Plant in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Plastic mulch and fabric row covers can aid plant establishment and exclude insect pests during the seedling stage. Row covers should be removed when plants begin to flower. Birdhouse gourd can also be grown on study trellises. Sow in late spring when the soil temperature is at least 70℉ and frost danger has passed. Sow seeds ½-1” deep, 3-4’ apart.
Harvest when smooth, greenish rind turns white or starts to brown. Dry for crafting into durable bottles, birdhouses, etc.
Gourds have a large, rounded blossom end with a narrow neck and slightly bulbed stem end. Fruits grow to 14” by 12”. Vines can grow 15-35’ long
Planting Depth: ½-1 inch
Soil Temperature: 70℉
Germination: 5-13 days
Plant Spacing: 3-4 feet
Row Spacing: 3-4 feet
Maturity: 90-95 days
Soil: Fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic
Growing Habit: Vine
Sun: Full sun
Fruit Size: 12-14 inches
Birdhouse gourds have been used for years as bottles or as birdhouses to attract Purple Martins, which provide insect control for agriculture. In the Eastern US, these birds still prefer and depend on manmade birdhouses.
Connection to Extension
Birdhouse gourds are one of the heirloom seeds offered by Strawbery Banke Museum through our free seed for education program.
This planting guide was created through partnership among Strawbery Banke Museum, New Hampshire School & Youth Garden Network, New Hampshire Master Gardener Alumni Association and UNH Extension Master Gardeners.