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.
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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.
Suggested Planting Requirements: Much like squash seeds, you can easily start these seeds indoors or out. Plant outdoors when temperatures are above 50 degrees at night. For coastal areas, it’s best to wait until cool wet spring weather has passed and days are warm and sunny.
For those in inland areas where you freeze or get cold winters, you can use plastic mulches to warm the soil in early spring. If planting inside or in a greenhouse, plant one seed per cell to avoid unnecessary waste in thinning. If you are planting directly in the ground sow groups of 2 to 3 seeds 1 inch deep and 2 feet apart. When seedlings have 4 leaves, thin to one strong seedling per group. Or, plant in slightly mounded hills, 2 feet in diameter. Adding a small amount of organic fertilizer to each mound is recommended for the best growth. Make sure these luffa gourds have a strong trellis to grow up.
Growing Recommendations: Luffa plants need deep mounds of organic matter, rich soil, and heavy, consistent watering. Luffa gourds are extremely frost sensitive, so use plastic mulches to heat soils in early spring and row covers to protect from frost at both ends of the growing cycle, especially in short summer growing seasons. Avoid overhead watering to prevent powdery mildew. Luffa can be planted in 20” container if space is limited.
Harvesting & Storage: Allow the plant to grow to full maturity, 120 or longer. The luffa fruits will feel soft and much like a luffa. Harvest them and allow them to dry for several days. Peel back the skins to reveal the luffas!
|Days to Germination:||7-14|
|Days to Maturity:||120+|
|Height at Maturity:||5’-7’|
|Lighting Requirements:||Full Sun|
Approximate seed count per packet: 17 seeds