Ridged gourd or angled Luffa gourd(Luffa acutangula) and smooth gourd ( Luffa cylindrica) are commonly called patola among the Tagalogs and locally known as kabatiti among the Ilocanos and Ibanags. A tropical member of the Cucurbitaceae, the patola plant is an annual vine with tendrils and large, cylindrical fruits that are edible when young. Most patola varieties are monoecious. Male flowers develop in a cluster, whereas female flowers develop singly or in association with male flowers. The lower nodes of patola usually bear only male flowers, followed by nodes having both male and female flowers, which are followed by solitary female flowers at the uppermost nodes.

The mature, dry fruit consists of a hard shell surrounding a stiff, dense network of cellulose fibers. These dense network of cellulose fibers serve as support and dispersal of hundreds of flat, smooth black seeds.They are called luffa or loofah sponge which is commercially manufactured as body scrub.

Patola is closely related to cucumber and modified cultural practices for trellised cucumber production can be used. One must keep in mind, however, that luffa is a tropical plant which requires a long growing season and warm temperature.

Selection of Varieties

There are two species of patolathat can be planted for production namely:

  1. Angular patola (Luffa acutangula) – or ridge gourd, in (Tagalog) patola, (Ilocano) kabatiti and in (Bisaya) buyo-buyo.
  2. Sponge gourd or Smooth loofah (Luffa cylindrica)
For better yield, select varieties of patola that are adaptable in your local conditions and market preference.


Soil and Environmental Requirements 

Patola is an easy plant to grow and adapted to humid tropics. In the Philippines, it can be planted during the wet and dry seasons of the year with high temperature and adequate moisture during the dry season. However, for optimum production, select soil types with high organic matter and in a well-drained soil, clay loam to sandy loam soils, although it can be planted in any soil type.. This crop can be profitably grown in rain fed and irrigated farms but not productive in poorly drained soils. Productive months in growing patola is from June to September and from February to May if there is adequate irrigation.

Land Preparation

Prepare the field as early as possible to give enough time for the weeds and stubbles of previous crops to decompose. Plow and harrow 2 to 3 times alternately at one week interval. Plow at a depth of 15 to 20 cm. Harrow twice to break the clods and level the field. A well-pulverized soil promotes good soil aeration and enhances root formation. Furrows should be set at 2.5 to 3 m distance.

During rainy season, raised beds are recommended to avoid water-logging. Application of lime one month before sowing at the rate of 3 tons per hectare is recommended.

System of Planting 

Soak the seeds in water overnight before planting to facilitate germination. The seeds are planted direct in the prepared furrows. During wet season, drill 2cm. deep and plant 2 to 3 seeds per hill on the ridges of the furrows at a distance of 2.5 m between hills to avoid water logging.

One week after planting remove weak seedlings after emergence (DAE). Thinning will be done to avoid overcrowding of plants. The recommended spacing will give 2,500 plants per hectare.



Trellising should be done as soon as the plant starts to crawl. Madre de cacao/ipil-ipil post can be used as trellis to facilitate the growth of vines. G.I. wire and nylon twine can also be used. Provide the plants with trellis to produce fruits of good visual quality. Trellising is also essential during the wet season to minimized fruit rotting and malformation.