Gourd, Luffa

$3.95

48 in stock

Ever wanted to grow your own luffa sponges? Mature gourd-like luffa fruits can be dried, peeled, and the inner core used as a sponge. This plant grows similarly to a cucumber in that it requires a trellis to grow up for the best support.

48 in stock

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Description

Ever wanted to grow your own luffa sponges as gifts for friends and family? Or perhaps to use in your garden or home? Well, now you can!  This plant grows similarly to a cucumber in that it requires a trellis to grow up for the best support. Once the long gourd-like fruits grow to full maturity, they can be dried, peeled and the inner core can be used as a luffa sponge.

Planting by Zones

Zones 9-10

  • Luffa should be grown in the warm season when soils are at least 60°F.

Zones 2-8

  • Start seeds 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Transplant out when the threat of frost is gone and soil temperatures are at least 60 degrees.

Planting Luffa

  • In Zones 9 and 10 you can direct seed or transplant out your plants.
  • To direct sow, plant seeds in well-worked soil that has been deeply watered and is debris-free. Cover with 1/2” of finely sifted soil.
  • If you are planting seeds in starter pots, plant seeds into thoroughly moist high-quality seed starting soil. Place seeds on the top of the soil and then cover with 1/2” of finely sifted soil.
  • Once your luffa has germinated and the first set of true leaves show, fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer. When the plants are 3-4” tall you can plant them out into the garden. Space the plants at least 12” apart.

Growing Luffa

  • Luffa should be planted into deeply irrigated, fertile soil. In Zones 9 and 10, adding a generous amount of compost will help create a healthy soil structure and keep soil moisture in, which is key.
  • Mulching heavily around your plants will also help with weed suppression and moisture retention.
  • Luffas need a structure to grow up. Make sure you plant your luffas next to a strong trellis, pergola or similar structure for it to grow on.

Harvesting Luffa

Allow the long gourd-like fruits to grow to full maturity, 120 days or longer. The luffa fruits will feel soft. Dry for several days after harvest, then peel back the skins to reveal the inner core that can be used as a luffa sponge!

Growing Luffa in Containers

  • You can grow luffa in a container but make sure your container is at least 20” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top layer of soil in the pot to keep the soil from drying out or heating up too much.
  • Luffas need a structure to grow up. Make sure you plant your luffas next to a strong trellis, pergola or similar structure for it to grow on.

Southern California Pro-tips

  • Mulch heavily around your plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
  • Do not overheat water as this promotes foliar diseases.

Companion Flowers/Crops

  • Luffa have aggressive growing vines that will take over a large trellis. We recommend that you plant beautiful flowers at the bottom of the trellis to bring beneficial insects to the area. Cosmos, zinnia, and sunflower are all great choices!

Additional Learning Resources

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