Bottle Gourd / Upo / Lau (Lagenaria siceraria)

Feature Image for Bottle Gourd (Lageneria) hanging on the vine

Preparing Bottle Gourd

I was introduced to this meal by my Bangladeshi friends. Take a look at how it is prepared. It’s spicy, but delicious. I’m sure further research will produce recipes that are not spicy.

Growing Bottle Gourd at Luna Hill Forest Garden

This is a fun vine to grow if you have the space. If the seeds are in the ground from the previous season (most years they will overwinter), they will start to emerge by the end of May. If not, I will start them in the first week of June to plant shortly thereafter. They are producing inby July.

I give it plenty of space and it is never enough. It can climb if it has to use it’s very capable tendrils but it appears to want to ramble — over everything. As you can see below, this is early August when I don’t spend a lot of time in the garden and it has taken off.

Bottle Gourd is an aggressive vine. It can stretch perhaps a 100 feet. Mus give it room to climb and ramble.
Bottle Gourd is an Aggressive Vine

It is a very aggressive vine but it can be kept in check if you are very diligent. One way to keep the vine in check is to harvest the tender tips. These are used in recipes due to their tenderness and ease of use. Seeds, leaves, flowers, and young stems are all edible.

Showing bottle gourd delicate growing tips that are used for cooking to tender
Bottle Gourd Vine Tender Tips Used for Cooking

The fruit of this vine can become quite large. They are also called “Bird House Gourds” for a reason. This is about the biggest you want to let it get if you want to eat it. This will provide a lot of vegetable for recipes.

Showing a good picking size for bottle gourd
Bottle Gourd Picking Size


Author: Duane Tant