Well, I finally got brave and planted the luffa in the yard. I was so scared that the harsh hot dry early summer weather we've been having would kill it and I'd have to wait a whole year to try this again. I planted the first one in the first week of May, and kept the other one in the house until around May 15th, just in case we had a late frost. By then it had started flowering in the pot in my house, so I wanted to get it outside.
They are along my wood fence, and I tied a nylon string to the boards to give the luffa something more to hold on to until it gets big enough to grab onto the wood.
It seems to be doing great. Some kind of bug has chewed up some of the lower leaves a little bit. It's probably the same thing that took a taste of my garden's broccoli leaves. It has survived a huge wind storm that we had a few days ago. The wind was strong enough to rip my neighbor's screen door off of the hinges. The wind/dust storm pulled it off of the string entirely, but I twisted it back up and it's still alive.
The luffa flowers are prettier than I was expecting. It looks like an ornamental climbing vine with all of the pretty blooms.
You can see the tiny ants that are attracted to the little green structures along the vine. They produce tiny droplets of nectar.
The rest of the garden is growing nicely as well. We finished up the sweet pea trellis. We used the cedar 2x4s from the previous garden bed, and I found some decorative wooden corner brackets at Menards to give it more stability. It is attached to the wooden frame of the garden bed with Spax screws.
To read more about my luffa growing experiment, see my April post.