Growing Luffa, also Loofah, plant sponge

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

(Best months for growing Luffa in Canada - Zone 5b Temperate Warm Summer 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 20°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 45 - 75 cm 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

14 Oct 21, Monet lovett-Darby (Canada - Zone 6b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Hi ! When is the best time to grow a luffa (Gardenate: www.gardenate.com/plant/Luffa?zone=53 )
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.
23 Mar 19, Can you ripen or dry luffah off the vine (Canada - Zone 6b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
At the end of last summer I had luffa's that were over a foot long but didn't know how to dry them. We were coming into frost season and I thought they would rot of the vine if not picked. Well they rotted off the vine also.
24 Mar 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try an online search for 'drying luffa sponges'.
31 Jan 19, Yvette Cogswell (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Richters Goodwood Ontario www.richters.com They have excellent seeds and service.
17 Dec 18, Jean Mutch (Canada - Zone 3b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Never tried lookups before. Need hints Where to get good seeds. Thanks
30 Dec 14, (Australia - arid climate)
I got some on Ebay
14 Jul 14, Johan (Canada - Zone 3b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
How do you ripen louffah plants off the vine?

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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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