[GUIDE] How To Grow Watermelon in Pots: Where, When & How

grow watermelon in pots

If you are wondering if you can grow watermelon in pots the answer is yes you can. In this article, I’m going to share with you my experiences, and some of the tips that I’ve learned to prevent some of the frustrations I have had, and that other people normally encounter when trying to grow watermelon in pots in an indoor garden.

By the end of this article, you will know exactly how to do this, even if you only have a small space.

You can grow watermelon in pots on your patios or balconies creating a mini watermelon farm. Great fun if you love watermelon as much as I do. My easy guide to growing watermelon in pots can help you enjoy homegrown freshness year-round and enjoy watermelons all summer.

You may only have a small yard, patio, or balcony for your gardening area, so this is where the insider secrets I’ll be sharing for how to grow watermelon in pots becomes so important.

Necessary Tools and Equipment for Growing Watermelon in Pots

To successfully grow mini watermelon in pots, you will need the following tools and equipment:

Pots or containers

Choose pots or containers that are at least 10-12 inches (25-30 centimeters) deep and have a diameter of 12-18 inches (30-45 centimeters). This will provide enough space for the mini watermelon plants to grow and develop their roots.

Potting soil

Use a high-quality potting soil mix that is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Avoid heavy garden soil, as it can retain too much moisture and lead to root rot.

Mini watermelon seeds or seedlings

Purchase mini watermelon seeds or seedlings from a reputable source. Ensure they are suitable for container gardening and choose varieties that are specifically bred for compact growth.

Trellis or support

Mini watermelons can benefit from vertical growth to save space. Set up a trellis or provide stakes for the vines to climb on as they grow. This will help support the weight of the fruit and prevent the vines from sprawling all over the place.

Use these products to build your trellis as shown in the video.

Fencer Wire 16 Gauge Galvanized Welded Wire Fence

YIDIE Sturdy Metal 16mm Diameter Garden Plant Thick Stakes

Choosing the Right Watermelon Variety to Grow in Pots

Interestingly, not all watermelon varieties are equally suited to pots. The fruit of some produce will be too large for your indoor garden or the vines will try to take over your space by spreading too much.

I have done a bit of research into the best watermelon varieties that grow in pots, and I’ve given you some suggestions below. I’ve found the best small watermelon varieties to grow in pots, so you can grow and enjoy the taste of summer wherever you like.

They each have different pros and cons, so use this list to pick through them to see which one might be best suited for your specific growing conditions.

Watermelon Varieties for Pots

 1. ATVADAs’ Baby Watermelon Seeds

Pros

  • One of the best things about this brand of watermelon is that they like hot weather. Put them in the toastiest spot on your balcony and watch them grow.

Cons

  • I wish the package had more seeds.

This baby watermelon is one of my favorite choices. They are wonderful for neighborhood parties as each person can have half of a melon or if they really enjoy watermelon a whole melon.

This melon is a perfect addition for indoor gardening if you want a pot-friendly smaller version of watermelon in pots that is fun for kids to grow too. I think you would be really happy with this melon.

This one is best if you live in a hot climate.

2. Survival Garden Seeds – Sugar Baby Watermelon Seed

Packet with Instructions to Plant and Grow Little Round Watermelons in Your Home Vegetable Garden – Non-GMO Heirloom Variety

If you want a compact and space-saving variety to grow watermelon in pots, Survival Garden Seeds – Sugar Baby Watermelon Seed is another option to think about.

Pros

  • The small 6–10-pound round watermelons have a sweet flavor.
  • They fit perfectly on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
  • The vines are compact and very productive.
  • Any level of gardener beginning to advanced, would enjoy the beautiful paper packaging with instructions.

Cons

  • This melon blooms and produces melons only in the summer season.

Seeds can be planted right away or stored for growing later. The packet has instructions for saving seeds to have enough to grow yourself or to share seeds with others. Your friends and neighbors will want to be on your seed-sharing list because of how delicious this melon is. You can encourage your neighbors and friends to grow watermelon in pots too.

This variety is perfect for smaller spaces, because of its compact vines. Pick this one if your indoor gardening space is smaller.

3. Sow Right Seeds – Yellow Petite Watermelon Seeds

Non-GMO Heirloom Packet with Instructions to Plant a Home Vegetable Garden – Adaptable Quick Growing Variety – Great Gardening Gift

For a quick-growing watermelon that is great for shorter growing seasons, check this one out.

Pros

  • The fruits are round, 5-7 pounds, with green striped rind and sweet yellow flesh.
  • The yellow flesh of these watermelons is sweet and refreshing.
  • These icebox-size watermelons fit easily into your refrigerator because we know watermelon is best served chilled.

Cons

  • Sometimes the the seeds in the package you got do not grow, but he company will send you extra seeds if that happens.

I always enjoy watermelon that is cold, so we can be glad this melon easily fits in the fridge.
The fruits are round, 5–7-pound with a green striped rind and sweet yellow flesh.

This melon is a great option to grow in pots and you will have the experience of yellow watermelon instead of the usual red melon. A fun different treat that is delicious.

Pick this melon if you want to grow a yellow watermelon in pots in your indoor garden. It is sweet and flavorful.

4. Gaea’s Blessing Seeds – Sugar Baby Watermelon Seeds

These are (3.0g) Non-GMO Seeds with Easy-to-Follow Planting Instructions – Heirloom 94% Germination Rate

Pros

  • Heirloom seeds

Cons

  • Small size might not be ideal for larger families.

This is a seed that is worthwhile to add to a gardening plan for growing indoors because it is an easy size plant to grow and take care of, and the fruit is tasty with just a few seeds which is a plus when eating watermelon.

A favorite with all of my friends and neighbors too.

Pick this melon if you want a very sweet, red, firm, and crisp melon with very few small, tan-black seeds.

5. TKE Farms – Sugar Baby Watermelon Seeds for Planting

One of my favorite watermelons because of the sweet flavor. It is so easy to grow inside and always on my garden plan each year. It takes up to 80 days for it to be ready to eat and is about the size of a cantaloupe so is perfect for one or two meals.

Pick this melon if you like very sweet watermelon and one that is small in size.

Step-by-Step Process

You’ve got the right seeds and necessary tools, so it’s time to start planting. Here’s what you’ll do.

Step 1 Preparing Your Pot

Find a pot that is about 2 feet deep and 3 feet around.  that will give your watermelon enough room to grow without cramping the roots.
If the pot doesn’t have holes, you can put some small holes in the bottom to allow any extra water to drain in case you get over-ambitious in watering.
Watermelon loves heat so place your pot in a spot on your balcony or patio where your plant gets lots of sun every day (six hours). That will help your plant grow.

Step 2 Planting the Seeds

Start your watermelon in pots gardening project by soaking 2 to 3 seeds (per pot) Watermelon plants are very productive so unless you want to give many of your melons away, 2 pots would give you a generous harvest. More pots only if you want to sell some at your nearest farmers market.

Plant seeds about 1 inch deep. Use the first knuckle on your finger as a guide. Once the seedlings start to sprout, thin to the strongest plant(s).

Step 3 Support for your Vines and Fruit

As the melon begins to grow, you may need to put a shelf under your plant. Sometimes a trellis will help support the weight.

These are ideas I have used to allow the vines to climb on instead of using a trellis and the shelves allow the melons to have the support they need by giving them something to sit on. They might be options for your indoor garden as well.

Kimisty Set of 3 Metal Floating Shelves

FANTASK Round Wall Shelf, 4-Tier Wood Floating Decorative Shelf 

TIMEYARD Decorative Wall Hanging Shelf, 3 Tier Distressed Wood Jute Rope Floating Shelves

Watering and Fertilizing

Watermelons love water so regular watering will help the soil stay moist. If the top inch feels dry, give your plants a drink. Try not to get carried away though.

When the leaves start to open it is time to start to fertilize with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. I like to do that every 2 weeks.

Organic mulch is great around the base of the plant to keep weeds from growing and it keeps the soil moist.

Common Pests and Diseases and How to Counter Them

Some rascal bugs to watch for are:

Aphids

Aphids are small and sometimes hard to see. They feed on the stems of plants and that stops the plant from transporting nutrients. Watch for brown or curling leaves.  They are tiny bugs that look like soft little pears. They’re often green, but sometimes they can be other colors too. These bugs like to munch on the tops of plants, especially the new parts that are still soft.

If your plant’s top leaves are feeling sticky, that’s because the aphids left a sticky stuff called honeydew on them. The leaves might look twisted, and some might even turn yellow.

To get rid of these aphids, you can make a special bug-away spray! You just need to mix a little bit of dish soap with a quart of water. Then, spray this soapy water all over the plant, especially on the leaves, stems, and little buds. Be sure to get under the leaves too, because that’s where aphids like to hide. Do this every few days until you can’t see the aphids anymore.

Cucumber beetles

But wait, there could be another bug bugging your plants. If you see your plant’s stems getting nibbled on, leaves turning yellow, or holes appearing, you might have a problem with a bug called a cucumber beetle. One kind, the striped cucumber beetle, likes to eat plants like cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, and watermelons. The other kind, the spotted cucumber beetle, eats those plants and more!

These beetles are really small, about the size of a quarter of an inch. The striped ones have yellow bellies with black stripes, while the spotted ones have yellow bellies with black dots. They both have dark heads and antennas. Their babies, or larvae, look like little white worms with dark heads and tiny legs.

Check your plants and remove any bugs you might find. If they are hard to pick off of your plants, use yellow gloves that have petroleum jelly on them. They will stick to the jelly.

Here are several sticky traps for bugs that work well for these bugs and many others that might want to stop by your indoor garden for a snack. Both are non-toxic and very effective.

36 Pack Sticky Traps Plant Trap on Amazon.

48 Pack Sticky Traps Indoor, Plant Trap on Amazon.

If you water too generously, you might see mildew. That tells you to cut back on the water and check for good air circulation around your pots.

Harvesting Watermelons

Most watermelon plants take between 70 and 90 days for the watermelon to be ready to eat. A great way to tell is if a tendril (a spiraling growth) turns brown and becomes dry.

Tap the melon. It will sound hollow if it is ripe.

The color on the bottom side of the melon will change from white to creamy yellow when the melon is ripe. Use garden shears or a sharp knife to cut the melon off of the vine. Be sure to cut and not twist.

Storing Watermelons

Once you remove a ripe melon from the vine, it will stay good for up to two weeks when put in a cool place. Refrigerate once it is cut open (be sure to wash before cutting) and store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

I love frozen watermelon; you might enjoy that too. They are good just out of the freezer or can be put into smoothies.

Tips

Growing watermelon in pots can be a rewarding experience, but it does require careful attention to a few key details. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results, along with common mistakes to avoid:

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common ways you might do something wrong with the process, and how to avoid them:

  • Watermelon plants (even compact varieties) need space. If you can provide each midget watermelon plant with about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 centimeters) of space between each plant and train the vines to grow vertically you will have enough space for them to grow.
  • The plants need consistent moisture. Too much = waterlogged roots. Not enough = poor fruit development.
  • Plants need plenty of nutrients. Use a balanced vegetable fertilizer.
  • If harvested too early, the fruit won’t be sweet; if too late, it may be overripe. Remember to tap a melon and listen for the hollow sound.

Innovative Approaches for Growing Watermelon in Pots?

When you are out shopping pick up some vertical planters or perhaps hanging baskets as possible containers for your watermelon gardening project. See the ideas I have used above for my watermelon vines to grow on and the shelves for the fruit to sit on while maturing.

Growing watermelon in pots is a fun gardening goal that can yield deliciously rewarding results and make you the hit of all of the neighborhood parties this summer.

Don’t be put off by their vining growth habits. Get started today and enjoy your watermelon-growing journey. It will be so much fun and soon you will be enjoying the sweet, refreshing taste of home-grown watermelon in pots, a reward that will be well worth your effort.

Enjoy.

Author

  • Marji

    My great-grandfather planted and maintained a large garden when I was a small child. He grew enough to feed many of our neighbors. His love of gardening is what sparked my lifelong interest in gardening. My grandparents continued his direction, as well as my parents. It was natural to have a garden of my own and continue the process, enjoy the results, and to share with others.

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