Loofah Reveal

At the beginning of spring I mentioned growing some loofah plants. Now let me introduce you to my loofahs!
Loofah is a natural sponge that grows on a vine. You can actually eat loofah when they are young but once they mature, the inside turns into an all purpose sponge.
You thought all sponges come from the sea, didn’t ya? 


I started off with four loofah plant. These little twigs fought each other in my window seal until the ground was warm enough to plant outside.

    

Nick built me a little trellis and a planter box in an area where they would get lots of direct sun. I wanted to plant them directly in the ground but for unknown reasons, he was against it. So a planter box it was. I could hardly wait to watch them grow.


Once I transplanted them into the soil, they must have gotten soil shocked because two of them died (They are known to do this). This left me with only two vines, but I figured that was enough for a trial run. It was fun seeing these plants finally take off and climb the trellis. They grew beautiful flowers that attracted some cute bees. 
I have always been afraid of bees, but not these. I somehow felt a friendship with these little stingers. They were working for me so I had to respect them. We got along great. 

I learned there are male and female flowers. The male flowers grow in clusters while the female flowers grow between the branches. 

   

The female flowers have to be pollinated to produce fruit. A loofah is ready to harvest once it turns yellow and the skin starts to loosen. They house hundreds of seeds that can be planted the next year. 


I read that just one vine will give you up to 20 loofahs. That was not my case. I was rather disappointed in my harvest this year. I only got six loofahs off two plants. Though I had many start to grow, they simply were eaten by some kind of critter or dried up and died before maturing. I plan to give it another shot next year and have a larger trellis and deeper dirt. I hope to plant them in the ground next year instead of a box. 

What next? I plan to cut them into pieces and make loofah soaps something like in this.... 


Below is a video showing the timeline of my loofahs. Hope you enjoy 






9 comments

  1. I never thought about growing loofahs before! How cool is that? I can’t wait to see how you make the soap!

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  2. Hi Lisa, oh wow that is so interesting. I really thought about where they come from and I had no idea that they were from a plant. I learned a lot from you and thanks. Have fun making the loofah soap.

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  3. I think you did an amazing job growing your loofahs! I've learned so much about loofahs from you Lisa! I can't wait to see you post about the loofah soap!

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  4. I honestly didn't realize they were a plant. How cool. I'll have to try to grow some.

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  5. That's so cool! I love the loofah soap idea

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  6. YOu are a smart cookie. Not only growing them but the video is neat. I never figure how to do that.
    Anyway Yep I thought all sponge came from the sea. I think my girl uses something like this. LOL
    I bet y'all are cold. We are 80 degrees and sunny over here in Bell town. (I wish!) LOL
    Sherry & jack I was long after Sherry this time....

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  7. Wow that is really neat. I'd love to try growing some!

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