How to grow Luffa or Sponge Gourd (Luffa aegyptiaca) from seeds 絲瓜種子孵法
Fruit and flowers see Wikipedia:
Luffa aegyptiaca, aka Egyptian cucumber, aka Vietnamese luffa, aka sponge gourd. It is an annual vine, very common veggie in Asia. The tender fruit is for veggie and the aged fibrous skeleton of the fruit is the most environmental friendly scrubber for households. In old days, the fluid of the vine (use sharp knife to cut a wound to get the fresh liquid) has been used for facial lotion/mask for cooling, hydration and reducing wrinkles. It is also medicinal plant.
It is very easy to grow from seeds. It prefers full sun to partial shade location with structure support to cling on. Male and female yellow flowers in the same plant. Easy to fruit.
1.Get the seeds from ripen fruit, the seeds are black and flat. (See the seed image.) Plant the seeds in moist warm location. About 1-3 days, seeds will sprout. Use protection for seedlings if your planting area has animal problem.
1.從熟瓜中取出種子或曬乾的絲瓜絡敲出種子. 成熟的種子是黑色扁平有點厚度的. (見圖) 將種子置於溼潤的土表放在溫暖的地方在1-3天就會出芽. 若鄰近有野生動物會破壞/吃掉種子或挖土的話要保護種子或小苗.
2.Transplant the seedlings when they have 4-6 leaves and plant them in the ground or in large planters. Keep them in moist but well drained soil in full sun to partial shade location. It prefers growing in warm temperature.
2.小苗長出4-6片本葉後可以移植,以地植為佳,深盆次之. 全日照並維持一定土壤溼度,另外須建攀爬用支架以利快速生長. 它喜熱喜強光並需適時施肥和灌溉.
How cool!! Great post! On a side note…I can’t post on your other page as it always shows “invalid security token" but I so enjoy your recipes!! Tina
This is cool, I didn’t know you could grow them yourself.
Very useful plant! Easy to grow, too! 🙂 I have extra seeds if you want few.
That is very kind of you, but I am not sure I will have the space, as I would have to grow them in the greenhouse. I have found a nursery in the UK which sells seeds (7per packet) at £2.60, so it would probably not be worth your while posting. By the way, the ribes are coming into flower now, so hopefully the bees will get busy and I can get some berries in a few months 🙂
An uncle in Florida gave me some seeds many years ago, and I thought these plants needed the tropical weather to mature. You make it sound like I could grow them in a cooler climate. When I am ready, I will look for seeds. Thanks
You are welcome! I have some spare ones if you can not find yours. 🙂
Is it edible? How does it taste?
The texture is soft because it contains lots of water. It has vegetable sweetness. In Asia I think people cook with small amount of ginger or garlic with salt, stir-fry than simmer. It can be added into soup as well.
Are familiar with the bitter melon?
Sure. Have planted many times in the past when I was young and easy to grow and fruit! Lots of people do not enjoy the bitter taste though. If you cook well, it can be tasty and good for you! 🙂
The bitter taste can blend with the other ingredients.I like the bitter taste though. Similar slightly to drinking black coffee,
It tastes pretty good with formatted and salted black beans with short spare ribs for the stew or soup! Like I said, it is easy to grow! You can get seeds from almost ripe melon you get from supermarket. 🙂
I thought Luffas were animal in origin! Quite informative.
Thank you! I am glad you like it! 🙂 Happy spring!
Beautiful photos. Your blog looks great! Thanks for posting.
Thank you! I am glad you like it!