Vegetable Science

Bottle Gourd Cultivation

Other Name- Loki or Geeya (Hindi)

Botanical name: Lagenaria siceraria

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Chromosome Number: 2n=22

Origin: South Africa or India

Important Points

  • Kofta, Prtha, and tooty –fruity are the most popular preparation from bottle gourd.
  • Bottle gourd is highly sensitive to photoperiod.
  • A dry shell is used for the preparation of musical instruments.
  • High temperature and high nitrogen content induce maleness in bottle gourd.
  • Bottle gourd is a Monoecious plant.
Female Flower of Bottle Gourd
Female Flower of Bottle Gourd
Female Flower of Bottle Gourd
Female Flower of Bottle Gourd
Male Flower of Bottle Gourd
Male Flower of Bottle Gourd


Male flower of Bottle Gourd
Male flower of Bottle Gourd


















Area and production

It is also commonly grown in Ethiopia, Africa, Central America, and other warmer regions of the world. It is commercially grown in a few states.

Table- State-wise Area and Production of Bottle gourd in 2018


Area (000’ hac)

Production (000’MT)







Madhya Pradesh



Uttar Pradesh



Other Stats






Source: NHB database 2018

Economic importance

  • Fruit may be long, oblong, or round depending upon the variety. The fruits contain 0.2gm protein, 2.9 gm carbohydrates, 1.0 gm fat, and 6.0 mg of vitamin C per 100g fresh weight.
  • It is good for people suffering from biliousness and indigestion.
  • Bottle gourd is a commonly grown vegetable in India. The fruits of bottle gourd can be used as a vegetable or for making sweets (e.g. halva, kheer, pedha, and burfi) and pickles.
  • A decoction made from the leaf is a very good medicine for curing jaundice. The fruit has a cooling effect; it is cardiotonic and diuretic. The pulp is good for overcoming constipation, cough, and night blindness, and as an antidote against certain poisons.
  • The dry hard shells of the fruits have been used for making a wide range of articles of common use, including bowls, bottles, containers, floats for fishing nets, and musical instruments.


1. Selection

Pusa Naveen, Arka Bahar, Pusa Summer Prolific Long, Punjab Round, Punjab Long, Pusa Summer Prolific Round, Samrat

2. Hybrids

Pusa Mangari (Pusa Summer Prolific Round and Sel. 11), Varad, Punjab Komal, NDGB-1, Pusa Meghdoot (Pusa summer prolific long and Sel.2), Gutka, Pusa Sandesh, PBOG-1, Harit,

3. Long Varieties:-

Pusa Summer Prolific Long, Pusa Meghdoot, Pusa Naveen, Punjab Komal, Kalyanpur Long Green, Samrat, Pusa Hybrid 3, Pant Shankar Lauki 1, CO 1, Azad Nutan, Navendra Rashmi, Azad Harit

4. Round Varieties:-

Pusa Summer Prolific Round, Pusa Manjari, Pusa Sandesh, Punjab Round, 


It is a warm-season crop. It cannot tolerate high cold and frost. The bottle gourd is a typical tropical plant that requires a warm and humid climate for the best growth. The optimum temperature for growth 30°-35°C day temperature and 180 – 220 C at night temperature. It is highly sensitive to photoperiod. Short days and humid climates promote femaleness.

Bottle gourd can be grown on all types of soils, but sandy loam soils with high organic matter content are considered best. Soil should be well drained and the pH between 6-7. The soil should be deep. It can be raised successfully in riverbeds.


The sowing time of bottle gourd is different for different regions and conditions. Bottle gourd is grown in summer (February – March) and rainy season (June-July). In South and central India, where winter is neither severe nor long this crop can be grown almost throughout the year.

Preparation of land

The land should be thoroughly prepared in order to get a fine tilt for the seed bed.


Various systems of sowing have been adopted depending on the season, crop, and system of cultivation. Raised beds or furrows are made at 2-3m. The sowing is done on the top of the sides of furrows and the vines are allowed to trail on the ground. The recommended spacing is 2-3m between two rows and 1.0-1.5m between two plants.

Two seeds were sown on both sides of the furrows. Finally, good and healthy seedlings per hill should be kept.

Seed Rate and Seed Treatment

The recommended seed rate is 3-6kg/ha.

Pre-sowing treatment of seeds with 600ppm of succinic acid for 12hr improves germination and seedling growth as evidenced by more leaves per seedlings. Also see soaking in water for 12-24hr improves seed germination.

Manure and Fertilizers

The doses of fertilizers depend upon the soil type, climate, and system of cultivation. Well, rotten farmyard manure at the rate of 15-20 tonnes/ha is applied to the field at the time of preparation of land.

Fertilizer recommendation in different states of India


N (kg/ha)

P (kg/ha)






Tamil Nadu








A full dose of superphosphate and potash; and half a dose of nitrogen before sowing and the remaining half a dose of nitrogen should be applied about a month later. It is better to complete all the fertilizer applications just before the fruit set.


During hot and warm weather, irrigation after every fourth or fifth day is needed to maintain proper soil moisture levels. In spring-summer crops, frequent irrigation is very essential, while in rainy-season crops, irrigation may not be necessary at all, if rainfall is well distributed between July-September.

Weed control

2 to 3 weeding are necessary to keep the crop free from weeds. Herbicides can also be used in this crop. Better weed control was obtained with Fluchloralin 2.0kg /ha and Alachlor and Butachlor 2.5kg /ha in bottle gourd.

Training and pruning

This increases yield over the untrained vine. The Bower system of training is used to get more yield. A spacing of 2.5 x 1.0m was adopted in this system. In small home gardens, bottle gourd is trailed over thatched huts and walls.

After germination of the seed, the vine is to be trailed on a bower with the help of a jute string. The auxiliary buds are to be removed weekly till the vine attains the bower and finally, the top of the vine is to be pruned 15cm below the bower allowing two auxiliary buds to grow which are later on trialed on the bower.

Use of Growth regulators

Sr. No.







Increase fruit setting


MH (Malichydrazide)


Increase fruit setting


2,4,5-Triodobenzoic acid (TIBA)


Increase fruit setting



3-4 ppm

Increase Fruit setting


MH + Nitrogen

400ppm + 100Kg/H

Increase female flowers, increase fruit set.

 Spraying the plants twice at the 2 and 4-true-leaf stage


Fruit should be picked every 3-4 days. Picking fruits at the right edible maturity stage depends upon individual kinds and varieties. Tender, soft, and hairs on the rind of fruits are harvested. Seeds should be soft if examined in the transverse section. Hence smaller fruits fetch better prices in the market. The crop is ready for harvest approximately 60 days after seed sowing, depending upon the variety and season.


The average yield of bottle gourd is 150-200 quantal/ha. However, the improved varieties/F1 hybrids yield up to 400 quantal/ha.