Don't buy bitter melon seeds

janoyanJune 4, 2010

At my first attempt to germinate bitter melon from seeds I bought a packet of it from a local grocer and another from a "reputalbe" dealer fron Canada. So far only out about $10. However my success was zero.

Then a simple thought came to me. Out of my weekly supply of fresh bitter melon I decide to make use of the seeds that I normally get rid of. I removed some very carefully so as not to nick or damage them. I cleaned and washed the seeds and without any further step I put them in the proper potting mix prepared in a shallow wooden box. Two weeks later I am now counting eight little beauties , from half to two inches tall . The secret is to keep them warm and give them warm water from a spray bottle as needed, depending where you live.

Let me have some good responses from your attempts.

Good luck


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Nice I am going to try this.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:45PM
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be careful guys,if the ones you buy at the store are hybrids then the fruit u will get from their seeds will be diffrent and maybe not as good tasting.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 4:57PM
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That's what I was wondering, if they are hybrids. Also, are the fuzzy melons hybrids?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:34AM
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nothing wrong with planting seeds from hybrids. just keep the next seeds from your best fruits. 6 generations and you will have a new variety you can name anything you want.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 1:42AM
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Do you have Bitter Melon seeds?
Do you have any other Asian/Indian veg seeds? We can exchange.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:52PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

INTERESTING. I always thought that the seeds you get from green BM are not mature. I was WRONG again. lol

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:43PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Interesting indeed, I'm surprised I missed this thread last year. The seeds were most likely something less than fully developed, and would probably have died if allowed to dry... but planted immediately, they were successful. None of the stored energy - what there was of it - was lost in storage.

The question is: what kind of bitter melon did Janovan's plants produce? Commercial BM is usually hybrid, and would produce variable results from saved seed (the F2 generation). I'm in the third year of attempting to stabilize a nice Chinese cultivar that was originally a hybrid.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:22AM
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This is true for all tropical vegetables.You may take green seeds which are hard enough from fresh fruits and sow them when temperature is above 80 deg.F.The seeds you select should not get crushed when you press the seed between index finger and your thumb.I have tried this with peppers, gourds and legumes.Temp below 80 deg. F will rot the seeds.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 9:39PM
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I have good experience from Evergreen Seeds. I have several 7 feet vines now. Hoping they will flower/fruit soon!

Here is a link that might be useful: Evergreen Seeds

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:04PM
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I got fresh seeds, just taken from the ones i cooked today. this is from china phenotype, the pale color.

I will sow few in coir pellers, and I might have about 20 seeds to to share.

I am including this in my blog.

Anyone want some?

Here is a link that might be useful: Angelina's Zone 5B Blog

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Thanks for sharing the tip, Janoyan. I'm tried this 3 days back. Hoping to see some results. Crossing the fingers:)

Like you said, I was in same boat...used up bunch of Bitter melon seed pockets from Asian stores (which is not cheap!)with no luck. (Attempts scattered over last 2 years)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 12:46PM
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archoo16(5b, MO)

I tried this twice, since last month. All my seeds rotted :'( Pretty warm here. temps from 75-80 F. Didn't work for me. Will have to try again next year. Kind of late for this year.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 2:38PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

It's utter nonsense that one should not buy bitter melon seeds. I buy my bitter melon seeds (and all other oriental vegetable seeds) through Evergreen and have not had an issue. Federal germination standards for this type of seed are 75%.

Germinating seeds with a hard coat like this can be tricky. I get best results by laying my seeds out on a moistened paper towel on a plate, then folding that paper towel over the top of the seeds. Then I cover the whole thing in plastic wrap. The paper towel must be kept moist, but not soaking.

After two days or so I start checking the seeds at least once a day. Those that have started putting out a root are planted into a seedling cell with moist potting mix. I keep these indoors at regular room temperature until they emerge, and then move them outdoors into the sun.

I didn't write down how many seeds that I started, but I didn't throw out but a few for not germinating. Ended up with 30 to 40 seedlings, which are now mostly transplanted around my south patio in the hopes of some living shade.

If transplanted directly into seedling pots, I get terrible germination. I ascribe this to not being able to carefully enough control the temperature and moisture.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:20PM
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fairdinkumseeds(10b or 11? Bundaberg QLD AUS)

Have to agree ralleia, it's not the seeds, it's the supplier.
I sell the seeds, and I later use those same seeds to grow my own plants. The key is freshness especially with Momordica species.
I rotate our bitter melon seeds every 4-6months, and I plant the next crop from the "old" stock, have been doing it for a couple years now, no dramas at all.
I just use dirt and plant them out into trellised rows, and if they didn't grow well from seeds, I wouldn't be able to sell them....
My fresh bitter melon seeds, and if you guys have anything cool that isn't in the website I do love barter.
Hit me up, make an offer, would much rather a cool new variety that I don't have than $.

    Bookmark   20 hours ago
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