HORDI Crop – Thumba Karawila

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Thumba Karawila

Momordica dioica ex Roxb.Willd

Spine gourd is a demand vegetable, grows mainly in flat low lands in Sri Lanka. Although it is a vine, belongs to the bitter gourd family, it has no bitter taste and is a food that is having medicinal value for diabetes and stomach ailments.

Released Varieties

Depending on the shape of the fruit, there are different types of plants: oval, cylindrical and spherical.

Female plant varieties – Thumbika / Golika / Wisal / Kesara / Chandu

Male plant Varieties – Parakum, wishma

Hybrid: Female -Chandu, male – Wishma

Climatic requirements/ Areas suitable for cultivation

Cultivation Lowland dry zone is more suitable.


Grows well in non-loamy reddish-brown soils, it can thrive in well-drained soils rich in organic matter.

Seed requirement

Required 6000 healthy female seedlings and 1000 male seedlings in the ratio of 6: 1 per hectare and 6000 healthy female seedlings and 600 male seedlings in the ratio of 10: 1. Both fruiting and flowering vines are required for fruiting.

Land preparation

Turn the soil to a depth of 20-30 Cm and crush the pebbles. Fill 30x30x30 cm deep pits with organic manure and top soil.

Cultivation Time

It is advisable to start sowing in the Maha season – September – October and in the Yala season – March – April. If additional water facilities are available, it is advisable to plant in mid-December after the end of the heavy rains of the Maha season. Planting can be done at any time of the year if water is available.

Preparation of planting material

Seedlings can be easily obtained using stem cuttings. Stem Cuttings with 2-4 inter-nodes are suitable for planting.

When propagated by tubers, obtain tubers with a few eyes after the dormancy period of about 4 months from the previous season. Cut those tubers into about 40g pieces and plant in a sand nursery. If the seeds are sown, store the seeds obtained from the previous season under normal conditions for about 9 months and plant 4 seeds in one place and remove the other seedlings at a ratio of 6:1 – 10: 1 for hybrids use of stem cutting is recommended.


The spacing is 1.5 m between rows and 1.0 m between plants.


Fertilizer application


Kg / ha.


Kg / ha.


Kg / ha.

Basic Fertilizer7520065
after pruning the vines (3 weeks)7520065

at 4 – 8 weeks



Note 1: It is best to apply phosphorus and potassium as basic fertilizers after a soil test.

Water supply

Provide adequate water to maintain suitable soil moisture for cultivation.

Weed Control

At a young age, uproot the weeds near the seedlings and then shovel them so as not to damage the base.

Pest Management

Epilacna larvae

Disease Management

Root rot can occur at any growth stage. This is a disease caused by fungi or bacteria. It is important to maintain good drainage in the field and remove diseased vines and apply a fungicide (thiophanate methyl 85% +, thiram 35% or Carbendazim) to thoroughly wet the soil around the vines to prevent spread.

Yellow powdery spots appear on the leaves. Later these spots turn to brown color. Gray whitish fungal spores are produced on the underside of leaves. Leaves which infected by diseases, become dry up. Dissolve 12 grams of Mancozeb 64% + , Metalaxyl 18% (Ridomil) fungicide in 10 liters of water and apply to the underside of the leaves.


  • When plants initiated with seeds flowering begins at about 3 months after seeding.
  • Flowers obtained 2 months after crop establishment using plant-lets obtained from stem cuttings.


Fruit yield 6.0 – 8.0 kg per year can be obtained from one female vine. Flowering takes place from 7.00 pm Until the next day about 8.00 p.m.