Luffa Gourd Growing on a Vine

For the first time this year, I'm growing gourds. Lots of gourds!

I've planted birdhouse gourds, dipper gourds, giant african bottle gourds, decorative gourds, and luffa. It's kind of funny because I never thought I would be so interested in them -- but I'll admit that I'm more excited about my gourds than just about anything else growing in the garden this year!

Of all the different types of gourds around, I started out just wanting to try growing luffas. And, although I branched out to include all kinds of other gourds this year too, I have the largest amount of luffa vines growing.

Luffas need a nice long growing season, so I figured they would do just fine here and they've turned out to be pretty easy to grow. I started them from seed in the house way back in late March and ended up planting the seedlings out in the garden in late April. From my initial research, most people mentioned that Luffa's tend to do better when grown on a trellis, although it isn't absolutely necessary. So, I had intended to install some trellises for them, but never really got around to it. Eventually, we put a few old tree posts into the ground near the gourds and a few of the luffas have scrambled up those -- but, otherwise, they are growing along the ground. Oh well, maybe I'll get a trellis installed for them next year.

Luffas just need some extra time ...

For awhile, I was a bit worried about the luffas because they weren't producing any gourds (whereas my other types of gourds have been producing fruit for months!), but I eventually started seeing some female flowers and a bunch of little gourds. Many of those little gourds have been quickly growing into much bigger gourds now and I'm pretty sure I'll get a nice crop of luffas this year.

How to Grow Luffa

This luffa gourd is one of the largest ones I have so far -- it's probably about 12 inches long. I hope it gets fatter!

Luffa Gourd Vine Growing Up a Tree

This is one of the luffa vines growing up a post.
It does seem to be quite a bit happier than the ones growing along the ground.

Luffa Male Flowers

Male luffa flower buds. We've had male flowers on the luffa vines all summer.

Growing Luffa Gourds - Luffa Flowers

A cluster of male flower buds next to a single female flower.
The male flowers form in clusters whereas the female flowers appear on a solitary stem.

Luffa Gourd Tendrils

You can see why luffas work so well when grown on trellises. They have some serious tendrils!

Luffa Gourd Female Flowers

The beginnings of a female flower (it hasn't opened yet). Female flowers have a little gourd/pod at their base. If the female flower is pollinated, the pod will turn into a gourd.

Aug 06 2014
Posted in: Vegetables

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