Post last updated: August 13th, 2018

Gourd and luffa vines

This was my first year playing with gourds – birdhouse gourd and an ornamental mixture of gourds (Ferry-Morse seeds) as well as luffa sponge gourd seeds from my beekeeper friend, Karen. The birdhouse and ornamental mixture seeds quickly sprouted and climbed up the trellis strings. The luffa seeds sprouted but sat there and thought about whether or not they wanted to grow.

Some of the leaves from the ornamental mixture were huge (HUGE!) and I intended to take a photo of them to show you. I thought about it at least once a day but the thought floated off on the vapors like a lot of thoughts housed in a defective memory. Next thing I knew, we were beset with Tropical Storm Debby and the gourds were lisping “Glub, glub….” Following Debby was a wave of heat and humidity. Steam rose up from the sodden earth and engulfed all the gourd vines with powdery mildew. Some just wilted away as though the Wicked Witch herself had huffed her hot breath on them. Then the gourds rotted away. Looking at the pitiful aftermath, I wished I had remembered to photograph the leaves when they had been so healthy.

In the late summer, the luffa plants finally got off their duff and began to take over the entire gourd plot. I mean to tell you, they went to town in all capital letters. They also bloom a lot. I’ve counted as many as 7 and 8 blooms at once. The blooms are huge and showy. My eyeballs would have sworn the blooms were three inches in diameter but my ruler tells me two-and-one-quarter inches.  Can a ruler be wrong?

Luffa bloom

Since I am learning about gourds this year, I must confess to not knowing squat about luffa sponge gourds.  If you want to read up on them, go here.  They’ve also got the scoop on harvesting the luffa sponge.

Update 3/3/2013: The luffa gourd vines grew up the ladder and two luffa gourds grew on the roof.

luffa gourd on roof-1410

5 thoughts on “Gourds”

  1. I love how you’ve trained the vines up the trellis strings. My daughter tried to grow luffa one year, but I don’t think any of hers made it. I wasn’t expecting to see such pretty blooms. An interesting plant to grow!

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