Luffa Gourd Plant

ThreeOfSeven

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 29, 2016
701
2,751
296
Shelter Island, New York
On a whim last winter, I decided to plant a luffa gourd plant in the spring. Got my seeds, and started them early. They finally went into the ground, about 7 seedlings, and I've been watching them all summer. It went HUGE! Here's a pic of them climbing halfway up a big tree.

Sadly, plenty of flowers, but no fruit. Until ...
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I peered around the back of the plant this afternoon ... EUREKA! I am so thrilled. Only a few gourds, but at least the effort wasn't completely in vain.

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RhodeIslandRed5

Songster
May 28, 2019
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East Texas
Beautiful! Are you going to eat them or peel them for the sponge? Sounds like the 'few fruit problem' could be low pollination due to few bees or poor weather inhibiting good pollination of the blossoms. Gourd plants are not male or female(diocious)but are monoecious- meaning both male and female blossoms are born all on the same plant. Insect or hand pollination is required.
 

ThreeOfSeven

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 29, 2016
701
2,751
296
Shelter Island, New York
Beautiful! Are you going to eat them or peel them for the sponge? Sounds like the 'few fruit problem' could be low pollination due to few bees or poor weather inhibiting good pollination of the blossoms. Gourd plants are not male or female(diocious)but are monoecious- meaning both male and female blossoms are born all on the same plant. Insect or hand pollination is required.

Good info. Yes, they also mentioned pollination, but I have LOTS of bees. Nearby are raspberries, sunflowers ... and more. I have about a dozen 4x8 raised beds with flowers and veggies. Maybe next time I'll try hand pollination.

Going to peel them for the sponge. :)
 

RhodeIslandRed5

Songster
May 28, 2019
1,025
1,321
241
East Texas
Wow, maybe since you had so many nice flowers, your bees weren't to interested in the luffa blossoms. Hand pollination is fairly easy, just a little time-consuming. Pick a couple of male blossoms and remove the petals. Rub the staminate of the male blossoms onto the pistillate of the female blossom. Mark the pollinated blossom.
 

ThreeOfSeven

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 29, 2016
701
2,751
296
Shelter Island, New York
Wow, maybe since you had so many nice flowers, your bees weren't to interested in the luffa blossoms. Hand pollination is fairly easy, just a little time-consuming. Pick a couple of male blossoms and remove the petals. Rub the staminate of the male blossoms onto the pistillate of the female blossom. Mark the pollinated blossom.

That could exactly be the problem!

Okay, you make it sound easy. I'll try again next spring. I'm sure there's a video on Youtube that I can watch. <grin>
 

ThreeOfSeven

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 29, 2016
701
2,751
296
Shelter Island, New York
Crap! I bought luffa seeds last fall to plant in the spring and completely forgot I had them until you created this thread. Oh well, I’ll leave myself a reminder on my iPhone calendar like I do everything else I want to remember. :idunno

That's so funny! I do the same thing. Going to add a note for next April to start the seedlings. :)
 

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