Eye catching and prolific shiny green Angled Loofah or Ridge Gourd a.k.a Loofah. Excellent in stir fry dishes and as a substitute for zucchini and cucumber where used. The fruit is very long and slender reaching to an height of 2 feet with prominent ridges. They grow best on overhead trellis where the fruit can hang down to achieve their full length. This variety is Resistant to blossom end rot.
Luffah Angled Ridge is also known as Chinese Okra, Ridge Gourd, Sponge Gourd, Ribbed Loofah, Dish Cloth Gourd, and Silk Gourd. This vigorous productive plant produces a high yield of edible fruit on strong, lateral branches. Fruit are 18" long, 2" in diameter and can weigh over a pound. The green-colored, ridged fruit is tender and tasty and matures in about 45 days after the flower sets.
Plant in early spring in cool climates, spring to early autumn in sub and tropical zones. Seeds germinates at 72-75⁰ F soil temperature. Luffah seeds germination may be erratic, increase seed germination rate by scratching the seeds on sandpaper to weaken / slightly removal of outer seed coating — this is called “scarification” — or by soaking them in water for about 24 hours before planting. Plant two or three seeds per container, about 1/2- to 3/4-inch-deep. Luffa seeds are slow to sprout, so practice patience while maintaining a moist, well-drained soil medium and providing plenty of light.
Because luffa gourds are left to mature and dry on the vine, they need a long growing season. Zone 8 and above gardeners can achieve this by starting luffa seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before their average last spring frost.
After the seeds sprout, thin them to one seedling per container. Transplant the seedlings to larger containers to prevent them from becoming root-bound. After luffas begin to develop their first set of true leaves, you’ll see that they look almost exactly like cucumber seedlings. Make sure to label your seedlings well, or you may confuse them with other cucurbits.
Loofahs / Ridge Gourds are not at all frost tolerant, so wait until frost is safely behind you before transplanting the seedlings to the garden. Before transplanting, hardening off the seedlings for about a week. To do this, carry them outside and place them in a shady location for a few hours daily, gradually working up to more hours every day. Place seedlings in a shady location, otherwise the sun could scald their sensitive leaves. Choose a sheltered spot where a light breeze can tease and strengthen their stems but protect them from any strong blasts of wind which could snap their fragile bases.
When all danger of frost has passed, transplant your hardened-off luffa seedlings to a well-drained spot with full sun. Space your seedlings (or seeds, for gardeners in warmer climates) about 3 to 4 feet apart, and make sure they receive an inch or two of water per week. Mulch luffa plants with a layer of aged compost or straw to maintain even moisture.
Luffa vines can reach more than 15 feet long, so plant the seedlings along a trellis or sturdy fence to keep them under control. Trellises are particularly important when growing luffa because they also help ensure straight fruits, which are easier to peel and create more attractive and uniform sponges.