Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Rockmelon, also Canteloupe

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S S P P            

(Best months for growing Rockmelon in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 68°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Leaves and flowers
  • Young melons

Start in small pots then transplant when no danger of frosts. Plant into a raised mound to provide good drainage and warmth. Provide plenty of water.

Ready to use when the fruit falls from the vine

In the United Kingdom start the seeds in a heated greenhouse with plenty of light.

Rockmelons may need hand pollination with a soft brush.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Rockmelon

Cut in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.
Sprinkle with some ground ginger or serve plain.

Your comments and tips

12 Oct 18, Mary (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Where I live at Mount Bruce the temp can be cold with semi high wind is there any special care needed when tending to my rock melons
15 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just plant when they say so and try to protect them from the wind a bit. I didn't think they would grow in cold places.
27 Feb 18, Tony Mackay (Australia - temperate climate)
I am in Nambucca area frost free north east slope. Can i still plant rockmelons. I have the plants.
01 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can grow rockies in the autumn. Probably don't taste as good as the spring ones. I had rockies in and harvested the last in Jan - the fruit left in the garden bed, their seeds were germinating with in a fortnight.
03 Feb 18, james (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
tip when they are ready eat them
05 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The older varieties use to start turning yellow and they would pull away from the vine easy when ripening. And you could smell the rocky smell. Called slipping. The new varieties in the super markets don't do this so it is a bit of a guessing game. They have green skin and the flesh is tough. I grew some of the newer ones and around ripening time we had 5
21 Jan 18, Norma Bowden (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, when you say the fruit is ready when it falls from the vine, does that mean the withering of the plant where the melon is attached? Also, should the melons be lifted from the soil as they grow bigger by placing something like a piece of wood under them? Thank you
17 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The older varieties when the skin would start to go yellow the fruit would come away from the vine easy. It would be fully ripe in a few days. Some of the newer ones don't turn yellow. How long to harvest is a guide to picking. Try one and see if it is ripe. Put dry grass/straw under them if you have wet soil.
16 Jan 18, Hanneke Koevoet (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Do I need hand pollination if see quite a lot of bees in the flowers
17 Dec 17, Laurence Lim (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Planted about 20 rock melon plants. Plenty of male flowers. So far only two female flowers.. hand pollinate both.. not successful.. Why are there so few female flowers? Is there deficiency of certain element in the soil? Regards, L Lim
Showing 1 - 10 of 187 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Rockmelon

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Buy the app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.