Momordica - Cultivation And Medicinal Properties. Photo

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Momordica - Cultivation And Medicinal Properties. Photo
Momordica - Cultivation And Medicinal Properties. Photo

Video: Momordica - Cultivation And Medicinal Properties. Photo

Video: Momordica - Cultivation And Medicinal Properties. Photo
Video: Tiny Wild Momordica ( Bitter Gourd) - what species? 2023, December

Momordica is a herbaceous climbing vine from the pumpkin family. It has carved leaves, fragrant flowers and extraordinary fruits, ripe - similar to exotic bright orange flowers. She has many names: Indian or yellow cucumber, crocodile cucumber, mad melon, Indian pomegranate, balsamic pear, etc. How to grow momordica in a greenhouse, on a balcony and in the open field, what kind of care it needs, and what properties are considered the most valuable, read the article.

Momordica charantia, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)
Momordica charantia, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)


  • What is Momordica like?
  • Features of growing momordica
  • Momordica care
  • The beneficial properties of momordica

What is Momordica like?

Momordica is a genus of plants in the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes about 20 species of annual or perennial vines. Momordica charantia is commonly cultivated as a crop.

Momordika is native to the tropical regions of India and Southeast Asia. Momordica differs from other pumpkin crops by its thin long stems, which can reach a height of 2 meters or more, as well as larger light green, beautifully cut leaves.

Flowering in Momordica coincides with the beginning of active shoot formation. Its flowers are dioecious, bright yellow, with a delicate aroma of jasmine, on long legs; female flowers are slightly smaller. First, male flowers appear on the plant, and then female flowers.

After pollination, the ovary immediately begins to develop rapidly. The "warty" fruits are covered with nipple-like protrusions on the outside, like crocodile skin. They have an elongated oval shape with a pointed tip 10–20 cm long and up to 7 cm in diameter. Gradually they become yellow or orange-yellow in color.

Summer residents like this plant not only because of its medicinal properties, which we will discuss a little below, but also because momordica looks very decorative during flowering and ripening. The owners of summer cottages often plant momordica along hedges and arbors.

The seeds of Momordica are red-brown in color, bizarre in shape, the size of watermelon seeds, have a thin but strong peel. When ripe, the fruit cracks in its lower part and twists into three fleshy petals. Seeds in the amount of 15-30 pieces fall from it to the ground.

Inside the fruit is a juicy dark ruby pericarp. It tastes very pleasant, it resembles a ripe persimmon, and the fruit itself tastes like pumpkin. The surface of the fruit is slightly bitter, which is why momordica is often called "bitter gourd". Many people believe that this bitterness does not spoil the taste and allows you to cook wonderful dishes from the fruits of Momordica.

Momordica charantia fruit, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)
Momordica charantia fruit, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)

Features of growing momordica

Momordica can be grown in a greenhouse, greenhouse, on a balcony and in a room on a windowsill. Basically, the plant is propagated using seeds, but the method of propagation by cuttings is also used. Some of the Momordica varieties are grown as ornamental houseplants, while others are grown as vegetable garden crops or as ornamental plants along fences and arbors.

Sowing seeds

As already noted, Momordica seeds have a fairly dense shell. However, they have a very high germination rate. They do not need special preliminary preparation, except for soaking in a weak manganese solution a day before disembarkation. Do not wait for seeds to germinate in water, by analogy with cucumber seeds, otherwise they will rot.

It is recommended to plant seeds edge-on to a depth of 1.5 cm in peat pots up to 10 cm in diameter, filled with fertile soil mixture. Immediately after planting, they must be watered with warm water, after which they must not be watered for 2-3 days.

The best period for planting seeds is late March or early April. Seedlings appear in 10-15 days at an ambient temperature not lower than + 20 ° С. The soil with seedlings must be kept in a moderately moist and warm state and the plants must be protected from drafts and sudden changes in temperature. It is recommended to fertilize the soil twice a month, alternating between organic and mineral fertilizing.

Can be propagated by Momordica and cuttings. For this, the shoots are placed in water or in a sand-peat mixture and wait for their rooting. The ambient temperature should not be lower than + 25 ° С. Finished cuttings are planted in open ground and covered with a glass jar for several days.

Outdoor transplant

When the plant reaches a height of 25 cm, it is transplanted into a larger pot. They are planted in open ground at the end of May, they do it together with a basal earthy clod. Exposure of the roots has a bad effect on the development of the plant, since its root system is poorly developed. Therefore, it is periodically necessary to add soil as it is washed out during watering.

If the site is not very warm, then the initial planting should be done in a greenhouse or under a temporary film cover. Momordica thrives in those places where crops such as potatoes, legumes, and tomatoes grew before her.

Momordica charantia
Momordica charantia

Momordica care

To obtain a good harvest of Momordica, it is recommended to avoid thickening of its crown. Up to a height of 50 cm, all side shoots must be removed; usually up to three main stems are left on the plant. Shoots above 50-70 cm are removed after the first fruit is tied. Momordica needs support for normal growth and fruiting. Usually, the support is made in the form of a vertical trellis, which adequately provides the plant with access to sunlight.

The flowering period of Momordica coincides with the period of shoot formation. The plant has male and female flowers, with male flowers appearing slightly earlier than female ones. Before fruiting, the leaves and stems of momordica cause skin burns when touched, like nettles.

In order for the plant to begin to set fruits, it is necessary to ensure pollination of the flowers. When grown outdoors, this is done with the help of insects. At home, pollen is removed from male flowers and transferred to female flowers by hand using a brush or cotton swab.

Momordica charantia, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)
Momordica charantia, or bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia)

It is recommended to harvest the fruits of Momordica on the 8-10th day after their appearance, then they do not yet have a bitter taste. It is known that frequent fruit picking stimulates more active fruiting. At the same time, if too many fruits ripen on a plant at the same time, it weakens.

As a member of the pumpkin family, momordica is similar to its relatives not only in appearance. Their diseases and pests are also the same: powdery mildew, bacteriosis, white rot, aphids. The latter appears in conditions of insufficient air humidity. Treating affected momordica plants is the same as treating cucumbers, for example.

The beneficial properties of momordica

It is known that in ancient China there is a momordiku which was allowed only to the emperor and his family members. In India, it was considered a plant of the gods, in Japan - food for long-livers. In our country, this exotic cucumber can be tasted in Korean stores. Although our gardeners believe that growing momordica on their own is much more interesting and useful.

Ripe Momordica Charantia Fruit
Ripe Momordica Charantia Fruit

It is believed that all parts of the plant are nutritious and healing - roots, leaves, seeds, flowers and fruits. Fresh young shoots and leaves of momordica go to salads and vinaigrettes, from which delicious borscht and healing soups are cooked. "Warty cucumber" is much more nutritious than peppers and eggplants.

Vitamin E contained in the plant protects the human body from premature aging, vitamin F gives vigor and strength, folic acid nourishes the bone marrow, protects against tumors. Momordica destroys bacteria and viruses, treats hypertension, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, diabetes and even leukemia. Increases immunity, relieves pain. Quickly removes excess fat, accelerates metabolism, makes your figure slim. Reduces blood cholesterol levels, cleanses blood vessels.

It seems that the miracle cucumber is subject to all ailments, including rheumatic arthritis, headaches and joint pains, burns, psoriasis, depression, furunculosis, hepatitis, prostatitis, urolithiasis, sclerosis. Momordica also treats eye diseases, improves visual acuity. It remains only to check!