Kiwano (or spiny African melon) is now grown all over the world
Kiwano (Cumicus metuliferus) is an interesting tropical plant that protects the health of the eyes and skin
Kiwano is an exotic plant native to North Africa. It grows in dry and hot climates (for example central and southern Africa). It is nicknamed “Prickly African Cucumber”. It is a sweet tropical plant. The taste is a combination of kiwi, cucumber, melon, lemon and banana. It looks like a cucumber. The plant is in shades of brown, while the spines are slightly darker on top. The leaves are large, hairy and bright yellow.
Kiwan fruit is gelatinous. The fruit is green. Contains plenty of edible seeds. Kiwano is an annual plant whose stem can be up to 3 meters high.
The fruit is nutritionally rich with 92 calories. Even 16% of calories are from protein, which is rare. An average kiwan fruit has 3.5 grams of protein. Kiwano contains vitamin C (about 18% of daily intake), vitamin A (about 6% of daily intake), vitamin B6 (about 7% of daily intake), iron (about 13% of daily intake), phosphorus (about 8% of daily intake) and zinc (about 7% of daily intake). Kiwano is an excellent plant that quenches thirst because water is the largest component of the fruit tree.
Kiwano is an excellent ingredient for smoothies and drinks
It contains numerous antioxidants that help detoxify the body or remove harmful substances from the body. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation in the body.
Kiwano is a good choice for diabetics because it contains magnesium (which promotes the removal of sugar from the blood). Magnesium also helps to improve general mood.
A temperature of 26°C to 30°C is most suitable for growing kiwano
In other parts of the world, Kiwano is grown in a greenhouse or plastic gardens during the winter. The plant is resistant and tolerates lower temperatures somewhat well. However, the plant stops growing at temperatures below 16°C.
Kiwano can be planted in a large container with nutrient soil
The plant should be hoeed and additionally fed every 3 weeks. The plant should be watered regularly to be successful. Kiwano is best watered with “stagnant” water. Kiwano is grown from seed. Choose a location with plenty of sun and well-drained soil. The soil should be slightly acidic. With digging and a few centimeters of compost (or manure or the application of a balanced fertilizer from the garden), the soil should be prepared in advance before planting the kiwano.
Place the seeds directly in the soil after all danger of spring frosts has passed. Kiwano is usually best planted during April or early May. Sow 3 to 4 seeds in a hole 1.5 to 2.5 cm deep. The distance between plants is 45 cm (if you want to plant more plants at once). Watering is necessary after planting. Allow the soil to dry before watering again. Place a layer of organic mulch 3 to 4 cm thick as soon as the temperature reaches 23-24°C. This will keep moisture in the soil around the roots. This also prevents the growth of weeds.
Kiwano needs additional help for climbing (for example a pea or cucumber net). Kiwano actually succeeds better if it has a place to climb (grow in height). The fruits develop at the base of the plant. The first harvest or the first fruits appear at the end of summer during August. The fruit can grow up to 15 cm. The fruits are usually harvested in September, when the fruit turns orange from its original green color.
Kiwano can be stored at room temperature. The fruits are ripe as soon as they turn yellow-orange. Kiwano has a lot of vitamin C and minerals (potassium and iron are the most abundant). It also contains phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium and calcium.
Kiwano is a healthy and refreshing tropical plant
This fruit is effective against colds, against high blood pressure, for eye and skin health.
Cut the Kiwano into two halves. Remove the fleshy part with a spoon. Kiwano complements well with cheeses, cucumbers and tomatoes.