Hi! A very generous DGer sent me some Luffa vine seeds. I planted them yesterday in a small container using seed starter mix. How long to germinate? Are they shade or sun? How long before they actually "bloom"?
I will also search the internet, but I thought I'd come here first to all you knowlegeable people :D
Sis_E - how many seeds and what size container? Is that the container you are going to keep them in, or will you be transplanting into the ground?
I have no choice but to grow mine in full sun . . . they are looking a bit ragged . . . so maybe part shade would work, or at least sheltered from the afternoon sun. Germination should start to happen within a week or so.
Jo, it does get hot here, but not nearly as hot as Arizona! I live near San Francisco. Summers might get up in the 90's, but mostly in summer is 80's for the most part. I have areas to plant that are shade and sun!
Ciss - you should have much better luck than those of us in the desert climates . . . here is a picture of my measly three loofa this year . . . not the mother load I was hoping for, but there's still time for a few suprises . . .
I think I may be getting a female apple . . . I hope all the males are still around once she opens! The bushel female that I thought I botched the other day looks bigger today.
Sis_E . . . here is a link that you may find useful. The flowers are for the ornamental gourds, but the parts are all the same. I think most, if not all, of the hardshell gourds have white flowers. You know, scratch the "all" part . . . the spinner female I found the other day had a yellow flower.
Believe me, when you see a male and female together, you will know which is which! I hadn't thought about hand pollinating before (sounds like too much work!), but I went out the other night, and found what I thought was a male . . . looked at a flower that had a bit of a "bulge" under the flower, and oh, boy! You'll see!
Here's the gourd I hand pollinated the other day . . . I'm not going to take credit for it . . . there's always the chance it was already pollinated (what would I do without ants?). I did find a female flower on my swan gourd vine this morning, and did a quick intro w/a male flower.
I did see a few flowers on my loofa vine this morning, so there's a chance I'll get a few more!
My goodness, Sy. That's an amazing picture! Hand pollinating a plant is something! I am real anxious for mine to start growing. Since this is a vine, will it attach to bricks on a chimney by chance? Or is a trellis best? Both would be in mostly shade. :D
Yeah, they need something to hold on to . . . they have these twiney, curly, deals that they use to hold onto things . . . I'm at work now, so I'll post a picture of them when I get home tonite . . . even the weight of the loofas (as light as they are) would bring the vines down if they weren't holding on to something.
The vines will develop these curly things (someday I may find out the "real" name of them!) at almost every leaf. See how they wrap around anything they can get their "arms" on? They'll even wrap around each other. Oh, and once they get a good hold, it is hard to get them untwisted!
Hi Sy (hey, it rhymes). You take excellent pictures! Curlicues and all. I just love things that crawl and go bump in the night ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to post pictures! I can't wait until I see some activity in my little pots of Luffa seeds. I took a pictures of 6 pots of various seeds planted. Two of them are the Luffa. Gee, can ya tell which? lol ;) You might be able to read the label (doubtful lol)
4 of the 5 seeds are sprouted. 2 of them are growing quite well. Those 2 are about 1/2 tall. The two leaves are about 1/2 each long. Slow but growing! I will take a picture later. One of the seeds seem to have stopped growing..looks rather peaked. LOL
Ok...about how big do they get before I transplant them to a bigger container? Right now, they are about 1/2" tall with second set of leaves just barely beginning to grow. I know it's too early now, but do I transplant after second set of leaves are fully here and 3rd set just barely starting? Better to transplant in bigger pot before going to ground?
I'd wait until you have four real leaves (the first two are cotylodons (SP?) and don't count) and then put them in the ground. They don't like being transplanted, so the fewer times you can do that, the better.
A neighbor of mine gave me a huge ripe luffa, ready to become a sponge, and said "This one got to big to eat, but it's some kind of okra if you pick it young enough" -- I didn't have the heart to tell him he was eating luffa, not okra! But when young, they are much the same.
brig, question please: I have the luffas in two containers...total of 4 luffa plants. Each container has two luffas in it. One of the luffa plants in each container is ready for transplanting. How do I lift out the ready ones w/o disturbing the ones that are not ready? And, when I take out the ready-to-transplant luffas, how do I do it? Do I use root hormone on the bare roots before sticking in the ground? I have a great spot for each of them. I am making my own thingie-bob for them to climb.
Anyway, is that how I transplant? Carefully lift out of soiless mix by the root or leaves? Help. I don't want to mess up. Any advice appreciated. Here's pic of one container.
You can see the smaller one behind it...not quite ready for transplant.
Sis_E - I know you were asking brigidlily, but my opinion would be to plant both seedlings at the same time. Just take them out of the pot they're in, and plant the whole root-ball in the same hole. The second seedling should start to catch up pretty soon - it could be that it is smaller because the other one is taking up more root space - but once they are planted, it should have room to spread it's own roots.
Just my opinion . . .
I myself decided not to start more luffa seeds . . . because my vines look like they're actually developing more luffa's!!
Sis_E -- what Syrumani said! I've only direct sown luffas but when I've started other things that's the way I've done it. Disturb the roots as little as possible, and keep them watered. Good luck, and keep posting!
This is not about gourds, but when I planted Tithonia this year I started one in the house in a little peat pot...and just put some seeds in the same flower bed that I later planted the little peat pot...The ones I started in the groud grew MUCH faster than the one I planted peat pot and all in the flower bed...so if you plan to just put the whole peat pot in the ground...tear off the bottom of the peat pot first!! JMHO Jo
I have thrown bits of peat pots into the compost pile, and they take longer to compost than most things in there. I tear as much off of them as I can before I plant the seedlings, and once I've used up the ones I have I don't plan on buying any more. Same (or worse) with those "pellets" that are peat wrapped up in that flimsy little cloth. I still want to try making pots with newspaper, but I'll probably tear those off, too!
Roadrunner...I completely agree about the peat pots. Nothing I put in them could grow properly AND they did not disappear in the soil! I do not like those things and I was disappointed. The same with peat disks. They do nothing but let the seed germinate, then it doesn;t grow! LOL