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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

11 Jun 19, Wyndi (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I live in southern Idaho (zone 7) We have had an incredibly cold, wet spring. It is now mid June, would it still be possible to have success planting seeds now?
08 Jun 19, Linda (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I have 3 Luffa plants potted , about 3” tall and healthy. They are ready to be put in ground. Now I am stuck. Full sun, part sun , keep wet, keep dry... central Florida on the river. Please help.
09 Jun 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Luffa belong to the curcubit family, so you can follow advice for growing zucchini or pumpkins
26 May 19, Sue Giles (Australia - temperate climate)
I got seeds from the hills seed company in Perth.
21 May 19, Gina (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just found this link on growing luffa for anyone interested. Cheers. https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/smooth-luffa/9426690
08 May 19, Naasera (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I've seen YouTube videos with 2 types of loofah. The one with ridges, and a much larger one without ridges. I live in Natal and want seeds for the much larger type. Please advise where I can get these seeds.
28 May 19, Maruschka (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I just managed to buy some on livingseeds.co.za
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 125 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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