How to Grow a Cassabanana Fruit Vine


The cassabanana (Sicana odorifera or Cucurbita odorifera), known as sikana or musk cucumber, is native to Brazil and has spread throughout South and Central America. This vining plant can grow as an annual in gardens. Its fruit resembles a cantaloupe but is oblong and contains many seeds. The cassabanana's care is similar to that of a melon. While the fruit can be eaten raw, it's frequently made into jam. According to Purdue University, immature fruits can be cooked into stews and soups.

Step 1

Select a full sun location to plant your cassabanana vine that allows enough room to set up a trellis. The plants climb up to 50 feet, though you can keep them smaller by regular trimming. Plan to allow your cassabanana to climb a nearby tree trunk or sturdy wooden trellis.

Step 2

Dig holes at least 6 inches deep for your trellis if you intend to use one, spacing the holes as far apart as the legs of your trellis. Plant your trellis 6 inches in the ground, covering the legs with soil. Select a trellis that's at least 6 feet tall.

Step 3

Wait until the soil warms to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit to plant your cassabanana seeds. The plant grows much like a melon and needs warm to hot weather in order to grow and bear ripe fruit.

Step 4

Dig a hole for your cassabanana seeds, following the seed spacing information on your packet. Place one seed in each hole. Cover over the planted seeds with soil. Water the planted seeds until the soil becomes saturated with water. Continue to keep the ground moist until the seeds germinate.

Step 5

Train developing shoots up the trellis by gently winding them onto it. Secure young shoots to the trellis by tying them loosely with string. Cut the string off once the tendrils naturally climb the trellis.

Step 6

Water the cassabanana vine until the soil becomes saturated with water. Then allow the soil to dry out until it is barely moist to the touch before watering again. Care for the plant in this manner throughout the growing season.

Step 7

Harvest cassabanana when the fruit is ripe by cutting the fruit off the vine with a sharp knife. The fruit's orange, purple or black skin becomes shiny and smooth when the fruit is ripe, so observe changes in the skin texture to know when to harvest.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Knife


  • Purdue University: Cassabanana
  • Trade Winds Fruit: Cassabanana
Keywords: cassabanana, growing cassabanana, cassabanana vine

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.