Loofah Gardening - Knowledgebase Question

Lancaster, CA
Avatar for Ladyiz1
Question by Ladyiz1
December 20, 1997
I was recently given some loofah seeds and I would like to know how I get them from seed to the finished sponge like thing I use in the shower.

Answer from NGA
December 20, 1997
Loofah sponges come from a gourd called Luffa aegyptiaca. It's also called the dish cloth gourd. Gourd seed should be planted when the ground is warm and, they need to be grown in full sun, with lots of water during the summer. The vines will grow 10to 15 feet long with gourds one to two feet long.

Gourds should be harvested before frost. A gourd is mature when the tendrils near it dry and shrivel up. When you harvest, cut the stem a few inches from the gourd and allow the gourds to dry in an airy place, such as a garage or covered porch. When thoroughly dry, peel the outer skin surface off, leaving the networked fiber intact. When you place the fibrous sponge in water, it will soften somewhat and can be used as a dish cloth or bath sponge.

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