My luffa – 4 months old!

Filed in Blog, Videos by on August 2, 2010 9 Comments
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Mrs Green surrounded by erm, greenery

Mrs Green surrounded by erm, greenery

Back in April, I announced I was growing my own cleaning sponge! I bought the seeds from the wonderful Nicky’s Nursery; which has a massive range of seeds at great prices.

Luffas, as they are known typically known, enjoy a hot, humid climate with lots of sunshine and no frosts.

Ahhhh.

Not exactly your typical British climate then.

Not being one to take No for an answer, I stubbornly stuck a couple of seeds in a pot and hoped for the best.

Two weeks later I was the proud owner of a luffa baby. Since then I’ve replanted her and given her water and love.

I know some of you were having a go too – Sarah, from Ethics Trading planted 6 seeds, another Sarah from Mum in Bloom, Emma and Jen from Clean Bin all showed interest, but I don’t know whether they planted anything. Did you, Ladies?

here’s a peek at how our luffa is doing; 4 months on!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Z3ZYVJ1wY

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (9)

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  1. the luffa, (pronounced loofa here) seems rather sun starved and anemic., but don’t tell her that..
    she needs a breeze from a fan or preferably from the great outdoors, to stir the lymph in a natural sway.
    she requires nearly full sun as all semi tropical vines do.
    give it minerals to strengthen its leaves and feed the fruit: one teaspoon each of bone meal, epsom salts (magnesium sulfate, like in bath salts) and wood ashes. stirred at its foot.
    water once a week.
    the large white blooms in early mornings remind me of moonflowers like the datura.
    a tiny swelling at the base will signal baby luffa. late in the season.

  2. Sarah says:

    I have 3 healthy looking loofah’s growing happily in my garden – 2 are against a pale fence and get lots of late afternoon sun and one is trying to climb up the chicken pen. All are fairly small but doing ok. Whether they carry on ok for long enough to flower and fruit is another question.

    I gave 2 to a friend, will have to ask her how they’re doing.

  3. Karen says:

    Well done on the plant growth. Sounds like Nadine has good advise. The luffa I told you about months ago is still going strong cleaning my dishes.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @nadine sellers: Thank you so much for your advise; I shall try your suggestions and see if I can revive my flagging plant. She is looking worse today 🙁

    @Sarah: Great news, Sarah – it sounds like yours are doing well. I wish I’d put one outside to compare.

    @Karen: Thanks Karen; they seem to last for ages don’t they? The suppliers say a year, which I questioned, but after using one for many months, it seems to be true,. Amazing how they dont’ get full of bits and smelly like manmade sponges and cleaners do.

  5. Jane says:

    Hope this miserable weather doesn’t last. We’ve done well this year otherwise compared to previous summers. Thrilled to hear how the luffas (loofahs)are growing. Any more pictures – and any flowers?

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: I’m very concerned for their life now Jane! They are growing and growing across the wall, but all the original leaves are dead. I have learned a lot however, and next year I’m going to put them in a huge pot. I’ve been feeling that basically they are starving to death. They need daily food and I think the pot is too small for the soil to retain the nutrients. Remembering back to my courgette and squash days, this family is very hungry – courgettes will grow very happily on the compost heap so there we are. I doubt I will get fruit this year, but I do have lots of experience and knowledge to take forward to next year!

  7. Jane says:

    Yes, I thought you could have planted courgette in your garden when you wanted to reduce the size of it as they take up so much room – as do ridge cucumbers. My brother has a squash plant that is busy pulling itself up a tree with its tendrils. Fascinating.

  8. revisiting the plant world here, may i suggest that cucurbitacae have a habit of breathing a lot of sunspace…they virtually inhale that sun–so if yours are not outdoors against a south facing wall or fence–do try to experiment next year…big pot–compost –water weekly–leave the dead leaves to make sure the stem borers do not invade the hollow stems.

    since the luffie likes long days and warmth, you may have had some blooms by now and some green gourd..allow it to stay on the vine at its own pace–by december–with vine looking pitiful –you may yet reap a dessicated sponge out of the fruit. i pluck the puny ones in order to cultivate just one or two larger specimen.

    you can hang all vines just as fall tomato plants–upside down by a nal or peg in the basement or shed..to keep on eating cukes and melons or pumpkins late in season too. protect with newsprint or old sheet if very cold…green thumbs to you, ns

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @nadine sellers: Hi Nadine, I will indeed try again next year – I’ve learned so much from this adventure! Unfortunately I’ve had nothing but masses of leaves. Hindsight tells me the pot isn’t big enough. Thanks for all your advice – I will take it on board next spring 🙂

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