Kajari melons grow best in hot, sunny areas

February 24, 2021

There is something inherently fun about melons, which is why they are a great crop for kids. One of the most colorful melons is the striped Kajari melon (Cucumis melo Kajari) from India. These round, two-pound melons look as though they were colored by kindergartners, highlighted with bright red-orange, light green and dark green stripes.

The best part of any melon is the taste, and these remarkable gems will not disappoint even the pickiest eater. The fragrant, pale-green flesh is very sweet, with a slightly musky taste.

Like all melons, Kajari melons grow best in hot, sunny areas in soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH near 6.0 to 6.5.

If you can't find Kajari melon seeds at your local nursery, try specialty seed companies such as Baker Creek Seeds (

You can start the seeds indoors about four weeks before your last spring frost. Be sure to harden off the plants before transplanting them into the garden.

If you want to grow Kajari melons in containers, be sure the pots are at least 20 inches deep. Also remember that any potted plants will dry out faster than plants in the garden because pots have more surface area exposed and less soil to hold moisture.

You can plant Kajari melons directly into the garden after all danger of frost has passed and the earth has heated up. Black plastic mulch will keep the heat in the soil and eliminate weeds. Mixing sand into your soil will help loosen it and let it heat up faster.

Plant the seeds in hills with four to five seeds in each hill. Sow the seeds one inch deep and two inches apart in each hill. Space the hills about three feet apart in rows at least three feet apart. To save room, you can also grow Kajari melons on a trellis.

Because Kajari melons will easily cross-pollinate with cucumbers and squash, plant them far away from other vining crops.

These are fast-growing vines, and you may get ripe melons just 70 days from planting, or even sooner if you start the seeds indoors.

Melons need about an inch or two of water every week. Cut back on watering as it gets closer to harvesting time. By cutting back on water before the melons ripen, you will get sweeter fruits with more flavor.

Kajari melons are high-yielding, with each vine producing up to nine melons. Late in the season, you can pick any unripe melons and they will continue to ripen in storage. Kajari melons are good keepers and taste great even after a few weeks in storage.

Plant Kajari melons and you will have exotically sweet melons colored like beach balls. These cartoonish fruits bring out the best in kids as well as childlike adults. And remember, if life gives you melons, you've probably got dyslexia.


  • Paul Barbano writes about gardening from his home in Rehoboth Beach. Contact him by writing to P. O. Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter