Luffa Esmeraldas are incredibly rare!
This cultivar was brought to us as an heirloom from the Phillipines, and we grew the gourds and seeds in Sanford, Florida. Luffas need a 7 month growing season. The difference between common luffa cylindrica and the luffa esmeralda is huge. Luffa esmeralda is about 2X longer than aegyptiaca. Not only are the young gourds of the Esmeralda edible, they make great sponges as well. The sponges obtained from the esmeralda are more coarse than its cylindrica counterpart, making this gourd a perfect foot or dishpan scrubber. The gourds depicted average about 28" long, with the longest one we've harvested to date being 34". These are monstrous. Note that, compared to the smaller luffa gourds commonly sold, for their size, there are much fewer seeds per gourd in the luffa Esmeralda. This is partly why this gourd is so rare.
In zones 9b and up, the plant can be a short lived perennial.
Germination- Soil temp must be between 75 and 85 degrees, the closer to 85 the better. Be patient, these can take three weeks to germinate. Plant seeds 1/2 deep and keep moist until germination in very well draining soil. Sandy garden soil is perfect.