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Growing Luffa, also Loofah, plant sponge

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

(Best months for growing Luffa 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 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 18 - 30 inches apart
  • Harvest in 11-12 weeks. Use as a back scratcher.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Peas, Beans, Onions, Sweetcorn
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Luffa on vine
    Luffa on vine

This type of squash while not strictly a vegetable can be eaten when young. They are more commonly grown to use when mature and dried.

The plants need warmth to grow successfully. Keep inside until all risk of frost is gone.

They grow on vines similar to cucumbers.

A large loofa makes a great back scratcher. Luffa can be cut into many shapes for scrubbing pads, padding, and other uses.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Luffa

The luffa flowers and fruits are soft and edible when young and are sometimes cooked and eaten like squash or okra. Loofah has been an important food source in many Asian cultures. The leaves and vines should not be eaten.

Your comments and tips

03 Sep 08, peter dolman (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I would like to know if the Luffa's require irrigation or a lot of water ? Also how long must one wait until a harvest ? Oh also what is the best soil ph ? and fertilizers used ? Thankyou Peter
16 Mar 09, David (Australia - temperate climate)
I grew Luffa for the first time this year (West Sydney) planted seeds 24 Sept, planted out 8 Oct. Nothing happened until mid Feb, by which time the vines were 20 feet high, started nipping out the growing tips, and any side shoots greater than 3 feet. The vines are flowering like made (male and female). Soil preparation NIL, watered about 1-2 inches per week, mulched with grass clippings, PH is currently 6.4. The biggest Luffa is currently 13 inches long (like a huge lebanese cucumber. Hope this helps future luffa growers.
19 Aug 09, john giffard (Australia - tropical climate)
where can i buy some luffa seed please
20 Aug 09, James (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I know you can get organic luffa seeds at Greenpatch otherwise try Green Harvest both have excellent mail order services James
15 Jan 10, Paula (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Loofas wow - grow like crazy with just a fence to run along - eat them when they are like zuchinni size. The vine took off up a tree nearby - a bit hard to pick then. I have seeds coming out my ears. great for getting the dirt off in the bath room.
31 Jan 10, diane (Australia - tropical climate)
I'm fascinated at the idea of needing to plant luffa seeds :>) Seeds from dried fruit seem to grow wherever they land for me. Anyone want some?
24 Jul 10, sheree (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi there, I have just found out about the amazing loofah plants and saw your comment about receving some seeds. I would really like some please. Could you please send some to me. Sheree Berghan PO BOX 57 CHINCHILLA QLD 4413
02 Dec 10, Shireen (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Diane I can remember these fascinating vines growing in my Aunt's place in Brisbane and would love some seeds. My address is PO Box 5 Rylstone 2849
11 Dec 10, Tina (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Diane have you got any seeds left as I would love some. Thanks heaps.
17 Jan 11, Hugh (Australia - temperate climate)
I have started to grow loffa this year melbourne, I noticed some yellow flowers had boosted a week ago, I was very happy, but I found all baby loffas are going to die because they are all females and there isn't any male flowers to bloom, and yeasterday I had just found some male flowers shoot out next from those died baby loffas, why it dosen't like someone said that the male flowers should come early than the females. Is any one can explain that?
Showing 1 - 10 of 87 comments

Luffa needs the same soil requirements as pumpkins, zucchinis, etc. Work as much compost or old manure into the soil over the winter even adding a frame or an old tyre where you want to plant them to allow for more soil, compost or manure. make sure they get consistent watering at the roots and you should do well.

- Giovanni

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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.
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