This luffa sponge variety produces large fruits on vigorous climbing vines, which can be dried for yourown homegrown cleaning or washing sponges.
Can sometimes be slow to start, when established and with warm weather, these are vigorous plants and can reach 6m.
Sturdy support is vital as the fruits are heavy and must be kept clear of the ground to prevent rotting.
Bees love the luffa's brilliant yellow flowers.
Soak seeds overnight before planting.
Sow in warmth (20°C) 15mm deep from 4 weeks before the last frost undercover. (18-22 days to germinate)
Remove weaker seedlings, as they do not transplant well. make sure you plant them where you want them.
When 7-10cm high, gradually acclimatise outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Site the plants in a warm sheltered position with good drainage; these will need full sun and warmth to thrive and sturdy support. (110 days from germination)
Plant out at least 60cm apart and avoid feeding or the crop will be reduced. They will start slow and when established and with warmer weather, will quickly accelerate.
Keep moist throughout the summer and stop watering in autumn as fruits mature.
In autumn, mature gourds will begin to turn brown and dry, turning yellow/brown, and feel light with the outside skin loose.
Harvest remaining fruit before the first frost and mature in a warm, well-ventilated position. When fully dry, the blossom end cap can be broken off, and a vascular bundle can be pulled up the side of the gourd like a zipper. The sponge will pop out and be very wet and white. Quickly rinse the sponge in water to prevent the plant juices from oxidizing on the sponge and remove the seeds at this time.
I put mine through the washing machine to clean once seeds are removed.
Sow direct where they are to grow. Firm down, water gently and keep moist through the germination period.
Choose a warm, sunny, well-drained position sheltered from the wind. Add Yates Blood & Bone before planting. Keep free from weeds and keep well watered. A
Remove spent blooms to prolong flowering. Cut flowers are best picked before they are too old.
All items are posted on a Monday Express post, with Australia Post. If Monday is a public holiday they will be sent the Tuesday or the following Monday depending on the destination. We aim to deliver healthy and happy plants :)