Gardening

Characteristics and cultivation of the Luffa cylindrica or sponge plant

Luffa cylindrica also known as Sponge Plant, Paste, Scourer, Loofah or Luffa . It belongs to the cucurbits family. Its origin is in Southwest Asia, but it is common in many subtropical areas.

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Luffa cylindrica characteristics

Annual and climbing perennial plant  that develops tendrils that can reach a height of 4 to 5 m.

The leaves are large, lobed or angular, triangular in shape, scratchy on contact, and papery.

The inflorescences are yellow. The female ones are solitary, while the male ones are arranged in axillary clusters.

The fruits are dark green and orange-yellow at harvest, similar to zucchini, elongated and narrow in the area near the peduncle, with longitudinal darker green bands.

The interior is made up of a dense network of plant fibers that make up a hollow cylinder.

Luffa cylindrica cultivation

It is a fast growing species, so it needs to be in full sun.

It is sensitive to frost and requires temperatures above 20 ° C.

As for the soil, it is indifferent, but the ideal is that it has good drainage and incorporates washed river sand, perlite or substrate.

Irrigation should be by flooding every 7 days, or, irrigate three to four times a week in the summer and three to four days the rest of the year.

The compost  should be with organic compost such as guano.

It multiplies by means of seeds in the spring. It is sown directly in the seedbed.

After collection it should be in a dry and ventilated place, on paper. When it turns brown, it should be moved and if the seeds are heard it is time to remove the shell.

Data

  • Politicization is carried out by means of insects.
  • In many countries this species is known as scourer. Being a natural and hypoallergenic product. Its main use is as a sponge that stimulates circulation in a natural way.
  • It even exfoliates the skin removing dead cells while preventing cellulite. The loofah is also used to make shoes, gloves, and foot brushes.

Available in the gardencenterejea seed section .

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