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Loofah or luffa

€3,00 EUR

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A gourd that turns into a sponge when ripe

Loofah or Luffa (Luffa cylindrica) is a climbing annual plant that forms a hairy vine with tendrils. It can grow up to 3 m high and exceed 5 m in length. The leaves are evergreen indented and lobed with a toothed edge. It grows very quickly, blooms from late spring until summer and its flowers are yellow. The loofah is part of the Cucurbitaceae family. It is an ornamental and edible plant with decorative fruits. When young, the luffa is consumed like a squash. When it matures, the flesh becomes fibrous and when left to dry, is used as a scrubbing sponge. Please note loofah seeds have an erratic germination pattern.

Scientific Name:  Luffa aegyptiaca

Plant Life Cycle: annual

Optimal Germination Temperature: 18-20C

Germination time in days: 10-15 days

Indicative Days to maturity: 80-120 days

Sunlight: full sun

Soil requirement: rich in organic matter, well drained, fertile

Sowing and cultivation: Sow indoors from late March through April if growing in the greenhouse, or late April through May to transplant outdoors. Sow direct outdoors from late May. Seeds should be planted 2 cm deep in good size pots, 1-2 seeds per pot/cell. Thin to keep the strongest seedling. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into bigger pots. Leave 60-80 cm between the plants