Growing Luffa, also Loofah, plant sponge

Cucurbitcaea : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      S S              
          T            
          P            

(Best months for growing Luffa in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • 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

29 Oct 22, Dorothy Curtain (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am in Fremantle area in WA and want to know what type of soil is best and if windy conditions are detrimental to growing loofah , and do they withstand 40dg.which can happen over summer , so for this area when is best time for planting . Thank you
30 Oct 22, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
The planting guide is at the top of the page - pick temperate climate zone - spring -summer. Try and protect from the wind and if possible a bit of shade morning or afternoon. On a trellis if possible.
28 Aug 22, Sena faught (USA - Zone 6a climate)
Hello, I planted my seeds indoors to sprout. Once they sprouted, I planted 6 plants in late June 2022. They took off great!! But, I’ve only one gord or lofffah that has grown to full size.. I’ve only male plants, no females… and now it’s august and I’ve still only the one gord.. did I do something wrong?? It has taken over my back yard but still no female plants
31 Aug 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You have male and female flowers on plants, The one with the little fruit is the female. Pobably no bees. Try hand pollination.
29 Jul 22, Nelia van Wyk (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Hi there I have a soap making business and would like to sell loofah sponges. do you have a contact for me in South Africa where I can buy the loofah's wholesale to re-sell? Kind regards Nelia
19 May 22, Adele Palmer (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I live in Gordonsbay,Western Cape. Can I plant my seeds in trays now and transplant into the garden after winter into bigger pots
24 May 22, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Maybe leave it until mid winter as you plant out seedlings when about 4 weeks old. But your soil temps maybe too cold then. Check what time of the year you should plant.
01 Apr 22, Jurgen (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Also koanga gardens sells luffa seeds
04 Mar 22, Deleene (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I live in a very hot long summer rainfall with a short very cold (black frost at least once in winter) area. When is the best time to plant my Loofah seeds?
21 Sep 22, Bee-Pie (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Early spring. Do it now.
Showing 1 - 10 of 179 comments

Early spring. Do it now.

- Bee-Pie

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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. Gardenate 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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