Cultivation of Bitter Gourd or Karela (Memordica charantia)

Cultivation of Bitter Gourd or Karela (Memordica charantia)

Botanical Name:

Memordica charantia L.

Local Name:

Karela – Hindi; Karli – Gujrati & Marathi, Paval



Bitter gourd is one of the most popular cucurbitaceous vegetable. It is grown extensively throughout India; the fruit is wormicidal and good for reheumatism.


It is a warm, season crop. Hot and moist weather is favorable for its growth and development. Low temperature in habit the germination of seeds. It grows best at temperatures between 180C and 240C.

Soil and its Preparation:

Bitter gourd can be grown in all types of soil. But loam and silty loarii soil is more suitable for its cultivation. It grows well on silty soil on river beds. The land should be well prepared.

Sowing of Seeds:

Time of Sowing:

The seed is sown from January to March for summer season crop, June-July for rainy season crop in the plains and March to June in the hills.

Seed Rate:

The seed rate is 4 to 5 kg/ha.

 Method of Sowing:

The seed is sown by dibbling method at a spacing of 120×90 cm. Generally three to four seeds are sown in a pit at 2.5 to 3.0 cm depth. The seeds are soaked in wate over night before sowing for better germination. Seed germination was enhanced by soaking the seeds for 24 hours in solution of 25 to 50 ppm GA and 25 ppm boron. In flatbed layout seeds are dibbled at the spacing 1 x 1 m.


30 to 50 cartload well decomposed FYM should be added at the time of soil preparation 50 kg N, 25 kg P/ha. Should be given ½ N and full phosphorus should be given at the time of sowing seeds and remaining half N should be given 30 days after sowing.

Intercultural Operation:

Two to three hoeing is given to keep down the weeds during the early stage of growth. The rainy season crop is usually stalked, often trained on a bower made of bamboos and sticks.


Harvesting is done when the fruits are still young and tender at every alternate day. Picking should be done carefully so that the vine may not be damaged. The fruits should not be allowed to mature on the vines. The harvested fruits may be stored for 3 to 4 days in-cool condition.


The yield is 60 to 100 quintal/ha.


There are some varieties of bitter gourd viz. Pusa Domousmi, Coimbatore, Long, Arka Harit, Long green etc.

Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia)

1. Hirkani:

Developed by selection from local germplasm and released in 1991 for western Maharashtra Fruits is dark green, 15-20 cm with prickles. Duration is 160 days. Average yield is 138 quintals per hectare. (MPKV, Rahuri)

2. Phule Green Gold:

Developed by selection from cross Green Long x Delhi Local and released in 1996. Fruits dark green, 25-30 cm long and prickled. Crop duration is 150-180 days. Average yield is 230 quintals per hectare. It is tolerant- to downy mildew. Besides it is released through State Variety Release Committee of Maharashtra. It is also notified by the Central Sub-Committee on Crop .Standards, Notification and Varietal Release at the National level. (MPKV, Rahuri)

3. Phule Priyanka:

It is a F1 hybrid released by MPKV, Rahuri, suitable for both the kharif and summer seasons. Fruits dark green, fruit surface is highly prickled. Fruit length is about 20 cm. Average yield is 200 quintals per hectare. It is tolerant to downy mildew. Responds well to bower system of training. Besides it is released through State Variety Release Committee of Maharashtra. It is also notified by the Central Sub Committee on Crop Standards. Notification and Varietal Release at National level. (MPKV, Rahuri)

4. Konkan Tara:

It gives fruit yield about 15-20 tones per hectare. Fruit possess dark green prickles, medium long and spindle shaped having good keeping quality and suitable for export purpose. It is recommended for the Konkan region (BSKKV, Dapoli).

5. Phule Ujwala:

Foliage is dark green and stem is green in colour. Average fruit weight is 84 g. Fruit length is 18 cm and diameter is. 4.5 cm. Duration is 180 days. Fruits are highly prickled. Average fruit yield is 174 quintals per hectare. (MPKV, Rahuri)

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