It’s that time, actually, it’s almost past that time, when you can start growing luffas. Luffa’s need a long growing season so if you’re wanting to grow some this year I recommend getting started with your seeds as quickly as humanly possible.
Luffa’s (or Loofahs) are grown from seed and are akin to courgettes. To grow the loofah sponges we all know and love, they need a lot of warmth and a long, long growing season, whereby they will eventually dry out and can be harvested for use around the home, whether that be in personal care, cleaning, washing up, etc.
This year I have been able to germinate many Luffa seeds. They are currently residing in my bathroom, and have had around a 90% germination rate. Luffas can feel like a big deal, being harder to germinate, need a warm temperature inside, not being able to be planted out until June realistically (and I am in the south, so things might even be different where you are).
I want to come on and share a few simple tips as to how I am doing my Luffa’s this year, how I germinated them and how I am growing them on, with the hope of having a great crop this year.
Germinating my Luffa seeds
This year I bought my Luffa seeds but I am hoping, all being well with this year’s plants, that for next year I will be able to harvest the seeds when I harvest this years sponges, perpetually giving me seeds which I can use.
This year I tried a method which I had heard about (I cannot remember where though) whereby you trim the bottom (smooth end) of the seeds, place them in a wet paper towel and keep them warm (I put them on the shelf above my radiator) and leave them a few days/around a week, and they will start to germinate. You can then pot them into some compost, keep them watered, warm and definitely inside and all being well your newly germinated Luffa should start to emerge.
I created this fun little video for my Instagram followers, which you might like – also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram too (shameless plug!)
It’s really simple to get started with Luffa’s, and although they are quite temperamental (they need to be kept warm, they don’t go outside until at least the beginning of summer and they take the entire growing season to grow and harvest) with a few easy tips you can’t start them off.
Because they need a long growing season, if you haven’t started them yet (early April) they you are going to want to get them done asap. Like I mentioned, they need a really long season to grow and dry out, but also need the warmth, so you need to be able to give them maximum growing time. If you don’t get them started by mid April then I would probably just wait until next year.
Easy tips for easily germinating your Luffa’s
- Take your seeds and on the smooth, rounded end you will want to clip them with some nail clippers, this will help them germinate and helps them grow out of their hard seed casing.
- Take some paper towels/kitchen roll and wet.
- Place the seeds wrapped in the wet paper towel and place inside a plastic bag (LFT bags work well if you have any leftover, as do sandwich bags. Anything to create a greenhouse kind of effect.
- Place in a warm spot (they love heat, so around/above radiators works great.
- Leave them a few days/a week to germinate.
- When germinated, place them into some peat free compost in a pot. Keep watered and warm, with plenty of light.
- Don’t move outside until summer. Harden before leaving outside full time.
If you’re growing Luffa’s this year, how are yours going?