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

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

30 Oct 20, Amanda Fitzgerald (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Although im in sub-tropic, northern rivers NSW i still get heavy frosts, can i still grow luffas and is november too late to plant out seedlings
02 Nov 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Although it is a summer crop, they say to plant seeds Sept onwards. Maybe best to wait until after the last frosts. If you feel your climate is more like temperate use temperate climate zone
23 Sep 20, Vicki (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Can I plant loofa seeds in Oct.
23 Sep 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Check on this page www.gardenate.com/plant/Luffa?zone=116
23 Jul 20, Dan (USA - Zone 5a climate)
How much sun do they need
07 Aug 20, Liz (USA - Zone 8a climate)
An internet search might help, try 'loofah' as an alternative to 'luffa'
20 Jul 20, Martin Dale (Canada - Zone 8a Mild Temperate climate)
Hello from Vancouver! Thank you for this wonderful site. I wonder if you could tell me if Loofahs can be grown in this part of the country? It would be great if so. Would they need a greenhouse? Thank you! Martin
23 Jul 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
You could, with two caveats: they take forever to mature (like 200+ days), and they take a lot of space (like 6-9 meters). So I think it's too late for you to grow them outside this year, but you could still grow them in a LARGE greenhouse...they set fruit during short days so time your lighting accordingly. Your best bet is probably to start them indoors in peat-type pots in late winter for next year.
09 Jul 20, Shemainee Carranza (USA - Zone 10a climate)
When is the lates to plant Luffa for zone 10?
09 Jul 20, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Check this page www.gardenate.com/plant/Luffa?zone=15
Showing 1 - 10 of 161 comments

For Gardenate : Young seedlings can be affected by sudden changes of temperature. To prevent this seedtrays are usually kept under cover for a few weeks. Any area which mantains even, frost-free, temperatures 24 hours will do. e.g. Unheated greenhouses, a covered area close to the house, or small frames covered with frostcloth or with a piece of fabric like old bed sheets. If possible put the trays above ground level. Too much strong sunlight can do as much damage as cold nights to seedlings.

- Liz at Gardenate

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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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