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Sun Melon Cultivation in India: A Comprehensive Guide

Sun melon cultivation in India offers a sweet and promising opportunity with its adaptable nature and high market demand, provided you follow proper guidelines.

Shivangi Rai
Sun melons are rich in vitamins A and C, making them a nutritious choice for consumers. (Image Courtesy- Freepik)
Sun melons are rich in vitamins A and C, making them a nutritious choice for consumers. (Image Courtesy- Freepik)

Sun melon, also known as "Kajri" in India, is a delightful and refreshing fruit that's gaining popularity among both farmers and consumers.

This tropical fruit is not only delicious but also a promising crop for cultivation in India due to its adaptability to various climates and high market demand.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to sun melon cultivation in India.

What is Sun Melon?

Sun melon (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus) is a type of muskmelon, characterized by its vibrant yellow-orange flesh and sweet, aromatic flavour. The fruit is typically round or oval-shaped and has a netted skin that turns yellow when ripe. Sun melons are rich in vitamins A and C, making them a nutritious choice for consumers. This fruit is commonly consumed fresh, in salads, or as a refreshing snack.

Climate and Soil Requirements

  1. Climate: Sun melons thrive in warm and sunny climates. They require temperatures between 25°C to 35°C for optimal growth. Avoid frost-prone areas, as frost can damage the plants. Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

  2. Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil is ideal for sun melon cultivation. The soil should have a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Prior to planting, prepare the soil by adding organic matter like compost to improve its fertility and water retention capacity.

Varieties of Sun Melon

Several sun melon varieties are suitable for cultivation in India:

  1. Sona: Known for its sweet taste and high yield, Sona sun melon is a popular choice among farmers.

  2. Golden Beauty: This variety is prized for its golden-yellow flesh and excellent flavour.

  3. Golden King: Golden King sun melons are large and have a sweet, juicy taste.

  4. Sunrise: Sunrise sun melons are early-maturing, making them a good choice for a quicker harvest.


Sun melons are typically grown from seeds. Here's how to propagate them:

  1. Seed Selection: Choose high-quality seeds from a reputable source. It's best to use hybrid seeds for better yield and disease resistance.

  2. Seedling Preparation: Start seeds indoors in biodegradable pots or seed trays. Plant the seeds at a depth of 1 cm. Transplant the seedlings to the field when they have at least two true leaves and the threat of frost has passed.

Planting and Spacing

  1. Row Spacing: Plant sun melons in rows with a spacing of 6 to 8 feet between rows

  2. Plant Spacing: Place individual plants 2 to 3 feet apart within rows.

  3. Planting Depth: Plant seedlings at the same depth as they were in their pots or seed trays.

Care and Maintenance

  1. Watering: Sun melons require regular watering, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages. Provide consistent moisture, but avoid waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

  2. Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer with a higher potassium content to encourage fruit development. Side-dress with compost or well-rotted manure during the growing season.

  3. Mulching: Use organic mulch to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain even soil temperature.

Pest and Disease Management

Common pests and diseases that affect sun melons in India include aphids, spider mites, powdery mildew, and downy mildew. Employ integrated pest management (IPM) practices to keep these issues under control, which may involve the use of organic pesticides or neem-based products.


Sun melons are typically ready for harvest 70-80 days after planting. Here's how to determine if they are ready:

  1. Colour: The fruit should have bright yellow or orange skin.

  2. Smell: A sweet, aromatic fragrance should emanate from the fruit.

  3. Texture: Gently press the melon's blossom end; if it gives slightly, it's ripe.


Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the melons from the vine, leaving a short stem attached to the fruit.

Cultivating sun melons in India can be a rewarding endeavour, both in terms of taste and economic return. By providing the right growing conditions and following proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this sweet and refreshing fruit. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or a beginner looking to explore new crops, sun melons are a fantastic addition to your agricultural repertoire. So, get ready to savour the sunny delights of sun melon cultivation in India!

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