Giant African Bottle Gourd Seeds

I've never really considered myself the "craft-sy' type (although I do like to make and build things!) and haven't ever given much thought to growing gourds. But, if you spend just a few minutes online (I blame Pinterest!), you can find a whole world of & uses for gourds... things that go way above and beyond the "country craft" decorating style that I've always so singularly thought of with gourds.

So, I've been thinking a lot about gourds lately and all of the incredible projects that I could use them for and have decided to try my hand at growing some this summer. I'm not particularly interested in growing ornamental gourds (although never say never!), but rather am more interested in the hardshells and luffas.  I have some standard birdhouse gourd seeds as well as luffa seeds on hand, and, on a whim, I also bought some snake gourd seeds and "Giant African Water Bottle" gourd seeds (in photo above).

Giant African Water Bottle Gourds

I thought the Giant African Water Bottle gourds sounded especially unique and interesting. And, since I really like anything "unique and interesting", I ordered them on the spot -- without looking into what they are, how they grow, or anything else. I mean, when the description for the seeds starts with "The bottle gourd is one of humankind's first domesticated plants, providing food, medicine and a wide variety of utensils and musical instruments", how could I pass them up? Think of the possibilities ... I'll be growing something that I can eat, cure my ailments with, create tools from, and provide myself and any other lucky person within earshot with unending musical entertainment!

Ha Ha Ha.

Anyway, after receiving the seeds and researching them a bit more, it seems that they really can live up to their name. They are (or can be) "Giant" gourds!! Their vines can grow more than 100 feet long and the gourds themselves can get up to 2 feet wide and tall (although I think normal size is more like 18" wide x 15" tall).

Oh. My. Gosh.

I need a bunch of huge gourds around here like I need a hole in my head! Where in the world will I put them?

Or should I think about going into the drum making business?

Ha Ha Ha. I'm such a (garden) dreamer, aren't I?

We'll see... having never grown gourds before, I don't know what kind of success I'll have, but I do think it will be fun trying!

Oh, and if any of my family and friends are reading this... just think about all the fun "gourd" gifts you'll be getting from me!

Mar 15 2014
Posted in: Vegetables

Join the Conversation!

March 16, 2014

Caryl, I've sporadically gardened in the last 25 years but gourds have always been successful for me. You will have no problems! Last year I grew cannonball gourds and bushel gourds. Cannonball are about 9" round with no tapering at the stem and the bushel gourds are about 18-20" round with a small tapered stem. I need to decide which variety to try this year.


March 16, 2014

Hi Chrystal! Thanks for the words of encouragement ... I hope I get at least a few! What do you do with your gourds?

March 17, 2014

I have great intentions with my gourds! I've made a few baskets and I am going to make bird houses with the gourds from two years ago since they are really dry now and it's time to hang them. I think I am going to carve some of the new ones.


March 17, 2014

I'd love to see pictures!!

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