How To Grow Luffa Gourds
Luffa plants need between 120 and 200 days of heat, so if you live in cooler climates you’ll need to start seeds inside, or in a greenhouse.
Germination might take anywhere from 10 days to a month, depending on the seeds. Soaking the seeds for 24-48 hours will speed up the germination.
If you plant them in biodegradable pots, you’ll save the plants some of the shock of transplanting (loofah plats are finicky).
Once the last frost has past for your area, start hardening your plants off for a few days and then transplant on the hottest, and sunniest spot in your garden.
Make sure you plant the luffa next to a sturdy fence or trellis, as it needs to climb and have enough support.
If you have a small garden, luffa gourds can grow in large containers .
Once your plants are established, make sure you water your luffa plants: they need lots of water to grow. Mulch the plants well, so they retain moisture.
Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber family. In everyday non-technical usage, the luffa, also spelled loofah.
It is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable, but must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. The vegetable is popular in India, China and Vietnam. When the fruit is fully ripened, it is very fibrous.
Loofah gourd seed germination is often slow and sporadic. For best results, luffa gourds should be grown from seeds.
Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours prior to seeding. Sow seeds, two to three per cell, in flats. Thin to one plant per cell after the first true leaves appear.
Tasty young fruits can be used in soups and stews, and nicely substitute for cucumbers. In ninety days or so, the gourd’s flesh is fibrous, magically transforming into natural bath sponges for cleaning and exfoliating skin to a healthy glow. Harvest at 5″ long for delectable baby vegetables or up to 10″ long for drying into sponges.