Complete Guide to Growing Cantaloupe Plants

Complete Guide

Growing Cantaloupe

Enjoy summertime bliss with a delicious slice of ripe cantaloupe! Additionally, this heat-loving melon has a reasonably lengthy growth season, making it especially suitable for growers in the South. Here’s how to grow and maintain cantaloupes.


Cantaloupe is a melon with a tan-green rind, spiderweb-like pattern, and orange flesh. Its growing requirements are similar to honeydew and watermelons, and its taste is similar to other melons.

Cantaloupe Varieties

“Cantaloupe” is used in North America to maintain clarity, as it is not widely grown or commercially available in the US and Canada, and differs from true cantaloupe due to its rough rind.


To grow fruit, plant in a sunny location with six to eight hours of direct sunlight, use afternoon light to dry leaves, choose loamy to sandy soil, grow in raised rows, prepare with compost or old manure.

Seeds vs. Young Plants

In colder climates, it is advisable to buy cantaloupes as young plants from a nursery or start them from seed. Starting with young plants will provide you an advantage over the growing season.

Seed Starting Tips

Start cantaloupe vines indoors in colder climates four to six weeks before spring frost, ensuring the soil temperature is consistently above 60°F (16°C). In warmer climates, start direct seeding outside as soon as the soil reaches a minimum temperature of 60°F (16°C).

How to Grow

Sow seeds in hilled rows 3 feet apart, 1 inch deep, and 18 inches apart. Train vines up a structure like a trellis for limited space.

Soil Test

When vines begin growing, use standard liquid fertilizer and avoid nitrogen-heavy fertilizers as excessive nitrogen can cause foliage and reduced fruit.

Pest Control

• Use row covers to keep pests like squash bugs and vine borers at bay.


Plants require 2 inches per square foot of water, 1.5 gallons per week, in the morning, avoiding wetting leaves, and using drip irrigation for consistent, even watering.


• Retain moisture by mulching around plants.

Reducing Watering

• Watering once fruits are growing to produce sweeter melons.
• Pruning end buds off vines once fruit begins to grow.


• On the same plant, melon blooms develop separate male and female flowers.


Pollination is necessary for melon blossoms to produce fruit.

Sweeting the Fruit

• If muskmelons taste bland, spray the vines with a solution of Epsom salts and borax in 5 gallons of water.

Melons Variety

The Ambrosia variety, known for its sweet taste, matures at 85 days. In contrast, Athena produces large, 5-6 pound fruits. Hale’s Best Jumbo, featuring aromatic melons, matures at 80-90 days. Additionally, Minnesota Midget is suitable for colder regions, whereas Bush Star is ideal for limited space gardeners.


Melon ripeness is determined by green to tan or yellow rinds. Harvest when vines are dry; afterward, melons soften but do not sweeten off the vine. For storage, uncut cantaloupe can be stored for 5-6 days, while cut pieces can be refrigerated for 3 days.

Leave a comment


Product Enquiry