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              

(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 20°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 45 - 75 cm 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

28 Feb 24, Hannie Jackson (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Morning, where can I get some lufa seeds, ? I hope you can assist me. Thanks.
12 Jan 24, Vanessa (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Free organic spare seeds to an Australian address? Vanessa
11 Jan 24, Carol (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Hi there..I live on the Garden Route, Western Cape. When can I plant Loofa's..?
10 Nov 23, Rosalind gayles (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I'm in charlotte nc....when is best time to start loofah seeds?
25 Nov 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
April May if you live Zone 8a. Go to luffa page set climate to 8b and it will tell you when to plant.
24 Mar 23, Zarina (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hello I would live to grow luffa & make soaps with them to sell. Please advise me where I am able to buy it. Thank you
29 Mar 23, Donna (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Hi Zarina, I don't know anything about this company that is located in your area, but I found a local seed company called Seeds and Plants South Africa. Not all seed companies offer luffa seeds as you probably have discovered no matter where you garden. The website site looks very professional with a wide variety of selections. The Best, Donna
14 Feb 23, Sammy (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I am currently growing luffa I'm only a beginner and I haven't planned this the frosts r coming but hopefully I'll get fruits the plants seem very hardy one snapped and it recovered love them already
23 Jan 23, Lisa Cologna (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I live in Las Vegas Nevada. It gets very hot during the summer months (100 to 120°). Will the loofahs grow here?
01 Feb 23, Elaine (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Yes! I live in south Spain which is zone 9b/10a and grew loofah plants successfully in 2021. We had a couple of weeks over 40c (105f) and it grew like crazy! Use straw mulch and water well twice a week.
Showing 1 - 10 of 189 comments

send me your address and I'll post a few for you to plant.

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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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