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70 days to Maturity (after transplanting). Momordica charantia ’Green Skin’. Green Skin Bitter Gourd Seeds. Non-GMO, warm-season, annual, hybrid. This is an excellent, open-pollinated, Chinese bitter gourd that produces fruit 8-10 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. It has green skin with large smooth warts. The leaves and leafy shoots are also edible; recommended as a healthy food by the American Diabetic Association. Approx 195 seeds / oz.
Other Common Names: African cucumber, alligator pear, amargoso, ampalaya, balsam pear, bitter cucumber, karella, bitter melon, daun peria katak, dau peria, foo gwa yip, fu gua, fu kwa, fwa kwa, jin li zhi, karawila, karela, kaveli, kho qua, ku gua, la kho qua, lao pu tao, maha, mara, muop dang, niga uri, palia, pare, pare pahit, paria, peria, peria katak, phakha, reishi, ssunoi, or tsuru reishi.
How to Grow Green Skin Bitter Gourd
Plant outside when the risk of frost is past. Bitter gourd seeds demand temperatures of at least 65°F to germinate. For optimal results, wait until it is consistently warm before direct sowing outdoors. For improved germination rates, pre-sprout seeds indoors by soaking them in water for one day. Wrap the seeds in a damp paper towel and keep them warm (between 75-85°F). For a detailed demonstration, see our article and video below about sprouting hard gourd seeds.
Maintain the moisture in the soil throughout the growing season. Add fertilizer if needed; train to climb a vertical support for more air circulation and an easy harvest. Hand pollination is a must. To lessen the bitterness and delay the ripening process, protect the developing fruits from direct sunlight with a paper bag.
Harvesting Green Skin Bitter Gourd
Harvest this variety when it is between 5 and 10 inches long. Remove the bitter gourds from the plant before they are ripe and when they are still firm; ripening happens quickly.
These gourds can be very bitter when uncooked. To prepare it, remove the seeds and pith and then cook the slices. Bitter melons are excellent in soups and are a tasty addition to stir-fries. Try them stuffed with pork, seafood, or cooked with fermented black beans. The young shoots and leaves should be parboiled and rinsed before being cooked like greens.
Tips From Our Gardeners
“Before cooking with karella, I like to slice and salt the fruit. This draws out excess moisture. Pat dry the pieces before cooking with them.”
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