Learn everything about Growing Sponge Gourd in India. This vegetable is easy to grow, requires less space, and also gets ready to harvest in no time!
If you love growing your own vegetables, then check out our guide on Growing Sponge Gourd. The best part is, you can grow it in pots too!
What is Sponge Gourd?
Sponge gourd has smooth, green skin and creamy-white flesh. The vegetable is fibrous and tastes like zucchini. You can relish it after cooking in a variety of ways.
Botanical Name: Luffa aegyptiaca
Other Names: Dishrag gourd, Rag gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable sponge
How to Grow Sponge Gourd
Purchase good quality seeds from the local vendor and sow them in pots or a garden. Do not plant them too deeply, water them well, and ensure they get plenty of sunlight. The seeds will sprout in 14-18 days.
Growing Requirements of Sponge Gourd
For best growth and pods, make sure that the plant gets a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Avoid growing it in shade.
Water the soil whenever the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Avoid wetting the foliage and do not let the growing medium dry out completely. You can also mulch the plant to maintain moisture in the harsh summer months of India.
The plant needs well-draining, aerated, and fertile soil with a pH of around 6.5-7. Go for loamy-sandy soil well amended with organic matter like aged manure.
DIY by mixing two parts of potting soil, one part of cocopeat, and one part of vermicompost.
Sponge gourd is grown in tropical and subtropical regions and is fond of warm and humid conditions. The plant grows best in the temperature range of 25-35 C.
Taking Care of Sponge Gourd
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half of its strength, once in 3-4 weeks. You can also mix a handful of vermicompost around the plant’s base for stimulating growth.
Sponge gourd is a vine and thus needs support. Use trellis, poles, or bamboo stakes. You can also opt for pipes or rope for this purpose.
Pests and Diseases
The plant is susceptible to pests like aphids and slugs. Also, keep it safe from birds too. Use a net to save the pods from birds and spray the plant with a neem oil solution to take care of the pests.
To keep most of the fungal issues at bay, avoid overwatering the plant.
Harvesting Sponge Gourd
It will be ready to harvest in 80-85 days from the date of sowing. Harvest using a sanitized knife when the gourd is still tender and is about of a palm’s length Do not leave it on the vine for a longer period as it will degrade the taste.