THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUCCESSFULLY GROWING LUFFA SPONGES.

Wanna learn how to grow a Luffa?  Yeah. So did I.  So when I figured it out I thought … I’d better tell you exactly how to do it too!

title-how-to-grow-luffa-2

As a matter of fact, no they do not grow in the ocean. Or the sea.  Or any other body of water.  That’s always the biggest shock to people when you tell them they can grow their own luffa sponges; the fact that they grow on land, not in the water.  You’re thinking of Spongebob Squarepants.

A bit about the Luffa.

  • Luffa, Loofah.  All the same thing.
  • Luffas are part of the gourd family and grow on vines that can get to be 30′ long.  Trust me on this.
  • The part of the Luffa you’re used to seeing is actually the inside fibres of the gourd, which lay beneath the green skin.
  • Immature Luffas look pretty much like a cucumber or zucchini and can be eaten when they’re very young (4-8″ long).
  • Luffas turn brown and become light as a feather when they’re ready to pick but if there’s a danger of frost you can pick them earlier (like I did).
  • Luffas are shitheads.

 

growing-luffa

For the past decade or so I’ve been killing  myself trying to figure out how to be completely successful growing luffa in my zone 6 climate.  Luffa need a longggg growing season and they also seem to be easily frightened.  Like you can frighten a Luffa to death.  More on that in a few moments.

To figure out how to successfully grow a Luffa sponge, you have to know how to very, very unsuccessfully grow a Luffa sponge.  Luckily for you, I have all kinds of experience in that particular area.  In fact, I’ve spent the better part of a decade being really great at unsuccessfully growing Luffa sponges.  Not to brag.

How-to-grow-luffah

 

There are 3 main areas where things can go horribly wrong.

  1.  Your seeds won’t germinate. Because they’re little asshead seeds that hate you.
  2. Your little luffa seedling goes into shock when you transplant it outside and it dies of fright or at least goes into a month long coma.
  3. Your vine grows but you never get to the point of seeing fruit before the frost kills it.

I’m going to show you how to overcome all of those issues so you can grow your very own organic Luffa sponge this summer.

Handy for showers, scrubbing pots and whacking people on the head with.

grow-your-own-luffa

So how can you overcome these obstacles so that you can proudly peel your very first luffa sponge?  These few simple tips are the only thing between you and a Luffa.

HOW TO GROW LUFFA (LOOFAH) SPONGE

  1. If you’re in a cooler zone, start your Luffa seeds early, indoors, 6 weeks before the last frost date.
  2. Use new Luffa seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours prior to planting. Seeds that have been hanging around for years probably won’t germinate.
  3. Increase your success at germination by starting your seeds on a seed heat pad.
  4. Transplant into biodegradable pots once the first “true” set of leaves have formed. Using pots that decompose reduces the risk of transplant shock which Luffa plants are prone to.
  5. When the weather is right (warm soil and air) start hardening off your seedlings.  This is more important than with most other plants because Luffa are so prone to transplant shock.
  6. After a week or so of hardening off, plant your seedlings in an area that gets FULL sun.  As much sun as possible.  Anything less and you won’t get any Luffas.
  7. Plant your seedlings at the base of a really strong structure that its vines can climb on and cling to.  Chain link fence or something similar is perfect.
  8. If after planting out, a cold snap threatens, cover the seedlings with a vented cloche. A plastic pop bottle cut in half with a lot of air holes punched into it would work fine.  A few days of cold weather will STOP a luffa from growing and it could take a month before they get over the shock.
  9. Keep the Luffa watered.  No water equals no growing!  Now you wait. And wait.  And wait.
  10. By October you should have big, green Luffas.  Pick your Luffa sponges BEFORE they’re hit by frost even if they’re still green. Technically you aren’t supposed to pick them until they’re dried out and brown, but in Zone 6 it’s rare for them to get to that stage.  You can still pick them when they’re green and get perfectly acceptable Luffas.  They’re just a bit harder to peel.

peeling-luffah-sponge

 

I’ve grown Luffas before but this year was the first year I got truly, large, useable, perfect fibres inside my Luffas.  So if you read any other article on Luffa sponges that tells you you’ll only get a useable sponge from a Luffa that’s dried to a dark brown on the vine don’t believe it.  It ain’t true.

There’s a bit of a funny story behind picking my Luffa sponges this year actually.

It was Thanksgiving at my house and all but 2 of the dinner guests were slouching in the family room waiting for the turkey to hit the table and the last 2 guests to arrive.  I went in to check to see if anyone needed anything and everyone in the room happened to be discussing the weather. Because we’re Canadian.  And not especially well versed in politics.  Apparently there was going to be frost that night.

Hmm.  Interesting.

WAIT?!!!  WHAT??@!!!  TONIGHT??!!  THERE’S GOING TO BE FROST TONIGHT??!!!! SHITMOFARKLESPARX!!

And out the door I went, my bewildered Uncle Jack in tow, whizzing past the last 2 guests who were just pulling up.

B E     B  A   C  K      L    A    T      E      R !!!!!!!

In the middle of hosting Thanksgiving dinner I left all of my guests in my house and dragged my Uncle up to my community garden, a 5 minute drive away, to pick all of my Luffas.  They weren’t dried and brown on the vine yet but I knew if they got hit by frost they’d be ruined.  They’d either turn to “ick” or they’d become all discoloured inside.  Since we were already there I figured I might as well pick the rest of my tomatoes, kale, green beans, jalapenos and red peppers.  Since we were there.

grow-your-own-luffah-sponges

In an ideal world Luffa gourds will become around 24″ inches long and go from dark green, the light green, to yellowish, to completely dried out, crispy and brown on the vine.  But if your growing climate isn’t long enough, you may just end up with vines covered in dark and light green gourds, which is what I ended up with.

I left them to dry out a tiny bit on my front porch after picking them for about a month and then I couldn’t stand it anymore and started to peel away the skin.

To my amazement, underneath all that tough skin were perfect luffa sponges.

growing-luffah

The green skin is hard to get off but with with my stubby, bionic, man-baby thumbs I managed quite nicely.

Two of my 6 Luffas had matured enough that the seeds inside were big and dark.  THESE are the perfect seeds for saving for planting.

PLANTING

So let’s talk about how to plant your seeds and WHY a seed heat pad is so important to successful germination of Luffa seeds.

Last year when I planted my Luffa seeds I planted them, kept them watered and waited.  Nothin’.  I got nothin’ for over a month.  In fact I’d given up on them when 3 of the 15 or so seeds that I planted sprouted.

This year I didn’t want to go through that uncertainty, plus I wanted to write this post on how to successfully grow Luffa sponges and that wasn’t going to happen if I couldn’t even germinate a few seeds myself.

So I went out and bought this seed heating pad.  Luffa seeds like a lot of consistent heat to germinate and grow.  I figured the $20 it cost for the seed heating pad would be worth it if it would guarantee germination.

And it did.

 

results-of-heating-pad-with-seedlings

I started 2 pots of Luffa seeds.  I set one pot on the heating pad and one on an unheated tray.

The seeds on the heating pad germinated within 3 days at a rate of 100% (all 6 seeds sprouted).  The seeds that were unheated germinated in 10 days at a rate of 50% (3 seeds sprouted).

I kept the seeded pots in their respective places as they grew and the heated seedlings grew at twice the speed as the unheated ones.

So.

If you’re serious about growing your own Luffa buy the heated seed pad.  It also happens to be the perfect size for sitting an entire seed tray on so you can use it to increase the germination rate of other seeds that like bottom warmth to germinate like tomatoes, asparagus, peas and peppers.

It’s also working GREAT for my Sweet Potato slips, but that information is for another post.  I’m getting significantly better growth than I did with my old Sweet Potato slip growing method.

 

LUFFAH-seedling-3

Once your Luffa seedlings have their first “true” set of leaves (the leaves that look like the leaves of the actual plant, not the first set of leaves which are just practice leaves basically) you can transplant them into their own pots.

 

luffah-seedlings-2

 

Gently separate the seedlings and plant them in either store bought biodegradable pots or make your own newspaper pots like I show you here.

 

luffa-seedling-grow-your-own

 

Biodegradable pots can be planted right in the ground making the very, VERY finicky Luffa plant less likely to go into transplant shock.

Don’t have a big vegetable garden?  No problem.  You can plant Luffa plants in a big pot on a balcony or backyard as long as you provide the vines with something to grow on. Don’t forget they can easily get to be 30′ long under the right conditions.

 

grow-your-own-luffa-sponge

 

Part of the reason I had such good success with my germination rate is that I harvested the seeds myself, from my own Luffa, only a few months ago.  That’s half the battle, having fresh seeds. But if you don’t have that luxury  you can buy a packet of luffa seeds on Amazon for $2.99 from the very reputable Renee’s Garden seed company.  

So there.  Now I’ve told you how to do it.  My job is done.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

241 Comments

  1. Flash says:

    We could use a few more loofa in Alaska. I will try planting a couple in the green house this spring. Thanks for another cool LOL idea

  2. Christina B says:

    I got mine from this place, only one germinated though so I’m excited to start more this year with a heating pad!
    http://www.rareseeds.com/dishcloth-or-luffa-gourd/?F_Keyword=luffa

  3. Chris says:

    I’m on the other side of the world but something of a similar heat/cold zone. I’m growing gourds and everything you’ve said about Luffa’s goes for gourds. So you can rehash this blog at a later date and just substitute Luffa for gourd.
    Not sure what to do with the gourds in the amazing chance that they actually grow and don’t get wiped out by a cold snap. I know they can be worn as a body adornment but I don’t have a penis to hang one on. Maybe they’ll look just as good on the dining table.

  4. Thank you so much for this article! I tried last year and I think it was the transplant shock that did them in. I would love to try again. How do we win your seeds (it sounds like they are really good ones!) Also would you be open to a seed trade? I can send you lots of coriander!

  5. martina says:

    My grandfather is an agronomist and helped develop and improve loofa as a cash crop in either Haiti or the Dominican Republic (I don’t remember). They have a tremendous climate for it there and I remember seeing pictures of him with some almost as tall as he is! I’m so impressed you go them to grow at all in Ontario!

  6. Mary W says:

    Never, ever tried them before. I had no idea you could also eat them when young! I have chain length around my backyard and could grow them on the inside as I’m sure the stinking deer would eat them to nothing as they did my whole tiny garden last year. I was sort of considering them until I read about the beautiful yellow blossoms and really want to try it now. Thanks for the information! and the laughs.

  7. Jani says:

    I would have never believed anyone but you that these didn’t grow in the ocean! Wow…learn something new every time you post. Love your site and sure hope I win some seeds.

  8. Kristi S. says:

    I would love to try some luffa seeds. I have a great location next to a chain link fence in full sun (by my neighbor’s driveway that I would love to conceal).

    Thanks for the information!

  9. Michelle says:

    Funny! Excellent piece of writing Miss Wit.

  10. Nancy Eggert says:

    I found out that luffa sponges grew on plants a few years ago when a good friend very successfully grew some luffa plants. We live in Chicago and it must have been a good summer because she had a bumper crop of luffas. She picked a bunch of them in October right before the first frost and then sort of forgot about the rest. In the spring when she went out to turn over her garden, she was at first stunned and then irate to find what she thought were used condoms all along her fence where the luffa plants were. She figured that someone was using her alley as a lovers’ lane and disposing of the evidence over her fence. Only sometime later did she realize that the “condoms” were actually dead luffa skins that had sloughed off after the forgotten gourds were frozen and then thawed out!

  11. Riley Risteen says:

    I’m about as good with plants as a lawn mower is with a laptop, and never thought gardening could possibly be bad-ass enough for a 21 year old like me. You, dear Karen, are hilarious and totally inspired me to try planting stuff. Thank you for that.

    • Karen says:

      I really am hilarious. So, being a badass as well (you can maintain badasseyness as you age if you drink pickle juice believe it or not) I need to let you know, in order for the world to see what you look like you should sign up for Gravatar. That way your photo will show up every time you comment on any blog. Whether it is badass or not. Go here https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/photo-in-blog-comments/ to learn how to do it. 🙂 Welcome to the world of growing your own food and personal hygiene products. ~ karen!

  12. Joyce Lupo says:

    I managed to get my first loofah off a vine of a neighbor last summer. With no hint or idea how to get it out of the husk. I took the dried loofah and soaked it in warm water. In no time the skin pulled away so easily. I now have my own seeds and look so forward to getting them in the ground. Thank you for all of your tips. I think my first attempt will be a successful one because of you and other tips I got reading the comments.

  13. Barbie says:

    Impressive Karen! As usual! I had to laugh about you leaving your Thanksgiving guests to go pick your Luffas! AND tomatoes too and other stuff that might get bit by the STUPID FROST! I can’t tell you how MANY times I have lost all my dang tomatoes by a surprise frost! Your Luffas are GORGE!!!

  14. b weaver says:

    30 years ago, I planted luffas, and SHOCKERS! They came up and did well the very first time! Want to know what the horrible part was? When it came time to harvest (here in Detroit), I picked them and stored them on the upper shelves in my clothes closet (my first garden, I didn’t know! I thought they’d just dry out…). One day woke up to “drip, drip, drip…” The gourds had oozed all over my Mon Tricot knitting magazines i’d been using to make & sell sweaters. Also the gourd goo dripped all over the sweaters i’d been making. It does not wash out. Basically anything stored in the closet I was trying to make money from got seriously slimed. Did get some decent sponges, though! This year I tried to grow them again and now thanks to your story, know why it failed, so I will try again. Thanks for the memories!!! 😀 <3

  15. Dawn says:

    Wow! I’m sooo glad I happened up on your website and this article. I live in Northern Ohio, zone 6a and I’ve been told that there’s no way I could grow luffa gourds to maturity. I could grow and eat them but no way I could make luffa crafts out of them. I tried anyways. I started them indoors in May and got 3 plants that I transferred outdoors. All 3 survived. Now I have raised garden beds and there’s not much room for them to spread out so I bought a cheap ($12) arch trellis. The plants went crazy up the arch, over the arch, wrapping around my corn….lol. 4 months later and I have more than a dozen 20 inch long gourds. I’m racing against time and didn’t know if I could try drying them indoors if the weather got too cold. Everything I was reading said you had to leave them on the vine to dry out. I’m hoping to get through September and maybe some of October….but so nice to know I can still save them if they aren’t dried yet. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Dawn! Here in Ontario we’re having extremely hot weather for this time of year. If it’s the same for you, it’ll give your Luffahs even more time. Once they get to the size yours are they get bigger quite quickly! Good luck! ~ karen

      • Dawn Phillips says:

        Well over the weekend the arches holding up my vine came tumbling down. Now I have them dropping over a piece of furniture. They are pretty big but still pretty green. If I have to pick them off can I still dry them indoors for a bit?

  16. Nicole says:

    We did it! We have vines full of large luffa sponges here in southern Oregon and I’m just waiting until a frost warning to rush outside and pick them all. One already dried on the vine so we’ve got a bunch of seeds for whenever I think we need more sponges. So there! (That was for my friends and family who mocked my desire to grow luffa sponges!)

  17. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this post! Last year was my first shot at luffas (I’m in Southern California) and while I got lovely vines and flowers, they got started too late and had one and a half (a sad, misshapen baby) actual gourds harvested. This season I have more than a dozen mature looking pods on the vine … climbing into the neighbors TREE hanging 20 feet off the ground and who knows how many are in there! I pulled the first one off the vine yesterday … it’s been sitting there 3 months but is still green. I prefer the softer/finer fiber so I hope that’s what I get. Thank you for calming my insecurities! And BRAVO for getting beautiful luffas in such a luffa-hostile climate.

  18. Kayleigh says:

    Really enjoyed your post. Found you on Pinterest and am hooked! We just bought 12acres in WA so may have to add these to the list for our garden someday.

  19. Deb says:

    My luffa’s are beautiful, but I waited too long, we had a hard frost last night and my guards froze. I picked them, and now they are in the basement (I am not giving up yet). Is there a way to save my luffa? They are beautiful and very long guards. I tried peeling them, but they are way too cold and frozen. Please tell me I have a chance, I worked way too hard to keep them beautiful this year. Thank you in advance. By the way, I found your site to be very informative and appreciate it.

    • Dawn Phillips says:

      Same thing happened to me. I actually was able to dry a few just by having them near my heat vent for a couple weeks. I thought the one was rotting but it was just drying out. They say to keep them in the sun, but not really possible in my neck of the woods.

  20. Firro says:

    Hmmmm will have to experiment with growing it indoors, I want to have an indoor garden with herbs and greens growing all year round(fresh strawberries all year would be so nice) using a bunch of COB LEDs, does anyone know just how tall the plant would be near the end of it’s life? around 3-4 feet is about my current space to grow for height.

  21. Kristin H. says:

    I have grown these for the past two years. I’m in zone 8 and it’s still tricky. Upside is I don’t ever have to water them and they LOVE the Texas heat but the downside is this year I had two plants and one never produced! The one that did was a “volunteer” from last year’s loofah that was cleaned out outside and seeds went everywhere. Now I’m waiting on about 15+ gourds to dry out (I always pick them when they’re green). Anyways I love this plant so much even if it doesn’t produce sometimes. I think the vine is so pretty and the flowers too!

    • Karen says:

      Isn’t it fun! I got all kinds started this year but was so rushed at planting time rebuilding my garden that they croaked on me before I had a chance to get them in the ground. 🙁 Still have 2 luffahs from last year luckily. ~ karen!

  22. Izabella says:

    Dear Karen,
    just as you have suggested, I have bought a heating pad. Now, how long do I need to leave the pad on? Just as long as the seeds sprout or even after that?
    Thank you so much for your funny and informative article! I loved reading it!
    Yours, Izabella

    • Karen says:

      Hi Izabella! I keep the luffah on the heating pads as they’re growing because they really love heat, but if you aren’t comfortable with that, as long as they’ve sprouted, you can remove the heating pad. ~ karen!

  23. Rebecca says:

    We love growing Luffas
    We eat some, freeze some & also use as sponges
    However, each year we have to start fresh with new plants harvested from the seeds from our luffa crop.
    Is there a perennial luffa variety?
    We live in central FL so easy to grow here.

    • Karen says:

      I would have thought that Luffah would be perennial in Florida Rebecca, but maybe not. Have you tried cutting it back after harvesting to see if it regrows then? ~ karen!

  24. Sabrina says:

    Hi Karen,

    A fellow canadian here, Im not too sure which zone im in but its near Edmonton in AB. Where did you get your seeds??? I have and indoor growing light so I start them in march. As A soap Maker I want to have as many as possible especially to last me all year do you know how many loffas each plant produced for your?. If you could let me know that would be great!!!

    Thank you,

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sabrina! You can order seeds from William Dam. http://www.damseeds.ca/ You’re going to have to be incredibly vigilant and lucky to be successful near Edmonton. Luffa needs a really long growing season and I’m a bit concerned Edmonton won’t have a long enough growing season for you. They generally need 6 months of being outside to successfully grow a luffah. So from May to October. Once frost hits them, you’re doomed. You can still try though. Stranger things have happened! ~ karen

  25. Rose says:

    I live in NC, so I have plenty of growing time. I decided I’m going to try this since I was given a loofah as a present from one of my co-workers, and she gave me seeds when I was sooo amazed that she had grown it herself. I make my own shampoos, body wash, cleaners and stuff, so I figure, why not try this and then make my own scrubby loofah soap. Thank you for all the tips!

  26. Samantha says:

    Your images are amazing! Wish my eye at photography was as good as yours. I have been gardening for quite some time and this is the first I had heard of growing lufas; love your advice. Will be trying here in zone 8 when I order seeds next.

  27. Carrie says:

    Do the vines come back each year or does the frost kill them and each year you have to go through the planting process?

  28. Rebecca says:

    Highly entertaining and extremely useful! Thank you!

  29. Judy says:

    Ty for this. This is so cool. We live n eastern Nebraska so hopefully they have enough growing season. Going to give it a try this summer. My other half said if I can find a place to put it he will make a trellis for it. Ty again.

    • Karen says:

      Oh boy. Well make sure it’s a BIG and STRONG trellis. 🙂 Luffah vines get huge. And the actual luffahs are quite heavy near the end. Tell him to consider making the trellis out of iron pipe, lol. 😉 ~ karen!

  30. Juli says:

    Luffa seeds not available from your link, please make it easier to get you money!!!

    • Karen says:

      Um, I’m not sure what the problem is. The link works fine from my end. Just go to Amazon and buy some from any reputable company. Or in Canada you can order them from Dam Seeds. :)~ karen!

  31. Lisa S says:

    KAREN!

    I would like to thank you for telling me that Luffa is not from the sea. I ask around. A good 60% of people think these creatures are from the sea. It is comforting to know i am not the only stupid one out there. Thank you for inspiring me to grow luffa. I have no F-ing idea what i am in for but i will keep you posted. Enclosed is a little picture of the Shitheads at 9days old.

    🙂 Lisa

  32. Melissa S. says:

    I enjoyed this article so much! I actually work in a garden center and we got luffa seeds in for the first time ever, so of course I jumped at the chance to try them! I havnt done much research yet and had no idea they can be so finicky. Now I am even more excited for the challenge. Thanks for the tips!

  33. Sharon says:

    Hi, love this article. I have to build something for these vines to grow on. I don’t want the gourds laying on the ground. Any suggestions for this construction challenged lady?
    Thx!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sharon! They’re fairly strong vines and heavy gourds so they really do need to go on something pretty solid like a fence. Just Google “growing squash vertically” and a few ideas that aren’t too difficult should come up. The easiest thing to work with are probably Tbars. Just hammer them into the ground then spread heavy duty plastic netting or chicken wire between them to act as a fence. ~ karen!

  34. Rosie says:

    Yes they are little shitheads. I’m not sure if mine will germinate – I’ve not 100 percent given up but it’s getting bleaker by the day.

  35. Lisa S. says:

    Need some new luffa mom advice. 🙁

    This is Lisa S. My little turds pictures are up above. (9days old). So fast forward.

    Okay so the little turds are in the ground. From the beginning i had no trouble with germination. Two didn’t pop right away so i took them out..scraped them a bit and soaked overnight. Voila. I let them grow indoors until the frost past. At this stage they had two bottom leaves and started to grow up and even produced sticky tendrils. We had a very cold spring (western mass) so i couldn’t put them outside until a bit later. As they got taller i gave them a pipe cleaner to cling to.

    Now outside about a week. Planted in peat pots from the start. dug nice size holes…a little organic compost to mix with the sucky hard earth. A good watering w a mild amt of miracle grow plant food.

    In the ground some of them lost their bottom leaves. I did notice as they grew indoors some bottom leaves turned yellow or wilted. I did harden them off before the transition. Currently on one plant tendrils are dying. On another some leaves are thin. While some plants leaves feel hardy but have a white sheen. Ugh. I dont know if i should remove dead leaves or dont touch. My cat tore up one and it was quick to regenerate. Im patient but if its dead id rather pull it out instead of looking like im holding up dead twigs…help

    On thing i do notice is that the hardy ones have nice base leaves (little two flat ones). Do you think i let them grow too long inside? Are they going through a phase? Should i whack down the dead looking one, take the root ball and replant?

    I will put up some pics…thanks for the insight! (trying to attach more than one but can’t seem to) so ill put up the white sheen (hardy) photo

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa. Just keep the luffa watered. They’re REALLY opposed to transplanting. They hate it. So they almost always go into some sort of shock. They may look dead and not grow for weeks and then one day you’ll go outside and they decide they like their new home well enough and they start to take off. I’m not positive this will happen with yours but chances are they’ll be O.K. ~ karen!

  36. Lisa S. says:

    Hi Karen

    Thanks for the solid advice. The more i think about it…we really need to outsmart these little turds. I’m thinking start them in a peat pot. When they get bigger put the whole peat pot inside another dirt filled heavier pot. When the tendrils sprout move that big ole’ pot over to the fence (or makeshift climbing wall). No transplanting, no touchie, happy luffie’s. (Well, in theory).

    I still have two i can play with. The “cat casualty” which is regrowing and holding it’s own in a peat pot AND the little freaking freeloader i noticed this morning…They taunt me Karen…they taunt me.

    Ill keep you and all the luffa fans updated.

    Thanks again 🙂

  37. Billie says:

    Billie
    Would someone tell me what is wrong when a Luna seed comes up yellow
    Someone gave me a few seed I put them in a pot I had 2 to come up yellow. The rest is looking really pretty at the present

    • Karen says:

      You mean the leaves are yellow? It can be caused by a few things. It often happens with Luffah plants. Usually once you plant them outside and they get going they turn out just fine. It may take a month or so for them to perk up. ~ karen!

  38. Estela says:

    So happy to have found this guide to growing loofas. I just received some seeds from a friend and am going to give it a go. It’s June in my zone 9 and I’ll keep watch over them until first frost. Something to report at my Master Gardeners class tomorrow. Thanks!

  39. Kim Cunningham says:

    First time grower here in zone 7. I have mine in a huge pot on my deck. They are growing like weeds but…..it blooms then my blooms fall off a few days later. I am wanting only one to say I grew my own but looks like I am in for a big disappointment. Help!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim! It could just be that they aren’t being pollinated or the flowers are self aborting for some reason. Or, if these are your first flowers, it could just be that these are the male flowers, which do indeed up and die. The luffa produces male and female flowers just like a squash so it probably just hasn’t produced its female flowers yet. 🙂 ~ karen!

  40. Suze says:

    Hi. Thanks for the useful article. I am growing luffahs this year for the first time and have had some luck. I have 4 vines growing and a good fruit on each (yes, just one). My question is, lots of fruits start to form but then they stop, turn brown and fall off. Any hints to keep them growing please? Central Europe location. Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suze! That’s normal. A lot of fruits will self abort. Sometimes because they weren’t pollinated. If your plant has 100 flowers, some will be male, some will be female and some (5-10 in my experience) will eventually produce actual luffahs. So not to worry, it’s perfectly normal. 🙂 ~ karen!

  41. Lora Hyatt says:

    Thank you for your great article ,
    This is my first time trying to grow loofas. I live in Arkansas which is zone 8B lots of sunshine first frost doesn’t come until November usually.
    I planted my loofas and they have come up beautifully 12 of them in fact.
    All I have is vines, no flowers how long does it take for the flowers to come on the vine?
    Thank you for your help appreciate it !

    • Karen says:

      That’s OK. The vines are still small the flowers/fruit will come. 🙂 Once they take off there’s no stopping them, lol. ~ karen!

      • Lora Hyatt says:

        Ok 👌🏼 thank you , I’ll keep my fingers crossed 🤞🏼
        I’m just not a very patient person when it comes to something new , I want to see them growing. 😂😂

  42. Denise sime says:

    I’m in Wisconsin and tried luffa last year. Yep it froze but I did get A few immature loofahs. After I wash those I put Them in a dehydrator overnight and that helped dry them out.
    I started my seedlings inside 2018 and I have a ton of vines only a couple flowers so far as of end of July. I have to go back to my loofah photo album on Facebook (anyone can see)to see dates from last year. Enjoy this article thank you

  43. Lisa S. says:

    UPDATE UPDATE: 🙂 So, you were right. Water the snot out of them and don’t touch. I ended up losing 2 (either they were dead or i just pulled them early w/ my frustration). Luckily we have had a ton of rain here. And when they start growing, they are like horny teenagers. Honestly. Tons of yellow flowers that the pollinators LOVE. To me it’s worth growing them just for that!

    On each trellis i have 3 plants. This is one trellis (b/c i can only upload one photo). It is July 30th and when i checked i have 5 babies (tiny and about 6′ long) and two over 12′ long. I swear they popped up over night. Awesome.

    So i continue to re-direct their leaves b/c they grow everywhere. Also on the trellis is morning glories and moonflowers. I doubt i will see either b/c loofahville has taken over. who knew. Very pleased though.

  44. lisa santanello says:

    Here’s the other side…3 more…I don’t know what i have gotten myself into…ha ha ha

  45. Thank you for the info and entertainment. I’ve been trying to germinate seeds for a few years. Finally, this past Spring, I grew annoyed at the loffha seeds and just threw them all into a few pots hoping for the best. Well, they all decided to germinate and I had plenty. Three survived and I now have dark green, roughly 2′ long gourds on my vines! The flowers were so pretty, the vine is lovely. Now, it’s August in zone 7, fingers crossed mine turn brown and I will keep an eye out for the frost! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, well you’re doing better than me this year then, lol. My luffa nearly died of fright when I transplanted them this year and they still haven’t caught up to where they should be. ~ karen!

  46. Wilma williams says:

    So after vine quits growing or during when can I see something growing ? Mine is probably 20 ft or longer and have saw one yellow flower

    • Karen says:

      You dont’ get a ton of luffa per vine. Maybe 5? Depending on how long your season is. Once you see the first flower more will follow. ~ karen!

  47. Wilma williams says:

    Mine is more then 20 ft long I have saw one yellow flower on it when can I expect to see something growing ? And after I peel what do I do ?

    • Karen says:

      Take a look for more flower clusters that haven’t formed flowers yet. In my area this year I’ve only seen one flower myself on my 2 luffa plants. My gardening neigbour a few plots over though has a luffa plant that I gave him that’s covered in flowers! Luffas are very finicky and difficult to predict. But if you have one flower more are likely to follow. I also have a post on how to peel it etc. ~ karen!

  48. Valerie J says:

    You made me laugh out loud. Maybe that’s why all seedlings refuse to sprout…

  49. Gary Lindemann says:

    I’m looking to just grow a few luffa gourds. How long does the the vine grow before it starts flowering. Unfortunately I have a small property and I am trying to think where I could grow a 30 ft. vine.

  50. car ly says:

    i luffa your sense of humour!

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