Cotyledon explants of four watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mataum. & Nakai] breeding lines (F92U8, SP90-1, SP90-2, and SP90-4) were prepared from mature seed or from 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, or 10-day-old seedlings. Explants were incubated on shoot regeneration medium for 8 weeks followed by 4 weeks on shoot elongation medium. The four genotypes differed in their ability to produce shoots at each explant age. The highest frequency with which F92U8 (66%) and SP90-2 (60%) explants produced shoots was for 2-day-old seedlings. Fewer explants formed shoots when established from mature seed or seedlings older than 2 days. In contrast, the percentage of SP90-4 explants that produced shoots was highest when cotyledons were obtained from 4-day-old seedlings (40%), but the response was less than the optimum for F92U8 and SP90-2. SP90-1 cotyledon explants exhibited the poorest response of the four breeding lines (<11% produced shoots), with little difference in response among the explant ages tested. The number of shoots per responding explant also depended on the age of the explant source. Explants from 2- to 4-day-old seedlings produced the most shoots. Fewer shoots formed on cotyledons from mature seed or seedlings older than 4 days.