What are some growing recommendations for growing luffas?


I am looking to grow luffas this year and I was wondering what sort of soil medium they should be planted in. I have some experience with mixing in my own additives for indoor plants but, I usually just go with a garden mix from a bag for my herbs, flowers, and vegetables. I wanted to make sure that this would be alright for the luffas and if anyone had tips for me if they’ve grown them before. 


Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

Thanks for your question and what a fun project! I do not have personal experience growing them but here are some tips I researched:
  • Being a tropical member of the cucurbit (cucumber family) they require at least 6 hours of sun a day and like heat!
  • Using the soil mix you have had success with growing other container vegetables should be fine, and you could mix in some compost.  They like well drained soil, so make sure there is proper drainage in the containers you are using.  (Making the assumption you are using containers since you are inquiring about bagged soil). Consider fertilizing with a nitrogen source as the vines start to grow.
  • Trellis the vines on something sturdy to allow for good air circulation and overall health as they have a long growing season and can rot if left to sprawl on the ground.
  • Plant in containers large enough to accommodate good root growth – at least a foot or more apart (which applies to growing in ground, so you’d want to accommodate this sort of spacing in whatever containers you are using)
  • If you are starting from seed, soak the seed and start them in April with supplemental warmth
Below please find some articles that you may find helpful!  Most are from slightly warmer climates but general principles would apply.
Commercial Luffa Sponge Gourd Production – for further reference even though describing commercial production
Growing Luffa
Article About Gourds – U of Missouri – gourd info and growing tips