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Did you know you can grow luffas in your home garden? I was amazed when I learned about growing luffas and that they actually grow on land.
A guide to growing luffa
Luffas are actually a gourd. They grow on a vigorous vine. They are edible when eaten young and taste like a cross between a cucumber and zucchini. If you allow them to completely ripen on the vine and begin to turn brown, they are fibrous like a sponge.
Cut your luffa stems off the vine. Peel the thick skin off the luffa. Shake all the seeds out of the middle section. (Each luffa has hundreds of seeds, so it takes a while). Lastly, rinse them. Let them dry completely and you have a sponge ready for bathing.
Luffas are easy to grow as long as you have a long, hot growing season. They like the heat, so they don’t do well in more northern climates. We grow them in Oklahoma in our preschool garden in zone 7.
They also require a really sturdy trellis. The luffa vines grow around 30 feet. We like to use our chain link fence for the trellis.
Luffa sponges are great for bathing, exfoliating, washing dishes, washing your car or whatever you need a sponge for. If you let them dry completely between uses, they will last for months or even a year of use.
They are also great to use for making luffa bar soap. They make it look gorgeous, and give the soap an exfoliating quality. You can grind the luffa to add to the soap, or slice it and use the slices for soap making. Get some luffa seeds and start growing your own sponges in your home garden.
I love to teach people how to grow, especially how to grow with kids in the garden.
Check out Little Sprouts Learning for more information about growing luffas, where to get the seeds, and how to grow other things.