Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ya Gotta Luffa Loofah. Growing.

I spell them Luffa, others spell them Loofah.  There may even be other ways to spell them.  It doesn't matter we are all talking about the cool gourd that can be eaten when small or left until they are bigger then used as an exfoliating tool in the shower or as a dish cleaning tool in the kitchen.    And!!  They have pretty yellow flowers.  How cool is this plant!  And, cooler still, I have some growing and they are getting big.
My seeds were given to me by daughter L, she is a user of Luffas so us having our own supply can only be a good thing.  It was ages before I planted the seeds though, I was worried about where to put them.  What if I put them in the wrong spot and they didn't grow?  What if I planted them somewhere where the chooks could get them?  What if I planted them then forgot and let them shrivel and die?  In the end I realised that they wouldn't grow while sitting in the packet on the bench so I took 4 seeds out of that packet, walked outside and shoved 2 seeds into one end of the first tank garden I came to.  Looked at the other tanks but they all had something in so I pushed the other 2 seeds into the other side of this tank garden.  I watered them, then walked away.  Came back because I knew I had done it wrong and would need to change them.   I didn't have a better plan though so I left them there.  I did get a couple of small plastic plant pots that had the bottom cut out and I put these over the seeds.  This was to make me feel better with thinking they now had some protection from slugs, slaters, being smothered by the mulch.  It seems that I did it all right as within a couple of weeks the seeds had emerged and I could see them to remember to keep the water up to them.  It was cool seeing them get bigger, growing up the fence and spreading out.  Then I saw a couple of flowers, cooler still.  Then some fruit.  More growing, more flowers, more Luffas...still more flowers on the plants.  I smile whenever I see them.  Worth growing for that alone I think.

This is what my Luffas looked like on the 22nd March 2013.  I've been wondering when to pick them and seeing that a few sites that I have read say they should be picked after the first frost I'm going to leave them there until they start to die off.  If anyone reading knows if this is wrong then please let me know. There are about 1/2 dozen around 16in long but I have read that they can get lots longer.

Still lots of flowers but it might be too late to get any more decent sized luffas.  The bees like them but so do the ants.  The ants need to go as they seem to *chase* the bees out of the flower.   I will work on that.
Don't look too hard at the sick looking Passionfruit vine this end.  I'm working on that too.

There are 3 in this bunch, they were the first to form and are now looking the worse of them all.  These ones have marks and are not as smooth, I think it might be an age thing and I can relate to that.  Most of the ones that formed after these are longer, smoother and darker.

This photo shows that the Luffa is intermingling with the Choko vine that is on the left but you can see the difference in the Luffas too.

There are now Choko, Luffa and Passionfruit getting tangled up together at the ends of the Luffa vines.  I like it, Husband says it's all too messy.


  1. I like it too! As long as one vine does not eat the other, I see no problem. I need to grow loofahs. Those ants would definitely have to go!

  2. Hi Barb (and hi Linda - whole lotta Linda's going on!)
    I pick my luffas when they are mature but before they start to brown. That way they stay clean and white when processed. If you pick them too young, they are dark green and heavy and the skin is very difficult to peel off. If you wait too long, they start to rot and/or dry off and the luffa goes brown. Just right and they are a lighter shade of green, feel light, and the skin peels off easily. I peel mine then put them in the washing machine at the end of a wash and wash out all the flesh and seeds, then dry them and (if I feel keen and have glut lemons) bleach them in a little lemon juice and the sun. They are great embedded in home-made soap, or used in the bathroom or kitchen.

  3. Thanks Linda. And you too Linda.
    I'm not sure how to get rid of the ants, I don't want to poison them and have put down flour but not sure how long that will last.
    If I can get them right I plan on doing the soap thing with some of them. I'm impatient to try but will wait a bit longer.


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