Lufah plant: how to grow it, clean it, care tips + more

Lufa plant.

Lufa, also known as Lufa or Lufa, is a tropical herb of the cucumber family. Two of the most common species Lufa egyptiaca From Asia, usually collected for food, and Lufa acantangular From North Africa, which is usually collected for dry sponges.

All loaf is warm, native to the tropics, so it is a sun-loving plant that will grow best in warm climates. And it will grow. When a loofah vine is happy with its environment, it can reach over 30 feet in height and produce an abundance of 50 large gourds (1 to 2 feet long each) and pollinator-friendly yellow flowers in one season.

It can take up to 200 days to produce lapha lapha, though, so patience with these plants is key. Once you see the pumpkins, you can pick them as ripe fruits or use them as sponges to keep them dry in the vine.

This vigorous vine needs to be planted near a trellis or barrier that is strong enough to support the weight of its abundant crop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Requires sunlight:

Prefers bright, direct sun

When to water:

Every week, established once


Made of edible fruit and sponge, has beautiful yellow flowers, elastic and fun to grow


Nearby plants can be overgrown, making it difficult to grow in cold weather

Where to put these:

In a large sunny place, away from other vines

Are you all?

Yes, but dry jumping can upset a pet’s stomach if they get into them.


The vines can grow up to 20-plus feet tall


This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

How to plant and grow.

You can snatch some loofah seeds from your local nursery or buy them online. With any luck, you only have to buy once because each lafa lau has its own 350 seeds.

Since loofahs are sun-loving plants, Sarah Barbosa, a homesteader and loofah seller living in Texas, explains that gardeners living in USDA Zone 7 and above will be most fortunate with them. Although he notes that those in colder regions (up to about 5 zones) will be able to grow loofah, their plants will not produce as many healthy gourds.

Those who are in cold weather should also start growing their seeds indoors or in a small greenhouse about eight to 12 weeks before the onset of spring in their area. Expect germination to take about 21 days. Once your final frost hit, you can place your sprouted loofah on the ground under a rigid trellis or structure that it can climb.

Barbosa has learned the hard way that a weak trellis will not be able to carry its weight as the plant matures. He now uses cattle panels made of super-strong galvanized steel to hold his extensive loofah garden. Florida-based Lufa farmer Jenny Schmidt has also managed to place her Lufa next to an established patch of black bamboo.

“It’s a very fruitful plant – but you have to have space,” adds Barbosa, who advises leaving at least a few feet of space around your loofah patch so that it can spread its gorgeous, green vines. Since the loofah has a fantastic compact root system, you can plant a few of its seeds together about a foot away.

Taking care of the tree.

Barbosa and Schmidtall says that once your loofah has fallen to the ground, you don’t have to do much to keep it happy – especially if you live in a hot climate. Just remember these care tips:


This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Sunlight and temperature:

It is almost impossible to give this plant too much heat and sunlight. “If you really try, you can raise it above the sun. It will heat up,” Barbosa joked.

“The only downside to the other end is that it will die in the snow,” he adds, so before you plant your loofah in a place in your garden you really have to wait until all the chances of snow falling in your area are gone. Direct sunlight.

It is also important to note that lufa trees have a long growing season; It can take up to 200 days to prepare them. This is another reason why those who have a warmer climate for more than a year will have more success with these plants.


Schmidl notes that loofah trees enjoy moist soil, but they are also quite drought-resistant. Once you put it in the ground for the first time, it needs more water, but once its vines really start to grow, you can go away with water once or more every week.


This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Space requirements:

“Because it’s a strong vine, it likes to climb – and it can climb really fast,” says Schmidt. “You have to make room.”

You don’t want to put your loofah near any other vine, because it can easily overtake them. Barbosa says you can plant small trees under your loofah trellis, albeit with tomatoes and herbs.

“Lufa is one of those crops that, once grown, has no real rhyme or reason as to where it grows,” he says, so both he and Schmidl suggest considering your first season as a trial-and-error period. You can give an idea of ​​the needs of this unique crop.

When the tree is ready for cutting.

Your loofah plant should first start flowering in the soil after about 90 days and after 90 days That When the fruit comes into play. So if you plant your loofah in April, you should be ready to harvest in September.

A ripe lafa lau is about 1 to 2 feet long and it looks like a big cucumber. At first, these gourds are dark green in color and as they dry they turn from dark green to light green to yellow to dark brown.

Hand open mature leap plant

Image by Daffodil / iStock


This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

If you continue to leap for food, you may want to collect it at the first dark green stage, when the fruit feels soft to the touch. At this point, it should still be moist enough that it is pleasant to eat. The longer you jump on the vine, the drier it will become. Those who are growing for lofah sponges will have to wait until the fruit is completely brown. If your karla falls off the vine before this time, you can leave it in the sun for a few days until it is completely dry.

Once your loaf is dry, you can remove the underside of it and shake off the seeds stored inside. Then, to get into the fibrous, spongy material, Barbosa advises soaking your loofah in water for a few minutes, until the hard outer husk peels off easily.

If you notice any thin juice on your sponge, Schmidt says you can soak it in a mixture of 50/50 water and vinegar, give it a good scrub and leave it in the sun for a few more days until it is clean, dry, and ready for use.

Use loofah at home.

Lofah sponges are soft on the outside and a little rough in the middle, making them a great tool for all kinds of work around the house. Here are a few ways that Barbosa and Schmidle use their snatch:

  • Personal care: Cut your loofah with scissors or a granular knife to create an exfoliating sponge that you can use to wash your face or body.
  • Clear: Use your loofah as a natural sponge to clean floors, dishes or hard surfaces.
  • Crafts: Substitute synthetic foam with loofah in industrial projects, or use plant material as an alternative to peanut packing.
  • Gardening: Cut in the middle of your loofah and use it as a biodegradable starter for seedlings.
  • Farming: Barbosa donates a loofah that he is unable to use to rescue a local pig. As can be seen, some farm animals prefer to sniff at fibrous material.
  • Decoration: The loofah is like a marine sponge when dry, and can create a beautiful nature-inspired home display.
Dry loofah sponge in cane bowl on brown table

Image by The story of memory / iStock

Luffa husk can also be used as a mulch material or soil correction. And any part of the plant you don’t use can be dumped in your compost heap.


Once you have removed your green lentils from the vine, remove the skin with a vegetable peel and cut into the fruit to reveal the white, seeded flesh inside. It resembles a cucumber but will be slightly softer to the touch. Barbosa says the flavor is somewhere between cucumber, zucchini and okra.

“You can eat it raw like cucumber, or you can fry it like zucchini,” he notes. “Even eating it, you can enjoy it in different ways!” Many Asian cultures also include loofah in soups and stews, and Schmidl adds that he has heard that it is a very tasty pickle.


If you live in a warm climate and have a sunny backyard, the versatile, edible, low maintenance loofah is calling your name. For those in cold weather this plant may seem more complicated to care for, but hey- you can always try a pineapple tree or an avocado tree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.