Loofahs - Update

 In a previous post, I described our first attempt at growing loofah plants. At the time (July 2nd), one of the two plants was growing with good vigour while the other had a lot of catching up to do. Since then I have discovered the vigorous plant is producing only male flowers and it is the weedier specimen that is yielding the all-important female flowers. My understanding was that every loofah plant would produce both male and female flowers in the ratio of about 10:1. I read somewhere that nutrient balance can affect the male/female dominance of the plant; high nitrogen favours male flowers while high phosphorus favours the female variety. Since both of my plants are receiving identical nutrients, it clearly is not as simple as that.

Both plants have put on considerable growth although the male specimen still gives the impression of the lushier plant. The plants are now taking over the polytunnel and have now come together despite starting on opposite sides. I have decided to just let them get on with it, whatever 'it' is.

 Some promising female flowers first appeared in late July/early August but came to nothing. However, there are now (mid-September) a number of young loofahs developing and these look more promising. Will there be enough time for them to grow to full size? Here are a couple of photos of the same loofah taken on the 6th and 10th September.

Popular Posts