Planting Loofah

Overview

Loofah plants produce vines up to 20 feet in length covered with large yellow blossoms. The fruits that follow blossoming contain a fibrous netting inside. Once dried, the sponge-like core is used for bathing, washing dishes and scrubbing pots. Immature loofah fruit, 4 to 6 inches long, are edible. These tender little gourds are cooked up like summer squash or sliced raw like a cucumber. Loofah plants are warm-season vegetables sensitive to frost. The ideal growing temperatures are 65 to 95 degrees F.

Step 1

Remove the grass, weeds and debris in a site with lots of sunlight. Loosen the soil with a shovel to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Break up large dirt clods and remove any buried debris.

Step 2

Spread a 1-inch layer of sand on top of the soil and a 2-inch layer of well-rotted manure. Mix these soil amendments in at a depth of 4 to 6 inches. This improves the drainage and organic materials of the soil. Rake the planting area level and smooth.

Step 3

Create a 1/2-inch deep trench with the side of your garden hoe. Place the loofah seeds in the trench every 6 to 12 inches. Cover the seeds with soil and gently firm the soil over the seeds. Space your rows 4 to 6 feet apart.

Step 4

Cover the planting area with 1/2 inch of peat moss mulch. Mulching keeps the soil warm and prevents soil moisture loss. Water the planting area until the zone where the seeds are planted is wet.

Step 5

Hammer 6-foot wooden stakes into the soil beside the row every 3 to 4 feet. Tie twine at the top of the stakes and 6 inches from the bottom. Tie another piece of twine to the top string and to the bottom string. Create a vertical string support every 6 to 12 inches. Once the loofah seeds grow, train the vines up these supports.

Tips and Warnings

  • Loofah plants are vulnerable to nematodes, powdery mildew, leaf miners and spider mites. Check for pests every time you take care of your loofah vines.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Manure
  • Rake
  • Garden hoe
  • Loofah seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Wooden stakes, 2-inches-by-2-inches-by-6-feet
  • Hammer
  • Twine

References

  • WSU Island County: Luffa, Sponge Gourd, Chinese Okra
  • Henderson County Master Gardener: Growing and Harvesting Loofahs (page 3)
Keywords: planting loofah seeds, growing loofahs, luffa planting

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.