Vegetable Science

Sponge Gourd and Ridge Gourd

Other Name

Sponge Gourd – Chikni Torai, Nanua, Ghiya Torai,

Ridge Gourd- Jhingli Torai, Kali Torai

Botanical Name

Sponge gourd: Luffa cylindrica

Ridge gourd: Luffa acutangular

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Chromosome Number: 2n=26

Origin: Asia (India)

Important Points

  • The sponge gourd fruits contain higher protein and carotene than ridge gourd.
  • Both species contain a gelatinous compound called ‘luffein’.
  • Anthesis time 4:30-7:00 AM.
  • The fibre of dry fruits is also used as a bathing sponge

Area and production

Sponge gourd is grown worldwide in Brazil, Mexico, Ghana, and India. But ridge gourd cultivation is restricted to India only. Ridge gourd and sponge gourd are commonly grown throughout India, particularly in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, etc.,

Economic importance

  • Ridge gourd contains 95.20 gm moisture, 0.5gm protein, 3.0 gm carbohydrates, 37mg carotene, and 18mg vitamin C per 100g edible portion.
  • The genus derives its name from the product ‘loofah’, which is used in bathing sponges, scrubber pads, doormats, pillows, and mattresses, and also for cleaning utensils.
  • Juice of Ridge gourd is beneficial for diabetic patients.
  • Seed oil from sponge gourd is used to cure skin diseases.

Ridge gourd varieties

  • Pusa Nasdar: Early variety, IARI
  • CO 1: Early Variety TNAU
  • Satputia: Hermaphrodite, produces smaller fruits in clusters
  • Konkan Harita: KKV, Dapoli (MH)
  • Punjab Sadabahar: PAU
  • IIHR 8: IIHR, Bangalore, fruits are round, moderately resistant to downy mildew
  • PKM 1: suitable for kharif and summer seasons
  • Arka Sumeet:
  • Swana Manjari: Tolerant to powdery mildew.
  • Arka Sujat: Hybrid variety
  • Surekha: Hybrid variety

Sponge gourd varieties

  • Pusa Chikni: IARI
  • Phule Prajakta: MPKV, Rahuri (MH)
  • Pusa Supriya: IARI
  • Pusa Sneha: IARI
  • Kalyanpur Hari Chikani
  • Rajendra Nanua
  • Rajendra Ashish
  • Swarna Manjari
  • R-165
  • Harita: F1 Hybrid
  • PRG-7: New Released variety


crops can be grown on a variety of soil types. Loamy soils are rich in organic matter and well-drained are considered best. Soil should have good moisture-holding capacity, especially in the summer season. The optimum pH is 5.5 to 6.7.


It requires a long and warm climate. The humid warm climate is preferable. The optimum temperature is 24 to 370 C. It grows best in the rainy season. Due to its hard seed coat, there is a problem with seed germination when the temperature is low. Excessive rainfall during the flowering and fruiting period reduces the yield considerably. The long day promotes femaleness.

Time of sowing:

In North Indian conditions summer season crop is sown from February to March. In south India, the rabi crop is sown during the month of December. Rainy season crop is grown from June to July. However, in hilly regions, the optimum time of sowing is April to May.

Seeds Rate and Seed Treatments

  • The seed rate for ridge gourd is 3.5-5.0kg/ha and that of sponge gourd is 2.5-3.5kg/ha.
  • The seed colour of the sponge gourd is white and that of the ridge gourd is black.
  • The seeds are soaked in water for 12-24 hours before sowing to improve germination.

Preparation of Field

Fields are plough two to three times for better soil tilth. As per the requirement of the crop the raised beds, furrows, or pits are prepared and the field is kept ready for planting.


Spacing is 1.5 to 3 m and is kept in rows and 60 to 120 cm between plants. Two seeds per hill in the case of raised beds and three to four seeds per pit are sown.

Manure and Fertilizers

Table: Recommended dose of NPK for some states are


N Kg/ha

P Kg/ha

K Kg/ha










Farmyard manure 10-15 tonnes/ha, superphosphate, potash, and half nitrogen should be applied as a basal dose or at the time of sowing and one-half nitrogen should be given as top dressing after one month of planting.


First irrigation may be given sown after planting later frequent irrigation once in 4 to 5 days is given. Flowering and fruit development are susceptible to soil moisture stress. Rainy-season crop requires no irrigation if there is good rainfall.

Weed control

The crop is kept weed free during the entire growth period. Weeding should be done 20-25 days after the sowing. The second weeding may be done 25-30 days after the first one.

Growth regulators

Sr. No.







Increase female flowers and Yield




Increase yield

Foliar spray of these growth regulators at two and four leaf stages.

Training and pruning

The early crop can be allowed to trail on the bed itself. The commercial crop is trained on a Kniffen system. The crop is trained when the seedlings are about 10-15cm tall.


The crop is ready for the first harvest about 60 days after planting. Fruits attain marketable maturity in 5 to 7 days after anthesis. Fruits should be harvested when they are still immature and tender. Picking should be done every 3-4 days. If there is a delay in harvesting, the fruits become more fibrous and are unfit for human consumption. Fruits can be stored for 3 to 4 days at room temperature.


The average yield of sponge and ridge gourds in summer season and rainy season crops are 100 -125 quantal / ha and 125-150 quantal/ha respectively.