|3-8 feet (can trellis or sprawl)
Watering: Water the plants enough to keep them from wilting. If the weather is really dry, squash plants should be watered at least once a week. Sandy soils need to be watered more often than heavy clay soils.
Weeding: Keep wax gourd plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth.
Fertilizing: You may optionally add scatter 2-3 pounds of a complete fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area. Work into the soil and leave the surface smooth. For small gardens, use 2-3 tablespoons of fertilizer for each hill. Scatter the fertilizer evenly over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. work it into the top 2-3 inches of soil. When blooms first appear, you may optionally apply 2 tablespoons of fertilizer around each hill. Do not let fertilizer touch the plants. Water the plants after fertilizing.
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Larvae of the Squash vine borer are usually found inside the stem and cannot be controlled once they are inside the stem. Sevin® and Thiodan® can control for squash bugs. Pyrethrin and rotenone can control for the cucumber beetle. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.
Diseases: Wax gourd can get many diseases, especially when harvesting begins. Check the plants daily and if spots or mold appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
Within 30-40 days of planting, trailing vines will develop large yellow flowers. Between 5-8 weeks later, the fruit will develop. Immature wax gourds will be darker in color and have white fuzz all over their skin. As the fruit reaches ripeness, the fuzz will lighten and become like ash, indicating the gourd is ready for harvest. By maturity, the fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating, giving rise to the name wax gourd, and providing a long shelf life. Wax gourd is best when cut, not pulled, from the vine. Old squash vines can be composted or worked in the soil well before the Spring planting season. Wax gourd can be stored for several months and is best stored in 50F-70F temperatures rather than inside the fridge and can stay firm for several weeks under these conditions.