Patola or luffa (scientific name) is commonly planted as vegetable or for food. According to
scientists, it contains calcium, iron and plenty of phosphorous.
There are two kinds of patola: one is the many-sided which is inherently ours and the other is
the cylindrical type, which is called “patolang Kastila”. Our local version is the sweeter kind.
Patola is not difficult to grow, but it likes loose, sandy soil, fertile and does not lodge water.
It may be planted at any time of the year, but there are more flower, and fruits are bigger when
the weather is cool. Patola is planted two times a year: from March to May and from October
to December. But if the fruits will be made into luffa, it is better to plant in October-December
so the harvest falls in summer.
Ordinary patola is planted directly in the field; but if it is not in season, plant first in plastic bag
(perforated at the bottom) and then later transfer to the field when it will be needling trellises to
1. Plow the field and clean 2-3 times, with 7 days’ interval.
2. Dig trenches 3 meters apart from each other.
3. Plant the seed in the soil at 3×3 (or 2 cm) meters apart.
4. Set bamboo poles or post in rows about 3 meters long and 3 meters apart.
Tie strings or wire from post to post about 3 weeks after germination of seeds.
Patola will bear fruit even without trellis, but many fruits will turn out in bad shape.
5. Patola needs watering. Dig canal for irrigation about 1-1/2 meters from the plant or between
Apply composting animal manure.
About 3-4 months after planting, or 45-50 days after flowering, patola can be harvested.
A hectare of patola can be yield about 10,000 pieces or more, depending on more how well
the plants have been maintained.
from: Dept. of Trade & Industry 1989