Growing Honeydew Melon Plants: A Comprehensive Manual

Growing Honeydew Melon

Alternative to Watermelons

Honeydew melons are more manageable compared to watermelons and have a sweeter, more succulent taste. They are also easier to grow. Discover how to cultivate, nurture, and harvest delicious honeydew.

Growing Honeydew Melons at Home

Those who know honeydews consider them a summertime favorite; they have firmer flesh and are sweeter than muskmelons and cantaloupes. Unfortunately, the grocery store may not offer a wide selection, and the farmer’s market in your region might not have any available (or they may have been claimed by others). Fortunately, growing them at home is simple.


While melon seedlings are occasionally available at garden centers throughout the spring, it is highly recommended to plant melon seeds from seed because these fruits are very simple to grow. You’ll have a far wider variety of honeydew types to choose from and save a lot of money. The best honeydew melon types typically sell out quickly, so get your seeds early.

Disease-Resistant Cultivars

Like many other cucurbits, honeydews are susceptible to mildews and wilts. Thankfully, disease-resistant cultivars are accessible to lessen the problem. Select types that have been specially bred to be resistant if bacterial wilts or powdery mildew are frequent concerns in your area. Ask the County Extension agent in your area or your local branch of the Master Gardeners if you’re not sure.

Optimal Growing Conditions

Honeydews require moisture but like light, slightly sandy, well-drained soil. Ideal pH neutrality is around 7.0. Since melons are heavy feeders, add a small amount of compost for fertility.

Space-Saving Techniques

Give them space to grow when planting in a sunny area of the hills. Alternatively, you can teach them to climb a trellis, but during their formation, you’ll need to provide support for the melons. Melons grown vertically save space and create a striking focal point for gardens.


Once the earth has warmed, plant honeydew melons approximately two weeks after your last frost. It is sufficient to start seedlings indoors two to three weeks prior to your last frost. You don’t want melons crawling all over your seed starting area, and trying to transplant melons that are older than four weeks can stress them out.

Ways to Grow Honeydews

Usually sown directly into the garden, honeydews can also be started indoors a few weeks prior to your last frost to give them an early start.

To cultivate honeydews:

  • In order to prepare the soil, work in some compost and create little hills that are a few inches tall and slightly larger than a dinner plant.
  • Place 3–4 seeds per hill, ½ inch deep, into the ground.
  • Set hills apart by roughly 36 inches.
  • Once the first genuine leaves appear, thin to 1-2 plants per hill. To cut them off without harming the root systems of the other plants, use scissors.

Tips: Be cautious not to damage the roots while relocating melons that are produced inside. As with other seedlings, harden them off and watch for When moving melons that are produced inside, be cautious not to damage the roots. Wait to transplant until around two weeks following your last date of frost, and harden them off similarly to other seedlings. When they are planted in the garden, they appear little, but they will quickly fill out. 

Growing Honeydews

To prevent melons from spreading, provide ample space, mulch to keep weeds down, reduce soil splash to prevent wilt diseases, keep soil moist during the young plant stage, and irrigate when the soil feels dry and warm. Avoid extra watering after softball-sized fruits appear unless vines are wilting or drought is present.


  1. The “Snow Leopard” melon is a smaller variety, typically weighing two pounds per fruit. Its peel features tiny, dark green variegations, and its flesh is delicious and white. It is not susceptible to Fusarium wilt.
  2. For gardeners in the north, “Earli-Dew” is an early-ripening cultivar with a brief growing season. It matures in about eighty days.
  3. “Full Moon” is a high-yielding hybrid melon characterized by larger, 3–4 pound fruits that are creamy white on the outside and pale green inside.
  4. “Sweet Reward” is a hybrid canary yellow fruit with enormous 5-pound fruits that have incredibly sweet flesh. It is excellent for smoothies.


Honeydews are ready to harvest when they turn a creamy white or bright yellow, are firm and heavy, and yield slightly when pressed. You need a knife to cut the stem, as they don’t “slip” from their vines until overripe. You can store honeydew melons in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze them for winter smoothies and treats.

Northern Climates

Honeydews are a refreshing summer treat and high in Vitamin C. Northern gardeners may need to start them early or use plastic mulch to warm the soil. They require pollinators for fruit sets, so row covers should be removed when flowers open. Honeydews prefer heat and require pollinators for fruit sets.


Powdery mildew, Fusarium wilt, and cucumber beetles are pests/diseases that can cause significant damage to plants and crops.

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