How To Grow Your Own Cucamelons

sources: White Flour Farm / Homestead and Chill

Do you ever come across a photo of something that just looks too cute and fantastical to be real? That’s how I feel about the cucamelon, but this darling little fruit is indeed real! It looks like a cross between a watermelon and a cucumber, and is scientifically known as melothria scabra. The cucamelon is often also called a Mexican sour gherkin or mouse melon.

source: Gardening Know How via iStock/Paul Whorlow

A cucamelon tastes like a cucumber, but with a fresh, slightly citrus-like flavor. Each cucamelon is about the size of a grape and grows on a vine. You aren’t likely to see cucamelons in the grocery store, but you can grow your own without a ton of effort.

source: Savvy Gardening

These climbing vine plants prefer warm climates with lots of full sunlight. The cucamelon prefers a sandy soil type, and the soil needs to be well-draining. Although cucumbers require lots of water, it’s the opposite with cucamelons. These hardy plants need very little water, even in extremely dry conditions. In fact, over-watering a cucamelon is more of a threat than under-watering it.

source: Annapolis Seeds

You can start the cucamelon growing process by planting seeds in a contained growing environment like a tray or in small pots. Once the seedlings sprout, you can transfer them to your garden. Like most climbing vine plants, a cucamelon prefers having a trellis or other structure to cling to as the plant gets bigger.

source: She Eats

Once your cucamelons are about the size of large grapes, they’re ready to be plucked from the vine. Use them in salads, as a cocktail garnish, in bruschetta, or cooked up in a stir fry. You can pickle them, too! The cucamelon is so darn cute, I think I’m going to have to try growing my own this year just so I can look at them!