It is really nice to see that there are lots of ampalaya fruits growing on the ampalaya plant. The fruits are hanging on the vine. Their green color skin is lovely even though its not smooth. They are bitter in taste but very nutritious because it contains vitamins and minerals. Its really helpful to know how to care for ampalaya plant (bitter gourd).
How To Care For Ampalaya Plant? (Bitter Gourd)
Enough Sunlight Is Needed
Grow the ampalaya plant (bitter gourd) in a place where it can gets enough light. The light coming from the sun helps them to make their food. Atleast 6 hours of direct sunlight is enough for them to make their food. Less than 6 hours is not great because it will affects their growth. They might grow poor when there is lack of sunlight.
Before growing ampalaya plant, finding a great spot is needed. Look for a place where sunlight is abundant. Avoid those place that have lots of trees nearby. Big trees tends to block sunlight because they have long branches and lots of leaves. They are creating a shade under the tree and because of that the plants cannot receive light.
Why direct sunlight of atleast 6 hours is needed by ampalaya (bitter gourd)? The six hours length of direct sunlight is enough for them to make their foods. The sunlight hits the leaves and the leaves converts it into sugar under the photosynthesis process. The more sunlight it gets, the more foods it can create and less than six hours of sunlight is not enough for them to produce foods. They need to get enough sunlight on a daily basis. The plant can also grow in partial shade but it will not grow in a full potential.
The ampalaya plant needs trellis. The trellis helps and support their vines from crawling on the ground. Some vines grow well on the ground without trellis or support but its different on the ampalaya plant. Placing some support for the plant will make the fruits safe and free from damage. Also they will grows and thrives well when they have support system.
When the ampalaya plant (bitter gourd) started to produce flowers, they are in safe place. The trellis place them in higher area where the animals cannot reach. Some animals like chicken can destroy the flowers if they are on the ground. Chicken loves scratching the ground to find their foods to eat like worms. Not just chicken but some other animals like ducks can destroy the flowers if they are on the ground, so making trellis helps to make them safer.
When the ampalaya flowers become fruits, the trellis is very useful in that time. Its because the fruits are also in the higher area and animals cannot reach and damage them. They have a great potential to grow and becomes bigger. Not all flowers will turn into fruits which is normal, but some of those flowers that turns into fruits have a big potential for them to grow bigger in size.
Fruit fly is one of the most destructive pest of ampalaya. They lay their eggs on the fruit. Once the eggs hatched, the maggots damage the fruit. It becomes deformed and change its color to yellowish. The flesh inside the fruits rotten and becomes not consumable. Choosing varieties that are tolerant to fruit fly is the best way to do or applying insecticides to get rid of them will work.
Aphids can also be a problem of ampalaya. It can cause curling of leaves and makes vines shorter. They can multiple fast and if not controlled it can be a problem. Pesticides can help to control aphids.
There are other pests that might attack the ampalaya and the best thing to do is control them as early as possible. Letting the pest stays on the plant for so long can cause lots of damage. Its important to make the plant safe and pest-free. The beginners should know how to care for ampalaya plant (bitter gourd).
Like pests, diseases are also causing a problem for ampalaya. Some of the diseases of ampalaya are Anthracnose, downy mildew, powdery mildew, angular leaf spot, bacterial blight, etc. They have their own characteristics and parts that they damage. Bacterias and fungus are usually causing diseases on the plant. The best way to control them is by applying fungicides. It will work to get rid them and prevent further damage. Knowing how to care for ampalaya (bitter gourd) is important.
Water is also very important for the ampalaya. They need water to grow well. It needs them to be refresh especially during the hot weather season. High temperature can cause drying of the soil and applying water supports water for the plants. It will makes the leaves green, flowers and fruits will becomes healthy.
During the rainy season, watering the plant is not needed. Water from the rainfall is enough for them to sustain their growth. Watering them just after the rainfall is also not good. If rainfall is abundant for a little bit long time, watering is not needed. You need to stop watering if there is rain. Adding more water during that time will cause yellowing of leaves and might drowned the plant.
Young plants need water regularly to help them established. When the plant is established their roots are growing bigger and spreads well. Older plant also needs water because they are going to start producing flowers and sooner fruits. The water helps to produce more flowers and healthy bigger size fruits.
The nutrients is important matters for the plant to grows well. It improves the leaves, roots, vines, flower and fruits. Rich soil are abundant to nutrients. The nutrients can be from the decay organic matters like leaves, grasses, woods, etc. But it can also be improve by applying fertilizer.
Organic fertilizer is a good fertilizer to add to the soil. Since they are organic, they have no chemicals. They are eco-friendly and will not cause any harm to the plants, animals and people. The environment will be safer when using organic fertilizer.
There are also inorganic fertilizer. They are chemicals and can be use to the plant. Fertilizer can helps the plant depends upon on its uses. Some fertilizers helps the plant to produce more green leaves, some helps to produce more flowers and fruits.
Those are some informations on how to care for ampalaya plant (bitter gourd). They need water, sunlight and fertilizer to improves their growth. It is also to make the plant free from pests and diseases.