Botanical Interest Loofa Seeds

Botanical Interest Luffa Seeds

Luffa gourds are easy to grow if you have a place for them to climb and a long enough growing season.  We use an old A-frame that was once a greenhouse – an old “Mother Earth News” project that didn’t work.  The growing season is up to Nature and a little “pushing” on our part.

First, the seeds are soaked to encourage quicker germination.  These were left in water overnight.

Soaking Loofa seeds

Soaking Luffa seeds

Next, the soil is shaped into a mound, which is also done when planting most types of squash.  This allows the soil above the ground to warm quicker in spring.

Mound up soil and plant Loofa seeds about 1/2" to 1" deep by poking them in the soil - water and mound up soil again as necessary.

Mound up soil and plant Luffa seeds about 1/2″ deep by poking them in the soil – water and mound up soil again as necessary.

We also cover the newly planted seeds with plastic jugs to keep them warm and moist.  When the soil warms to 60 degrees and the seedlings emerge, the jugs are removed.  We usually need to cover them once more for a late frost so we keep the jugs handy.

Loofa arbor with mini greenhouse jugs warming the soil for quicker germination.

Luffa arbor with mini greenhouse jugs warming the soil for quicker germination.

Luffa vines can grow up to 20′ – “vigorous” grower, indeed!  Each vine will produce several (3-4) gourds by fall.  The gourds, about 12″ – 18″ long, are peeled,  The inner “skeleton” of fibers are cut and cleaned to make the familiar “sponges” sold in specialty shops.

Growing luffa is fun and easy.  It’s also a great way to create an herbal home spa – affordable luxury!

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