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Squash, Gourd, Ornamental Luffa

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. Grow your own bath sponges.

Full Description

Grow these squash for its fibrous flesh and when dried, you'll have the best bath sponges ever! Harvest at 2" long for delectable baby vegetables or up to 7" long for drying into sponges. Needs at least 90 days to harvest for sponges. North of zone 6, start seeds indoors. Vines spread 12'.
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Item#: 30288A
Order: 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
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$4.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

90 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

2-7 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

96-144 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24-36 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

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Video

How To Direct Sow Seeds
Learn how to direct sow seeds from Burpee's expert horticulturist.
Watch video
Growing Pumpkins and Gourds
These fun vegetables are easy to grow in any home garden. For pies and fall decorations every home garden should grow some.
Watch video

How to Sow

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Sow in a rich, well-drained location in full sun after all danger of frost. Do not plant squash family crops in the same spot 2 years in a row.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow 6-8 seeds 3 inches apart in hills 8 feet apart.
  • Cover seeds with a ½ inch of fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seeds emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin seedlings to 3-4 per hill when they are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Gourds grow well on trellises or supports, keeping the fruits off the ground.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Harvest after the shells harden. Cut the fruits from the vines with 1-2 inches of stem attached.
  • Cure them for a week in a warm, dry location with good air circulation.
  • Store them in a cool, dry place at 50-55 degrees F for use throughout the winter.
  • Add to fall and winter displays when dried.
Days To Maturity
90 days
Fruit Size
2-7 inches
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
96-144 inches
Height
24-36 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
After Last Frost
Thin
36 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Squash, Gourd, Ornamental Luffa is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 10.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING Not all of the seeds sprouted but, I am glad they didn't. The vine is EVERYWHERE and it has the most beautiful flowers that attract bees to help out in the garden. Just harvested my first 2 loofahs and they are drying so I can use them, and lots more growing. Do not under estimate the amount of space they need. Beautiful!
Date published: 2015-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from These vines went everywhere! It was my plan to start these seeds in small peat pots in my protected vegetable garden and then transplant them to grow along a fence. Well, before I knew it the vines had begun to attach themselves to the fence that surrounds my protected garden and it was too late to move them. They grew like crazy, but for all the healthy greenery I didn't really get as many loofa as I'd hoped. I will try them again.
Date published: 2014-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huge Plant!! I grew only one plant and it was gigantic! It completely covered a 6ft. tall 25 ft. long section of fence. I have at least 5 or 6 luffas that I know will make it before the frost hits and I have several more that I think will be useable. It attracted many different types of bees and many ants also. None of the bees or ants bothered me or the rest of the garden. Aphids actually seemed to prefer the luffa vine over my tomatoes and peppers. The luffa helped to keep the rest of my garden aphid free and the aphids seemed to have no ill effects on the luffa. I also directed it's growth so that the luffa vines actually helped to secure my tomato plants to the fence. This is a great, fun and easy to grow plant and I will definitely grow it again. If you decide to grow your own just be sure that you have LOTS of climbing and growing room for it.
Date published: 2014-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Yellow Flowers Very easy to grow, climbing vine. I planted in front next to fence, people have stopped to ask what this vine was with the bright yellow flowers and dark green leaves. Beautiful! The luffas were fun to use!
Date published: 2013-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Luffa I started seeds inside a few weeks before the last frost. As soon as I planted these guys outside they went wild...in a good way. Huge vines full of big yellow flowers that are just now turning into little gourd shapes. I hope they have enough time to mature before growing season is over! Would highly recommend this luffa. It's really fun to grow and it'll be great if I actually get a sponge or two before the frost comes.
Date published: 2013-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very cool plant. Definitely a good buy if you have a lengthy growing season and eclectic tastes. These vines will completely cover a large deck if planted according to the instructions. The male flowers show up late in the season, with the females following in about a month or earlier. The earlier you plant these, the better! As soon as the frost kills the vine, take all of the gourds off, peel them, dry them and clean them. A quick soaking in a bleach water solution after they've dried and you've got a brilliantly white, natural sponge! The only problems with these plants is that they attract insects and they stink. Ants, wasps, a variety of bees and other potential pests. I have not seen them harm the plant and they haven't harmed me, being more interested in the plant than any poking and prodding my fingers do. The leaves and vines also give off a rather repellent odor at medium to close range which will adhere to skin and clothing for short a period of time after molesting the plant. Overall, I will definitely be growing this plant next year, just in a different location. Enjoy!
Date published: 2007-10-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No Luffa Gourds this year. I found the plants slow to grow. They didn't really take off until the end of July though I planted the seeds the first week of May. The three plants that did grow look great now but I haven't had one female flower develop on any of them, which means no Luffa Gourds. The male blooms were sporadic at best. Because I have seeds left over, I may just toss them somewhere else in the yard next year just to see what happens. I know that everyone says gourd plants like full sun but I'm beginning to think that some shade might be beneficial.
Date published: 2007-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grew a foot a day!! OMG!!! I have never in my life seen a plant grow as fast as this. In 2003 I threw a couple of seeds in one of my most shaded beds (where I couldn't grow toms) and forgot all about it. One day I looked up and the vine was growing faster than Kudzu!! It climbed up the fence and grabbed ahold of my neighbor's tree and filled the ailing tree out with it's own beautiful leaves. We must have gotten 20-30 gourds off the vine(s) but there were dozens more up in the tree. Three years later, the new neighbors had an arborist come prune the poor tree and he found several gourds still up there. (The vines did not in any way hurt the tree). I think I'll plant Luffa again this year since it was so much fun to sit out on the porch with the kids and peel and shake the luffas. We used the luffas to make soap and gave it to all the neighbors.
Date published: 2006-10-01
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