I was wrong about one of our bittergourd plants, and I underestimated the tenacity of plants in general. When growing conditions are poor, they do their best to just survive long enough to reproduce. However, when the situation improves, they do their best to take over everything!
Apparently the plant had the will as well as the ability to grow stronger. The return of the rain has also helped a lot. I don’t water most of the plants any more, since Mother Nature has generously been helping in that respect. In fact, the only things I do now are occasionally add some fertiliser and check for fruits.
And since the plant is growing so well, it has been setting quite a number of fruits – decent-sized ones, too. They are more elongated and about 8cm long. Since the plant is so lush, I have to go on “bittergourd hunts”, lifting vines and leaves and checking the plant from different angles. Bittergourd fruits can be notoriously difficult to spot because the fruits are the same colour as the leaves, and of course if they’ve changed colour to yellow, it’s too late to harvest them. So it’s an enjoyable thing – to me, anyway – to search for and find the fruits (almost like an Easter egg hunt!).
If I recall correctly, this was grown from seeds from my friend Julie. I do enjoy getting seeds and cuttings from people, because when I’m harvesting fruits and veggies, or admiring the plants, I recall the people who gave us the plants and am grateful to them and for the abundance of the plants.