How to Grow Loofah Sponges

How to Grow Loofah Sponges

11/15/12

When I got back from dropping my kids off this morning, I noticed that my loofah sponge vines had finally had it. Woo hoo! Time to harvest the loofahs! I raced in the house for a sharp pair of scissors, and got busy cutting them off their vines. Every time I thought I had gotten them all, I found another one hiding under some leaves.

Loofah Sponge Harvest

Not a bad haul from one loofah sponge seed, if you ask me. Most are at least two feet long and crazy heavy.

I have them drying on racks in the house as we speak. Once they lose their heft and their outer skin gets papery, I’ll peel them to get at the sponges and the seeds that are hiding inside.

Be sure to check back for the big reveal. If all goes well I should have a year’s supply of kitchen and bath sponges, plus plenty to give away as gifts.

Update: 1/14/13

I took a trip down to the basement yesterday to see how the loofah sponges were doing, and they were ready for peeling! The outer skin was papery, and I could hear the seeds inside when I shook them.

Loofah Sponges - Before Peeling

So, I brought a few upstairs this morning, and got to work on them. It took a little longer than I expected to get the skin off, but check it out. Sponges!

Loofah Sponges -Dried

And seeds!

Loofah Sponge Seeds

I still need to shake/fish most of the seeds out of the sponges. Those are just the ones that fell out while I was working.

Loofahs are definitely going on my grow list again this year.

Want to grow loofahs in your garden? Burpee is selling a pack of 25 seeds for $4.95.

They require a long growing season, so they do best in zones 5 and up.

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