Luffa (aka Loofah) is a very practical and useful gourd which can be used for bathing, filtering and cleaning. It is shaped like a cucumber but is larger, at 1-2 feet in length and 4-5" in diameter. As it ripens it develops a network of fibers that surround many flat, blackish seeds. Can be grown on a trellis or fence. Luffa - 120 days - 1 to 2-foot long cylindrical fruit - fast growing. Also know as the vegetable sponge, the dishrag gourd, and Chinese okra. Maturity 110 Days.
START SEEDS OUTDOORS: Start seeds outdoors only after night temps stay above 55°F (13°C). In full sun, sow 2 or 3 seeds 1 inch deep in groups spaced 12 inches apart and 4 inches from vertical supports. Thin to 1 or 2 strongest seedlings per group.
GROWING NOTES: Loofahs need full sun, very rich, fertile soil and warm temperatures. For earliest and best yields, hand-pollinate gourds: pick a blooming male flower and dust pollen onto fresh female flowers (the ones with small fruits at the base). Repeat as new flowers appear. Pollinated fruits start growing larger within several days.