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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

22 Aug 15, Linda Joy Smith (USA - Zone 8b climate)
If I plant a seed, preferably 2 and put it out doors in June, will it have enough time to produce a vegetable by the first frost in November? It is August and I just got my first vegetable to start to grow. It took along time for nature to do the cross pollination. Thank you, Linda from Virginia Beeach
11 Nov 15, Donna (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I'm in Port Angeles at 1,000 ft. I planted two Luffas (seed) in May. Only 1 produced fruit, and it only got about 7-8" long (3" in diameter). Are there any charts for altitude?
01 Jul 16, Mr. Loofah (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
You lose an average of 3.3 degrees fahrenheit for every 1000 feet of elevation.
07 Aug 15, Tek Chhetri (USA - Zone 6b climate)
can i grow luffa in august?
04 Apr 14, Zima (Canada - Zone 5b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
How can I winterize loofah?
14 Mar 14, mike steele (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Where can I purchase best Luffa seeds for my zone?
17 Feb 11, Cyrus (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I have been growing luffah for a few years now, and each season it doesn't fruit until the beginning of the fall and the last couple years I have lost all the fruit to the early freezes!
06 Apr 12, Pam (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Perhaps you could use a row cover. These work great to protect plants from frosts & insects.
29 Nov 10, kistler insurance (Australia - arid climate)
Hey Kimberley, I doubt it?!? Kind regards, Heidi

I have been growing luffah for a few years now, and each season it doesn't fruit until the beginning of the fall and the last couple years I have lost all the fruit to the early freezes!

- Cyrus

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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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