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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Luffa/ Loofah/ Loofa/ Luffah... I did Sow..How I wonder How You Grow.

Luffa, luffah, loofa and loofah is a plant with many names. It is a climbing vine related to gourds and cucumbers, and sometimes called the “dishrag vine,” a reference to the sponge-like qualities of the dried fruit. It is also referred to as Chinese Okra.

(the above photos are taken of a Luffa that I purchased at the store)

Six species are in the Luffa genus, and they are widely cultivated for food and sponge uses. The loofah is the only plant source of sponge, and it has been used in bathhouses and kitchens for centuries. When I first saw this plant on a friend's blog, I was instantly enticed to attempt to grow them myself.
I got my hot little hands on the seeds from Trailrider...bless her heart. They are doing amazing for me so far and I am so excited to see the fruits grow...010 (2)

I am also a little intimidated by much of the information I have collected on this plant. I fear I may not have enough room to grow them!
My plan is this.... 200px-Luffa_aegyptica
I have a couple of HUGE pots that I purchased a year or two back when I was attempting to grow an enormous pumpkin for a friend. These pots are literally large enough to hold me! I will transplant my baby(s) to the pots after the threat of last frost has past.
I know that the Luffa needs to have a warm...very warm and sunny climate. I will place the pot that I settle on in front of the greenhouse...It can use the greenhouse warmth, and the bit of shelter that it will offer from winds etc. It needs to have support for the vines to grow up on...I will "create" worries there know me!...
Luffa do not like to be waterlogged...but will suffer greatly if they are allowed to dry out as seedlings.
Basically...armed with my limited knowledge…my plan is to wing it! I'll keep you guys up to date as to how well Luffa will grow in Alberta 3! I have no one to advise me in this this plant is not one that I have ever heard of -ever!!! stubborn self is on her own! I plan to keep you posted on any new information…and when the time comes…(if the time comes) we will discuss how to know when luffa is ready to be harvested…and what to do when it’s time.
I'm open to any advice and tips you have for me... really....PLEASE? {8-)