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Growing Luffa, also Loofah, plant sponge

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

(Best months for growing Luffa in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

  • 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

01 Mar 17, trudi pollard (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in West Australia Bedfordale in the hills a bit cooler than Perth Where can i get seeds for growing loofah in the west?
02 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Luffa seeds are available from Eden Seeds at Lower Beechmont and Green harvest at Maleny, both in SEQld. they can be sent to WA from the eastern states. All the best
04 Feb 17, Coco (Australia - temperate climate)
hi does any one know if I could use the seeds to plant from a store bought loofa ?
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If the seeds are only a season or two old there is no reason why not. Loofa is a cucurbit (a member of the pumpkin, squash and cucumber family) but has no close relatives that it could hybridise with. Grow the same as pumpkin. Trust this helps.
13 Jan 16, Hope (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I have seeds for Loofas, Kindly contact me on [email protected] if you need some.
15 Oct 16, Jean Hull (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I would love to get some loofah seeds but not sure where to purchase them in Natal.
29 Dec 15, Jessica (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My luffa plant grow really tall and healthy but I didn't see any fruit yet? Could you pls tell me which month they will start fruiting??? Thanx
31 Aug 15, Francois (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I get loofa seed?
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 84 comments

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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. GardenGrow 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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