On Nov 12, 2009, paulforbes from Fresno, CA wrote:
Best germination in warm soil. Rushing them outdoors when the soil is still cold won't help. Ideal weather is hot or hotter with high humidity throughout the growing season. Sometimes wilts in our area during heat of the day even when watered daily. Attracts lots of ants, which do no harm, and actually may increase the crop by aiding pollination. I believe the ants also protect the plant from other pests. Loofa sponges require about 4 months on the vine to mature properly and are best left on until first frost. 1 vine can cover about 12 feet of fence over a season with about 4-6 large sponges per vine or 10-12 smaller ones. I usually pick off the smaller ones and let the remaining get larger. Best way to clean is to let soak for a few days in water until the skin rots off. One method I haven't tried is to run them through the dishwasher.
On Oct 14, 2009, katrun from Alexandria, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is the first time growing them. Started them from seed and they all came up fine. After transplanting them some died, but the few that remained started slow for a month and was almost hopeless.
Then they took off! The grew and grew everywhere. I think I feed them too much miracle grow, as I had many flowers and no fruit on the ones in the yard. The rest of the plants I grew in pots on one of my decks. I managed to get like 5 fruits. They grow very large. I still have one that is very small. I will take that one and cook him up.
I am going to let them dry on the vine until they turn brown.
I am very excited and will plant them again. They are a nice screen and I love seeing them hang from my deck.
Everyone likes to comment on them and think they are cucumbers.
I still have a few weeks to go before the first frost.
I was not sure if I should take them off prior to the frost. WIll update and post my results in the winter. :)
On Jan 21, 2008, Ruby_Girl from Springfield, MO wrote:
We recently moved into a house in Springfield, MO. that has a beautiful, extensive flower garden. Lucky me! The next door neighbors had let part of their garden creep over the privacy fence & invade part of my garden. I was unsure of what these invasive, "alien pods" were! ha! Thank you for the info....I now know & I look forward to next summer. Maybe I can get a Luffa!
On Dec 25, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:
I just got a luffa pod for Christmas! :-) (I am probably among the less than 1% of the population who would enjoy that)
I peeled the brownish skin off without much trouble. I got about 50 plantable seeds, and 100 troublesome undeveloped ones. I now have a nice backscratcher and a luffa mat. I'll post next year with the results of my efforts to grow a luffa vine.
5/12/08 -- They have sprouted! Very slow to germinate, took about two weeks indoors.
On Jul 19, 2007, dave3877 from Crockett, TX wrote:
youll get a buttload of seeds per fruit but i have noticed only a few germinate. but hey when they do take off its a jackpot. if you have teflon coated cookware or other kitchen cookware/utensils/dishes this is what youll want to wash and scrub with.
On Mar 25, 2006, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I once heard P.Allen Smith make the comment that
Luffa would take a long time to get going, but once
it did, you would be surprised.
And was I ever!
True, Luffa can seem hopeless for those without patience.
If the soil is cold and soggy, the seeds will likely rot and
never germinate. A heated germination mat works wonders
for those in short seasons, or for those just wanting to
get those little guys growing quicker.
Once they form their first tendrils, they are bound for
the sky. They do appreciate something to climb on,
though I harvested one of our most successful crops
ever on a four foot tall chain link fence.
A very long growing season is required for Luffa, and
as fate would direct, it always seems the vines are
doing best when it is time for the first frost to arrive.
On Jun 3, 2005, SergioLousame from A Coruņa Spain (Zone 10a) wrote:
I live in Guernsey (United Kingdom) and is the first time i try with Loofah.I bought the seeds in a nursery 4 weeks ago and they are growing already. I started them indoors because the weather here is still quite cold, could be because is an island in the middle of the English Channel. But looks like the summer is about to come and i'll put them soon in the garden.
On May 17, 2005, Morph from Dayton, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
Grew these several years ago with tremendous success! I am growing again this year to use in my soap making hobby ☺ They do best with scheduled spraying to deter the "fake" lady bugs they attract. Can't recall what those beasties are called. I'll post a photo of a seedling I've started this year.
This plant is an energetic grower! My vines are 18 to 20 feet long and the some of the many fruits, which are not ready and still growing, are over two feet long and over 8 inches in diameter.
The only negative is that I didn't pay enough attention to a vine a few feet from a holly tree. Now I have to figuar out how to get the vine and fruits out of the tree while keepin my skin.
On Apr 16, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:
After peeling the fruits..which I find easiest when there is still some green left in the skins,shake the seeds loose and wash in a bleach solution. This gives them the look of the commercially prepared luffas that you pay so much for in the bed and bath stores.
Bleach solution at 10:1 ratio. No big deal if some seeds are left inside when washed, they will float right out.
On Apr 16, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:
They take a large space to grow. The immature fruits when small can be cooked and eaten. The dried loofahs are used in spas here to scrub the skin...makes an excellent defoliater! Also can be used wet in the shower to scrub the body. Commonly used in Medditeranean countries and can readily be found in markets for sale.
Grown for using the matured fruit's texture, (after peeling the exterior coating and drying) as a bathing sponge.
The plant is related to the cucumber and looks very similar to the cucumber; but after the flowers fall the fruit is larger and lighter than the garden cucumber.
When fruits reach the length of 35-50 cm, a diameter of 7 to 15 cm, and are dark green and firm, they are mature and ready to collect. You may also wait until they turn yellow or brown, but the exterior skin peeling will be much more difficult, and the texture you will obtain will not be smooth.
The seedslook like the seeds of water melon, only much bigger(20 mm long, 7-10 mm wide and 1-2 mm thick), and must be started indoors in late February/mid-March to raise seedlings that will be planted outdoors in garden when outside night temperature does not drop below 5-7 Centigrade.
Don't take them off the vine until they are completely dry. They will be completely brown and feather-light. Also, shaking it forcefully, you should hear seeds rattle inside.
When it is completely dry, remove it from the vine, and pop a hole in the top or bottom of the fruit. Then lower the gourd, hole-side down, into a 5 gallon bucket and shake it until most or all of the seeds have fallen out. They will literally rain about 300 seeds per fruit into the bucket.
Once the seeds are out, then just peel off the brown skin. I find it is easiest to use a dull "butter knife", gently prodding the skin away from the sponge, starting at the top and working my way down.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Auburn, Alabama Madison, Alabama Moores Mill, Alabama Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona Surprise, Arizona Antioch, California Fresno, California Sacramento, California Vacaville, California Cokedale, Colorado Cheval, Florida Micanopy, Florida New Port Richey, Florida Orange Springs, Florida Rockledge, Florida Suncoast Estates, Florida Timber Pines, Florida Wauchula, Florida Whitfield, Florida Blacksville, Georgia Villa Rica, Georgia Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii Fayetteville, Illinois Lapel, Indiana Benton, Kentucky Prospect, Kentucky Gray, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Gulf Hills, Mississippi Lumberton, Mississippi Saucier, Mississippi Springfield, Missouri Carson City, Nevada Ramblewood, New Jersey Trenton, New Jersey Beaufort, North Carolina Boonville, North Carolina Efland, North Carolina Mountain View, North Carolina Stoneville, North Carolina Hulbert, Oklahoma Florence, South Carolina Crossville, Tennessee Lenoir City, Tennessee Hickory Creek, Texas Houston, Texas Jacksonville, Texas Midlothian, Texas Palmhurst, Texas Richmond, Texas Rose City, Texas Alexandria, Virginia Edinburg, Virginia Goode, Virginia Henrico, Virginia Lynchburg, Virginia