Produce > Edible Plants

Pepino Melon and Horned Melon

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I have started some horned melons off (or Kiwano melon) and just bought a pepino melon as a small plant.
They look sort of fun to grow and I have had a quick read about them - anyone tried them before?  Any Tips??

Not those varieties but in our fist growing season here I did try Charente and Water Melons.  Got 2 or 3 melons from each plant and then stopped them but they needed far too much watering and the flavour was no better than the ones in the shops and I can get cheap, tasty, juicy local grown melons from roadside stalls here.

Haven't grown them since but I do think it was worth having a go.

Pepino melons are totally perennial and they root from cuttings even easier than tomatoes, so there should be no reason you'll ever need to buy another plant - except if yours turns out to be no good...

The best pepinos are those grown from cuttings of a named clone (not just variety) that has been proved where they are common and hopefully well proved in our climate too. I used to have "Otovalo" which was productive, well-flavoured and hardy enough to overwinter in a cold greenhouse.

Unfortunately I got so used to the overwintered plants doing better than cuttings that I stopped taking cuttings and stopped growing them on through winter indoors - just before the winter of 2010/11 killed the lot.

If it isn't named as a clone it may be a seedling - which means it could be brilliant, mediocre or awful - sadly statistics lean towards mediocre and Murphy's Law favours awful.

The key issue with South American species is that our daylight hours make them produce very late - if they are a hardy type they can be left out all October, but until you're sure of that I'd grow pepinos under glass until October and then keep them somewhere they won't go below 4C. Obviously it helps if you grow them in suitable biggish pots, even if you're burying those pots in a bed for the whole summer.

It helps to take cuttings when you can so you can try different regimes without losing everything. You will have enough cuttings in the second year to try everything.

If you've got the right variety they are an easy and enjoyable fruit - but I never tasted one (even buying them in the Canaries) that could compete with a true melon for sweetness.


Thanks for that Vinlander.  I wonder how well they will do here in Portugal - hot summers but the winters can be cold and we certainly had frosts this winter even if it was one of the coldest on record. I'll take some cuttings and see I can overwinter them..

It has been unusually cold here this winter and spring but, in our unheated polytunnel, we have successfully overwintered a Meyer lemon, a limquat, a yuzu, a peach and a nectarine plus loads of half hardy fuchsias, dahlia tubers and a lemon grass.

'Appen you can do that with your horny melon.


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