I have Kiwanos!

Edymnion(7a)June 7, 2012

Okay, I know its not technically anything to be excited over, these things are supposed to be absurdly easy to grow (and they have been), but still, this was the weird fruit of the year I was most excited about. Been checking up on it every day since it started blooming to try and spot female flowers. Been a month of nothing but males, until today...

Looks like I had missed one on the inside of my cage, its already pollinated and fully set. Hurray, I will have at least one alien star trek fruit this year!

Possibly two, as I found this unopened female flower after a bit more checking as well.

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denninmi(8a)

Yup, there you go. They are basically just a cucumber. When I grew them about 20 years ago, I got at least a couple of bushels off of 5-6 plants. Too bad they really aren't good for too much other than as a decorative garnish. One can only garnish so many dishes.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:21PM
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shane11

Cool!! I happen to be one of the few that love kiwano. They are very refreshing to me if chilled, cut in wedges lengthwise. They remind me of lime jello though not as sweet. I can think of nothing more cooling on a hot summer day except maybe watermelon.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Edymnion(7a)

I hear they're very good when sweetened, either juiced with sugar, or tossed in the blender with sweet yogurt.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:11PM
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calik8(sunset18)

I REALLY want to grow them. I can't find plants anywhere. I got some seeds from ebay. It took forever to germinate, and then they got destroyed by a dog when they were only one inch tall. Where can I get plants?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:54PM
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denninmi(8a)

I tried to find an online source for plants for you, but didn't. Basically, they are a cucumber, and the seedlings would be pretty fragile and not something shipped too easily via mail order, although companies like Burpee do ship vegetable plants (prices are pretty outrageous, though).

I also saw how much the couple of online vendors are charging for seeds. I had to laugh at one -- 3 seeds, "RARE!!!" for a total of about $7 with shipping on an Amazon.com vendor. Yeah, they're as rare as you local supermarket. For $3, a supermarket kiwano probably has, I'm guessing, at least 500 seeds.

I'm sorry you had bad luck with your recent attempt. The seeds actually should germinate really fast, in about 3 to 5 days, if conditions are right, moist and soil temp in the mid 70's. Maybe the seed you got was old, so it lacked vigor. Maybe the germination conditions weren't quite right. I would suggest you go buy a kiwano at the grocery store and try again, they are actually super easy to grow, if you can grow a cucumber or a tomato plant you can grow a kiwano. And, if you're in one of the warmer climates, I would think you have a pretty long window of opportunity until frost, so no problem there as they actually only take about 90 days to maturity at most, possibly less.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Edymnion(7a)

I bought my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. 25 for $3.

And yeah, the plants are fairly fragile, don't think they would survive shipping very well.

And yeah, if you can find one in a grocery store (I've never seen one in any of mine though) you will be able to harvest hundreds of seeds from a single fruit. But like I said, I've never seen one in a store before, which is one reason why I'm growing them myself.

So many fruit I wish I could grow myself that I just can't...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:05PM
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denninmi(8a)

Really, not in your stores? Every grocery store produce dept. here has them all year round. I always wondered why, I can't imagine they sell very many of them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Nope, in fact the only time I've ever seen one referenced anywhere was in The Dictator, the hippy produce store manager is stacking a box of them. Other than that and a few internet articles for weird exotic fruit I have never even seen kiwanos mentioned, much less be available to buy.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:11AM
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calik8(sunset18)

I have only seen them at one store, at that was two years ago. I have called every produce manager around. Wither they never heard of it, or they think I mean something else.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Edymnion(7a)

They're rocking right along.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:44PM
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