Luffa, Luffa aegyptiaca, Cucurbitaceae, 25 Seeds Per Pack, Organic, Heirloom, GMO Free
25 seeds per pack
Scientific Name: Luffa aegyptiaca
Luffa’s fibrous core has many uses and is often used as a bath sponge. Luffa themselves are fairly easy to grow as long as they are given full sun and enough time of warm weather. Luffas being a part of the cucumber family are also edible when they are young and small (5” in length or smaller) before they become too fibrous. After growing to maturity and drying out it is easily harvested, cleaned, and de-seeded by hand.
Origination: South Asia
Recommended Uses: Culinary, other
Height: Vining, can exceed 30ft
Hardiness: zones: USDA 7+
Flower Color: Yellow
Maturity: 150-200 Days
Other Names: Loofah, sponge gourd, Egyptian cucumber, or Vietnamese luffa
Growing Instructions: Plant luffas in full sun, and moderate water. If starting luffa in zones 6 or colder, start them indoors (or any greenhouse like environment) 6 weeks before the last frost date. Colder climates than USDA zone 6 may need to be started even sooner due to loofas needing extended periods of warm weather to mature fully. Soak seeds well overnight to speed up the germinating process. Luffa seedlings respond well to constant warmer temperatures (70 degrees farenheight); keep that in mind if you’re having problems with germination or growth. Zones 7 or warmer can direct sow luffa to great effect, but keep in mind no matter where you grow it you will do best with a strong trellis as the luffa plant can be very vigorous. The vines will grow on the ground but tend to produce curved loofahs and can rot if the ground gets too wet. Plant 3 to 4 seeds per location about ¾of an inch deep, in well-draining soil. Plants should be spaced at least 3 feet apart and do best if given more space, usually up to 6 feet is good. Thin out any extra seedlings that sprout in the same planting location, and do not allow the bed to dry out. If transplanting seedlings, be sure to harden them off for at least a week before transferring them to the direct full sun location. Be sure to keep the area fairly well weeded while the plants are young. Once luffas have established themselves they are fairly hardy only really having problem with cold and drying out. Luffas will only need for their flowers to be pollinated at that point before they set fruit, which the bees will be more than obliged to do for you. Harvesting of the luffas for “sponges” or more specifically their fibrous xylem fibers, occurs late in the year, usually near October. This is done once the outer skin has turned brown or is just about to start browning. Some people soak their freshly picked luffas in water in order to ease the de-skinning process. Once the skin is removed the seeds can be shaken out and stored in a cool dry place to be saved for next year’s planting (if the seeds are wet from the de-skinning process remember to dry them off before storing them). When harvested for food, the luffa is picked much earlier, when the fruit is about 5 inches or less in length.