Annual plant about with 2-2.50 m length stems, forming a dark green, clavate fruit.
The collected in autumn fruits retain their decorative value to late spring, acting attractive decorative element in the room.
Prefers a well-drained moist good rich circumneutral soil. Requires plenty of moisture in the growing season.
Prefers a warm sunny position sheltered from the wind.
It is widely cultivated in the tropics and sub-tropics for its edible fruit and for the hard wooden shell of the fruit that can be used as containers, musical instruments etc.
The plants are frost-tender annuals, they grow very rapidly and their stems can reach a length of 9 metres in the summer. A warm summer is required for good production of the fruit. British summers are often too cool for this species and obtaining a crop from outdoor-grown plants in this country is somewhat problematical. The best chance is by starting the plants off early in a warm greenhouse, growing them on fast and then planting them out as soon as possible but making sure that they are not checked by cold weather. Hand pollination of the fruits can increase fruit set.
Approximately 5-6 seeds in 1g packet.
Genus - Lagenaria
Species - Siceraria
Variety - Marenka
Common name - Calabash
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 9
Height - 2 - 2.50 m
Plant type - Annual climber
Exposure - Full sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Fertile, moist
Water requirements - High
Landscape uses - Cultivated beds, can be used as a fast-growing summer screen.
Bloom season - September
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
Soaking the seeds for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing can hasten germination
Sow spring (April - May) in a greenhouse or directly in soil outside after the last frosts in a rich soil, putting 2 - 3 seeds in a pot and thinning to the strongest plant.
Grow on fast and plant out as soon as possible after the last expected frosts, giving some protection until the plants are established and growing well.
The seed germinates best at +20-25C.
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