Growing Loofah in Ontario
Answered by: Ginny Cotterill
Question from: Tova
Posted on: April 24, 2011

I am launching a new soap business and supplying my own homegrown loofah is part of my potential business plan. I soaked 12 seeds for 24 hrs and planted them on March 29th. I put them under a Canadian Tire $13 grow light about 10 days later and have now also put them in a little plastic Canadian Tire Greenhouse about 4 days ago....I am still waiting for something green to pop up! I realize we are in the wrong region for this plant but I thought I would give it a try. Is this a lost cause?

Luffa (Luffa aegyptica) is a most interesting plant to grow. You have given the seeds the correct treatment. It may also be beneficial to scarify the seeds next time as well. Accomplish this by placing the seed between sandpaper and giving them a bit of a rub to help break down the hard seed coat. Then, soak them for 24 hours in water prior to sowing. Temperature is crucial for Luffa. The soil should be 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) or better for best results. Your seeds may germinate yet, as they may take 3 weeks or more to do so.

Since you are in a region of short Summers, it is best to start the seed a month prior to the last frost date for outdoor planting.

When you are ready to transplant the young plants outdoors, choose a sunny, warm site. Luffa will enjoy scrambling over a trellis there.

Good luck with your business project. Offering your own home-grown Luffa is a fantastic idea.

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