Commonly referred to as “birdhouse gourds,” Lagenaria siceraria features large bulb-like bases and long bottle-like necks. Hollow on the inside, the gourds make a perfect perching spot for small birds like swallows and chickadees. Planting birdhouse gourds in your backyard garden will likely give you more birdhouses than you need -- but you can also use the gourds as storage containers, bowls and musical instruments.
Grow your birdhouse gourds in an area of full sun. But if the temperatures get extraordinarily hot, provide the plants with a bit of shade during the hottest hours of the afternoon. To prevent mold and decay, use soil with adequate draining. Plants do well in clay, loam or sand soil with any pH. Birdhouse gourds do grow on vines, so they will need plenty of room to sprawl; whether they sprawl across the ground or up a trellis is your decision.
Plant seeds 1/2 deep as soon as danger of frost has passed in cold hardiness zones 8a and above. All other hardiness zones, start seeds 4-6 weeks before last expected frost. Keep soil moist until germination takes place. Plants need moderate to large amounts of water throughout the growing cycle.
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