trying to grow them for bird houses but wondered if it's too cold 

in north of England for them.

I'm trying for the second time, snakes weren't very successful last year  .

I'm trying a mix of small fruits and Russian Dolls this time. I'm in the NW and was going to treat them like courgettes, the plants look similar. Germination has been good. The one's still in the GH are looking good and one planted out a couple of weeks ago is doing well.  

It's worth a try, nothing ventured, nothing gained, plant some out and if you have a GH or similar grow some in there.

How far north are you..... 

I'm in north Manchester.

Only just ordered the seeds think i should have started them earlier.

How big are yours ? what happened to yours last year did you grow them outside ?

Aliesh...........I think you are somewhat late to sow your gourd seeds now altho you may get away with it if you have them in a greenhouse.  Depends on the summer tho

I've grown a variety of gourds - both the small mixes and also Bottle gourds both outside and in G/h and polytunnel but I am in the South West.

You need a long season of good weather to realise their full potential and to be able to ripen off sufficiently to be of use.

They were eaten by slugs and snails, outside last year..

This year they were sown on 8th April and have been in the GH since Easter. They have about 3 to 4 big leaves on them. On the packets, March through to May is the window for sowing...but we are only in the first week of June. The mixed packet says they can be harvested in October, whilst the dolls can be harvested in November and snakes picked from August.

As philippa talks from growing experience, you could be too late to sow for a harvest. I'd still try a few seeds though, see how far they get and save some seeds for next year.

The first time I tried aubergines they were sown to late...but they flowered and I gained some tips about how to grow them. The following year I sowed early and had a bumper crop.


Thanks for the advice, just going to sow 3 seeds this year see how i get on 

Ailesh.......good idea........Zoomer is right........nothing to lose by doing some now and then saving the others til next year.  I've found in general the seeds can be good for a few years if stored correctly.

I hope you'll let us know how it goes...........Good luck

Sounds a good plan, look upon it as a learning curve...happy growing.   

It's my first year growing them and it's going well so far (Lincolnshire). I started them off in April indoors and now they have been in pots outdoors since the end of May. They grow quite big and put out climbers so it's good to have something they can twine around. They are kept in a sunny spot and I hand pollinated them using a cotton bud, early in the morning when the flowers are still open.

Insects and slugs seem to keep well away from them too, which is great.


If growing outdoors, the insects should take care of the pollination...........IMHO the biggest bugbear is having a long enough season to ripen them properly.

I have Bottle Gourds and Luffas which I have dried successfully but you do need a good summer

So, best of luck

All mine are outside now.

One in the mixed variety, is a climber, the others are growing on the ground. Not in flower yet though and two planted in pots near the fence have been eaten by slugs but the one's planted through weed membrane are doing really well.


nanette evans

I have only just discovered gourds and it is now September! Can I still grow a couple in the greenhouse with heat? I live in N Ireland close to Donegal

Steve 309

'fraid not, Nanette (See how I resisted the obvious? )  There won't be enough daylight in the winter to get them to work.  But if you have a heated greenhouse you can sow them in early March and give them a long season to grow.  Some can go outside in the hope of a good summer.

And what a lovely part of the world to live in!

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