You most likely have a loofah in your bathroom to help you get silky smooth skin, but did you know that you can grow your own loofah? If this just blew your mind, it’s because most people have NO idea that the loofah we scrub our skin with is actually a PLANT! Believe it or not, you can actually grow loofah plants right in your garden. Say what?! The loofah, also spelled luffa, is plant that’s part of the gourd family and looks a little like a cucumber. So if you’re interested in how to grow loofah plants, this article is right up your alley!
How to Grow Loofah Plants in Your Garden
A little information about the loofah plant before we dive into our guide:
- The loofah plant grows to about 30 inches in length.
- Although it looks like a cucumber on the outside, the inside looks just like the stuff you use in the shower – because it IS!
- Small, immature loofahs (4-8″ in length), can actually be eaten.
- When they’re ready to pick, loofah turn brown and become very very light in weight.
Planting Loofah Plants:
- If you live in a cooler climate, start your loofah seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date.
- Purchase new loofah seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours before planting.
- If you have a seed heat pad, use that to help germination – it really works and can save you a world of troubles!
- Once the first true set of leaves have formed, transplant your loofah seedlings into biodegradable pots.
- If it’s warm enough outdoors, start bringing your loofah plants outdoors for a few hours every day.
- After about a week of hardening, plant your loofah plants outdoors in full sun.
- Plant near a fence or build a trellis so the loofah vines can climb up.
- Water your plant on a regular basis.
- If a cold front comes, cover the plants with a ventilated cover.
Harvesting Loofah Plants:
- Loofah plants take a long time to develop, so be patient.
- By October, they should be ready for harvest.
- Pick the loofah before they’re hit by frost, even if they’re still green – you’ll still be able to peel the loofahs, but it may just be a little bit harder.
- If you can, wait until the loofah plant turns brown and is light as a feather!
- Now simply peel the brown/green part off the loofahs using your thumbs (as if you’re shucking corn).
- And voila, you now have your very own, naturally grown loofah sponge!
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