Growing Watermelon in Containers | How to Grow Watermelon in a Pot Vertically

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Learn all about How to Grow Watermelon in a Pot Vertically and enjoy this plump, sweet and juicy fruit in the smallest of spaces.

Do you know the supermarket melons don’t taste like the homegrown fresh and organic ones? You can even plant them in a small space like a balcony! Here’s everything on How to Grow Watermelon in Pot Vertically!

Find out the best vegetables to grow in pots here

Propagation and Planting Watermelon in Pot

Watermelon has a long taproot, and it doesn’t transplant well. It is better to sow the seeds directly in a pot. Plant 3-4 seeds directly in the desired pot once the temperature reaches 65 F (19 C) and above in the spring.

In warm, non-freezing climates (USDA Zone 10-11), the best time to sow seeds is in winter and early to mid-spring. The germination takes place within 6 to 12 days. Once the new saplings grow, thin out and leave only the most robust ones per pot.

Best Pot for Growing Watermelon

Growing watermelon in containers is not much difficult though tricky. You need to understand the basics. As watermelon has a long taproot choosing a deep pot is essential. A large pot or bucket that is at least 2 feet deep and half wide is required.

Learn some refreshing watermelon hacks for harsh summers here

Top Watermelon Varieties to Grow in Pot

Gold In Gold, Golden Midget, Belle 460, Golden Sunrise, Gold-N-Sweet, Jenny, New Hampshire Golden Midget, Precious Petite, Red Doll, and Solitaire are the best to grow in containers.

Requirements for Growing Watermelon in Containers

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Watermelons should be grown in a sunny position. If you’re growing it on a balcony or on a roof garden where space is limited, growing watermelon vertically on a trellis is a good option. The trellis should be a minimum of 4 feet tall and sturdy enough to carry the weight of melons. You can check out these DIY trellis ideas for help.


Watermelons are warm-weather annuals, but they can easily be planted in tropical and temperate regions. It is possible to grow watermelons at temperatures around 50-95 F (10-35 C). The optimum growing temperature is around 65-85 F (18-30 C).


Sandy and loamy soils are suitable for planting watermelons. An airy and well-drained substrate promotes the growth of the plant. The ideal soil pH is around 6 to 6.8. Avoid compact, clayey soils.

Also, the application of well-rotted horse, rabbit, or cow manure improves the texture of the soil and provides nutrients constantly.


Watermelon requires a lot of water, which is why it is essential to keep the soil evenly moist all the time but not super wet, and the water must drain freely from the bottom.

When growing watermelon in containers in full sun, you’ll need to water the plant every day and sometimes twice on a warm day in summer. Once the fruits start to swell up and mature, reduce the watering.

In that period, water carefully and moderately. Avoid over or underwatering to get the sweetest melons.

Watermelon Plant Care



Start to fertilize the plant with a liquid fertilizer. Once the plant starts to flower and appears to set fruits, use a fertilizer with less nitrogen. You can consider liquid seaweed fertilizer.


To get a healthy and more productive plant, only allow the main vine to grow. When the plant is young, remove side branches before they grow more. Also, remove the stems that are damaged and diseased.


The watermelon vine produces both male and female flowers separately. However, pollinators (bees and butterflies) will pollinate them, but to be sure, you’ll need to hand-pollinate the flowers to get more fruits.

The first fruits appear approximately 40 days after the pollination of flowers.

Pests and Diseases

Watermelons are prone to diseases when exposed to too hot-humid or cold weather or to waterlogged soil. Common garden pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, and those that affect the squashes and cucumbers can infect it.

Harvesting Watermelon

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The harvesting period depends on the climate, season, and variety. It usually begins 80-90 days after seed sowing and between 30 to 60 days after flowering. Flowering and fruit setting continue for several weeks until the weather remains favorable, and you’ll get several harvests.

To see if the fruit is ripe, you should knock with your fingers on the surface of the watermelon. If you hear a dead, hollow sound, this means that the fruit is already ripe. Another method is to check the tendril; if it is fading and half-dead, your watermelon is almost ripe. If it is faded, the fruit is ripe or overripe.

Learn about growing watermelon radish in containers here

How Many Watermelons Can You Harvest Per Pot?

It mainly depends on the variety, pot size, and growing conditions. However, you can expect anywhere between 3-7 watermelons per pot on average.

Helpful Watermelon Growing Tips

  • Start the seeds indoors or in a greenhouse early in cool and short summer climates, either directly in a container or a biodegradable pot.
  • Use a lot of organic matter for growing watermelons in containers as they are heavy feeders. Side dress your potted melon plant with manure or compost every 3-4 weeks. Scrap and remove topsoil if there is no space in the container.
  • Stress (change in temperature, pests and diseases, overwatering, and lack of water) to the plant at the time when fruits are maturing results in less flavorsome and sweet fruits.
  • In small areas, growing melons vertically on a trellis is a great way to save space. Use netting, a bag, or a stretchable cloth to create a hammock under the fruit to support it.
  • The trick for getting the best quality fruits is not letting the plant set many fruits. Just 2-4 fruits simultaneously for large fruit varieties and 4-6 fruits for the smaller ones is sufficient.
  • Do successive planting for regular harvests. Plant 2-4 plants and do the same after two weeks.

Can cats eat watermelon? Learn here

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  1. I tried vertical gardening last year with no real success. I am wondering how you get them to grow upwards. Do you need to guide the plant up the trellis? Do you let them start and then put the trellis in and loop the stems through it? Any tips? I love the idea and space saver, as you mentioned. Thanks!!

    • Ive grown plants vertically before. You want to guide the plant as it grows. Brand new tips to vine like plants are plyable where as they become more stiff and stubborn as they age. Go and ensure that the new tips you get on your plant. Weave the treilis every day or so to get them to grow up.

  2. I can see a great use for for snagged pantyhose!!! Support the melons! Or use old bras! That will get the neighbor’s talking! Lol

    • Used panty hose works best they stretch as the melons grow for a perfect fit tie them overhead to the trellis for support and keep an eye on them as they grow.

  3. Fantastic!
    I absolutely love that growing in containers idea. Finished planting it yesterday at my garden and now Im fascinated how this idea enriches my green space. I, personally, love to add plants to any possible corner at my place but unfortunately have quite a small territory. So this idea is just what I`ve been looking for. By the way – I used Apromera`s flower pots

  4. My father in law grew melons in a small garden, against a fence wall. Supporting the vine with nails covered in sock strips ( to not cut or bend the vine. The when fruit appeared, he slipped the old nylons over them , nailed it to the fence, as fruit grew, he adjusted the length if needed. It worked perfectly and took very little space.

  5. I have found this article quite amazing, I’m Jamaican and accustomed to seeing acres of sprawling land with watermelons. I never knew they could grow vertically. I’m willing to give it a try this summer. Wish me luck. I live in the UK.

  6. Watch the video from my YouTube channel, “ Growing Watermelon in Containers 3 Tips for Success ”  so you can see exactly what to do to be successful at growing watermelon in your container garden!

  7. My first year growing watermelons resulted in absolutely the sweetest watermelons I have ever tasted in my life. And then the second year raccoons would get to my watermelons just as they ripened. It was a horrible year for pests eating my garden up, anything that could go wrong went wrong. Maybe this growing in pots and keeping them off the ground will help with critters this year.

  8. This is the first year I grew watermelon in a container on our deck. They were the yellow personal size. They grew very good except we watered them too much. The inside was mushy. I’m going to try them again next summer & watch the watering. It was fun to watch them grow. I may even try growing them vertically.

  9. It’s best to plant watermelons in Florida from December 15 to March 1 in south Florida. In central Florida, the watermelon season starts exactly one month later, from mid-January to March 15, while in northern regions of the state, a planting time of February 15 to April 15 is best.


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