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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

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

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'.
12 Feb 19, Dawn (USA - Zone 9a climate)
How do I know what zone I am in? I am so new to this.
12 Feb 19, Liz at Gardenate (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Go to the tab 'Climate zones' and scroll down to find your zone. Gardenate zones for USA are based on USDA Hardiness zones. Find your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone by entering your ZIP code at the USDA Plant Hardiness website.
31 Jan 19, Yvette Cogswell (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Richters Goodwood Ontario www.richters.com They have excellent seeds and service.
31 Jan 19, Zac Ezzy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Boondie Seeds, Armidale NSW. that's where I got mine :)
02 Jan 19, Steve (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Where can I buy luffa seed in New Zealand. Cheers Steve
06 Jan 19, Marilyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Kings seeds
02 Jan 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try a search for "luffa seeds NZ"
31 Dec 18, Betty (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I bought some loofah seeds on eBay and want to know if I can plant them now. From what I read it would be possible and have fruit by April. Could you please confirm Many thanks Betty
Showing 1 - 10 of 118 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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