You Can and Should Grow Luffas

By dave
May 18, 2015

It's highly ornamental, bees love it, the fruit is edible and delicious, mature fruits have many household uses, and the plant is easy to grow. What's not to love?

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May 17, 2015 6:44 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b and Fl
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....for the reminder!

I need a fast-growing annual vine to cover an arbor (for shade), and this one fits that bill! Our season isn't long enough for flowers and fruits, but it's still an easy to grow vine that covers an area fairly quickly, yet won't get out of hand. Thumbs up
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May 18, 2015 4:41 AM CST
Name: Vickie
southern Indiana (Zone 6b)
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I had no idea that luffa looked like that! Or that I was using a fruit to clean my sink Smiling Although I will probably never grow it due to space issues, I loved reading about it. Those are some very pretty blooms, too. Thanks for the info, Dave.
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May 18, 2015 9:02 AM CST
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
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Great article, Dave. Thanks for sharing this info !
I too had no idea that luffas came from a plant !
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May 18, 2015 3:03 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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Thanks for reminding me, I need to plant my seeds!
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May 18, 2015 3:30 PM CST
Name: Linda
Tucson, Arizona
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Dave I grew these in Tucson several years ago and they did well and were an interesting plant to grow. I had a neighbor at the time that was from the Sudan. Apparently they had grown in his home country as well. One day I found him in the yard with his young son showing him the plant and talking about his memories of it. Smiling
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May 18, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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This smooth okra was once popular in the south where it was known as vine okra. There are many new varieties available today. If you like this one you should try its cousin Luffa acutangula . More popular as a food plant. Many different varieties of this one also.
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May 18, 2015 6:12 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thanks Dill, I'll definitely grow that cousin. In case anyone's interested, here's the entry for it in our database:

Chinese Okra (Luffa acutangula)
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May 18, 2015 6:12 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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Great article Dave! I have a question though. How xeriscapic are they? Do you have any water source to yours or are they growing without supplemental watering from you?

You cook them just like I do summer squash and zucchini.
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Last edited by flaflwrgrl May 18, 2015 6:13 PM Icon for preview
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May 18, 2015 6:17 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
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Yes, Ann, they are plenty xeriscapic for us, especially once they get established. We never irrigate our luffas and they grow perfectly fine without it. We grow some out in the yard, up against the cattle's fence. Out there there's no water at all and they do fine.

We've also had volunteers grow in extremely poor clay soil with very bad drainage, and they grew huge vines and abundant fruits.
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May 18, 2015 8:04 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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Great! Then I have a lattice just waiting for them. They can climb 10' high & go down the other side. Thanks for the info. Dave! Smiling
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
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May 19, 2015 4:19 PM CST
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
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Great Article & good information. I especially like the idea of eating them fresh from the vine. It sounds like the way we do summer squash. I like chelle's idea of growing it as an arbor vine for shade; and farmerdill's growing it as 'vine okra'. I also like the picture of the teepee! Good information all around: Thanks everyone; it's only 54 degrees here today so this helps me plan and get educated at the same time!
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May 20, 2015 8:29 PM CST
Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
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Our family have been growing the angled luffa acutangula- Chinese okra- for as long as I can remember. It is easy to grow and covers a fence/trellis with large yellow blooms. I've got seeds😃
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