Do Watermelons Grow on Trees? (Answered) | Garden Bench Top

Question: Do watermelons grow on trees?

Answer: It may surprise you to learn watermelons DO NOT grow on trees. In fact, watermelons grow from vines that tend to spread out across the ground in open spaces. The vines can grow up to six meters long, with each vine growing up to 2-4 fruits. So, the more vines you have, the more watermelons you can produce.

Watermelons are fascinating fruits that grow well in hot, dry regions of the world. As you can appreciate, with vines that can grow up to six meters in length, you will need a lot of space (up to 20 square feet per watermelon plant).

Keep on reading to learn more about these fruits that we all love to grow and eat.

Do Watermelons Grow on Trees

Today at the Garden Bench Top, we are getting into everything and anything that has to do with watermelons. We’ll be looking at how they grow, where they grow and curious facts about watermelons in our frequently asked questions.

Let’s begin.

About Watermelons: Everything You Need to Know

watermelon Mark Twain quote

How do Watermelons Grow?

We briefly touched on how watermelons grow in our answer to the main question above. In this section, we’ll expand a bit more on the watermelons’ growth habits, and how you can grow your very own watermelons in your home garden.

Let’s do a quick recap of what we already know:

  1. Watermelons do not grow on trees,
  2. watermelons do not grow underground, and
  3. watermelons certainly do not grow underwater.

Watermelons grow on vines. Here is a picture of a watermelon plant with large mature fruit:

watermelon plant with fruit

The watermelon plant grows in a very similar fashion to pumpkin plants. They produce long scrawling vines that spread across open spaces.

Watermelon vines can be trained to grow vertically. Many farmers like to train the vines to grow on a vegetable trellis or cage, so the fruits hang down, rather than sitting on the ground.

watermelon supported by hammock

Besides the fact that seeing rows of hanging fruits fills our hearts with joy, there are some practical applications to using this method:

  • Easier to protect the fruits from pests,
  • growing vertically brings the plants closer to their light source,
  • allows for good airflow to prevent disease,
  • the cage provides structure and support for the vines, and
  • growing vertically saves on space – meaning you can grow more watermelons in the same amount of space.

One consideration that must be taken into account when growing watermelons in a vertical fashion, is the weight of the watermelons. As the fruit ripen, you will need to support it with structures or hammock style nets.

If left unsupported, the fruits will break away from the vine under their own weight much too early to be consumed.

Check out this short video by CaliKim29 where she shows you how she plants her Sugar Baby Watermelon plants:

What does a watermelon plant look like?

Again, the watermelon vine looks very much like a pumpkin plant. They produce large lobe like leaves that have prickly hairs covering the surface. If untrained, the vines will sprawl out in the direction where the plant can receive the most sunlight.

When it comes to flowering, the watermelon vines send out brilliant yellow flowers to attract the insects for some natural pollination. Vines will produce both male and female flowers, so as bees fly from one flower to the next, they will pollinate the female flowers to produce the fruit.

watermelon flower

Frequently Asked Questions: Watermelons

Do watermelons grow underground?

Watermelons DO NOT grow underground like root vegetables, such as potatoes and turnips.

Instead, they grow above ground on vines. In general, the vines spread themselves across the ground, covering large spaces of up to 20 square feet.

The vines can be trained to climb structures, but the vines and fruits require support as the watermelons mature.

What is a Melon Tree?

It is easy to see why people think watermelons grow on trees. Melon trees do, in fact, exist. Although they may not exactly be what you initially pictured.

The name ‘melon tree’ is used to describe fruiting trees like the Papaya tree. And even though the papaya fruit does share many physical similarities with other melons, it is actually more closely associated with the berry.