Growing Honeydew Melon from Seed: 2 Ways
Like cantaloupe, honeydew, the green flesh melon, tends to be another favorite fresh fruit to enjoy. Growing honeydew melon from seed may seem out there, but it’s entirely possible and easy to do!
Growing up, I never really thought about growing honeydew. My mom always grew cantaloupe and watermelons.
But, in a stroke of luck, I bought some honeydew seeds from Little Shop of Seeds during the start of the pandemic in 2020 and the rest is history!
Now that I know it’s possible, I can also share my tips on how to grow honeydew from seed in case you’d like to try it, too.
(Trust me, if your kids love fresh fruit anything like mine do, it will be WAY worth your time!)
When do you plant honeydew seeds?
Planting honeydew melon seeds is similar to how you would grow cantaloupe. Plan to start honeydew seeds indoors 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in your area. Much advice leans on direct sowing honeydew seeds outdoors, which you can do after the soil warms and all threat of frost has passed. Check your growing zone’s final frost date before doing so.
What do honeydew seedlings look like?
Honeydew seedlings look fairly similar to their cousin, cantaloupe, but the honeydew leaves are heart-shaped and slightly fuzzy and ruffled. The honeydew seedlings also have bright green cotyledons that emerge first, followed by the first true leaf, which is a smaller version of the unlobed heart with lightly serrated, or toothed, edges.
How deep should you plant honeydew seeds?
Plant honeydew melon seeds ½ inch deep in potting soil or seed starting mix.
How to Grow Honeydew from Seed
Like most seeds, honeydew seeds need soil, water, and eventually light to grow. You can plant honeydew indoors, direct sow this green melon outdoors after frost is done, or try winter sowing.
Here in this post, I will cover growing honeydew from seed both starting indoors and outside.
Growing Honeydew from Seed Indoors
Follow these steps to start honeydew from seed indoors before the last threat of frost.
- Prepare a small nursery pot, seed tray, egg carton, or other container with moist potting soil or seed starting medium.
- Poke a small hole about ½ inch deep. If using a 3 to 4” nursery pot, you can poke 2 or 3 holes. Repeat this for however many honeydew plants you would like to grow.
- Drop a honeydew seed into each hole.
- Lightly cover the seeds with soil mix.
- Spray with water again to make sure some reaches the seeds.
- Move the tray under grow lights or to a sunny window. (Once the honeydew seeds sprout, keep the grow lights close to the soil, about 3 to 4 inches above the plants, to prevent them from getting leggy.)
- Check your seeds daily to see if they need watering and to watch for signs of growth.
Don’t forget you will need to harden off the seedlings before planting directly outside. (This means help them get used to direct sunlight and the outdoor climate.)
Direct Sowing Honeydew Melon Seeds
You can direct sow honeydew seeds once the soil warms up enough. Wait until the threat of frost is gone and soil temperatures hang around 70 degrees.
Follow these steps to sow honeydew seeds directly outdoors.
- Plant honeydew seeds 1 inch deep in good soil. You can group 3 to 6 seeds together in one grouping (as long as you are willing to thin them later). Plan to keep only 3 to 4 healthy seedlings at the end.
- Cover the seeds with soil after planting.
- Water the seeds evenly.
- Check back daily to make sure the soil remains moist but not soaking wet. Watch for signs of growth.
- Consider training honeydew seedlings up a trellis or fence when they do emerge and start vining.
Planting Honeydew Melon: Growing Tips
Growing honeydew is much like growing other kinds of melons. Try these tips to help you get the most out of planting honeydew seeds at home.
- Start seeds indoors to speed up the time until harvest.
- Harden off seedlings before planting outdoors fulltime.
- Plant honeydew seeds near a fence or trellis to maximize your space.
- Thin seedlings, if necessary, when they are 1 or 2 inches tall. Instead of thinning by killing the extra seedlings, you can try to remove them and transplant them elsewhere.
- Fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer after the seedlings are several weeks old.
Are you growing honeydew from seed too? Do you have any additional tips or any questions we can answer? Feel free to get in touch in the comments – we love hearing from you!
By the way, if you like this post, you might also enjoy our post on growing cantaloupe from seed.
My seedlings are realy tall i was wondering how deep under the surface the stem can be planted?
Hi Ellinor! I haven’t tried to plant the honeydew stems themselves beneath the ground yet, but stop where it looks like the roots end and the stems begin. The best fix is to get them under some grow lights STAT if you have any available. I believe leggy melon seedlings will still grow out for you, but the sooner you add more light, the better!
I watched one film on cantaloupe seed, and he said to put the seed in water so the bad seeds will float to the top and the good seed will sink. Well, all the honey dew seeds floated! Is this different with honey dew seed vs. cantaloupe?
Also, how many days should I let the honey dew seed dry before planting ?
Hi Bill, thanks for stopping by! I have heard this trick as well but wonder if it is better suited for heavier seeds. I imagine lightweight seeds like cantaloupe, cucumber, honeydew, lettuce, etc. will probably float. Hopefully you’ll still get good germination!
Also, I would try both as an experiment – plant some seeds straight away and allow some to dry on a paper plate for 5-7 days. I cut open a cantaloupe or a honeydew earlier this year and the seeds inside were actually sprouting!