How to Grow Luffa Gourds

By Holly Schoch , last updated March 22, 2011

If you're searching for a unique addition to your garden, you should look into how to grow luffa gourds! When spending the money to nurture and grow various fruits and vegetables, it always feels great to grow one that can be used in numerous ways. Luffa gourds are commonly grown for the use of their fibrous tissue skeleton, which can be made into bath or sauna sponges. But, they are also edible and can be prepared as squash or mixed with salad greens. A healthy and robust vine should grow up to 25 gourds.

Planting

To coax seeds to germinate faster, soak in warm water for two days. Once they have thoroughly soaked, plant indoors two weeks prior to the ideal time to plant outdoors. Do not lose patience if luffas take long to sprout, this is simply a characteristic of the luffa. It is recommended that you transplant during the second half of May. You must properly time when you begin growing luffas. Although these plants are extremely sensitive to the cold and should not be planted outside too early, they require 140 days to reach maturity. If you plant near a fence, the vines, which can reach up to 15 feet long, will cover every inch available, making it an excellent screen plant.

When planting, it is common, and even preferred, to use a trellis to prevent the luffas from taking over your garden. It will also produce better quality luffas. If left on the soil, the luffas may become poorly shaped, discolored, and susceptible to soil borne diseases. If you choose to not use a trellis, be sure to turn over luffas so that they receive equal amounts of sun. Plant in full sun and use soil that is a rich and mixed with organic material. You should always plant in the side of a hill, putting six feet of space between each plant. Do not overwater but be sure to never let the soil dry out.

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