All about the Snake Gourd
The snake gourd is native of Asia. It is a tropical plant that produces fruit. The fruit is harvested and used for food and there are also different varieties of this plant depending on where it is grown in Asia. The snake gourd is normally grown in areas that have a warmer climate and they do resemble a snake when they are fully grown.
People normally plant the snake gourd on hanging trellises. It is a vine type of plant and a strong wire mesh or wooden trellis is needed to support them. They also need to support the long curved fruits that the plant produces. The fruits are a light green color with white stripes on each side. They appear to resemble the shape of a squash but the ends of the fruit are curled and this is why it is called a snake gourd.
Every part of the plant is used in Asian cooking. The fruit is used as a vegetable dish and the leaves, shoots and tendrils are used as greens. The leaves are larger and a deep green color and they are glossy and have deep veins. The snake gourd also produces milky white flowers before the fruit appears. They attract bees into the garden area and this is a good thing. The plant needs to be heavily pollinated before it will produce the blooms or the fruit.
The snake gourd is a tropical plant and it only grows in warmer temperatures. It will not live in an area that receives freezing weather for a long period of time. So before purchasing the plant make sure your climate is right for this plant.
Assemble a metal frame or wooden structure for the numerous vines to cling to. You will want the fruit to hang upside down while it is growing so you can use a wire mesh cover for the top of the structure. The space between the mesh have to be large enough for the vines to snake in and out of and you can also use this wire mesh for the trellis sides. Align and place each snake gourd plant along the sides of the trellis and let the vines start to grow. You may have to manually help the vines along from time to time but after they get going, you will not have to be concerned with the vines.
Place the structure in direct sunlight. Plants that produce blooms and fruits need sunlight to thrive. The more sunlight this plant gets the more fruit it will produce. The good thing about this plant is that the fruit will never be scorched by the sun because it will grow under the trellis top. The leaves, vines and blooms will receive much of the sunlight and the delicate fruits will be shaded.
This plant needs plenty of water. The fruits are extremely large and since this plant only thrives in hot temperatures it should be watered frequently. Check the soil between watering and if it is dry and sandy saturate the soil immediately. It would be a good idea to thoroughly soak the soil around 3 times a week unless you are experiencing heavy rains.
Most people use the snake gourd as a vegetable dish. But others grow the plant to make ornaments. If you leave the fruit on the vine and let it sit throughout fall and into winter, it will completely dry out. The gourd should feel very light and you should also feel seeds shaking around on the bottom of the plant. You can now paint the gourd and decorate it any way you would like.