Where do Loofah sponges come from?

 

Did you ever wonder where a Loofah Sponge came from?  I bet you were thinking from the sea or ocean?  Right?

Nope!  From your garden!  Last year I started growing loofah’s at my parents house.  We did pretty good, so we thought we would try it again this year.

I started the seeds in the house under a grow light in the early spring.  And  once the frost was past we planted them in the ground.  My dad worked hard at placing a trellis for it to grow on all around it.

Last year was very rainy and wet and the loofah’s didn’t do to good.  But this year had been much drier and hot.  And the loofah’s have just loved it.

Here’s the Loofah Flowers being pollinated by the wonderful bumble bees that love the bright yellow colors and strong smell they put off. The patch is about 8-10 feet long and going.  It stands about 6 foot tall in some places.  You can see all the blooms and every day there are more of the vegetables  growing! (Yes, it’s a Vegetable…you could get them if you want)

Here’s just two of the hanging loofahs that are growing.  You can see that the second one is hanging on the inside of the Trellis.  Soon the leaves will start to die off and the Loofahs will start to dry and brown.  Then will will harvest them and peel back the skins to find the sponges inside!

You’ll need to use a garden hose and clean the sponge off.  I normally beat the sponge on the ground, picnic table, esc, to knock out the seeds on the inside.  (They will fly everywhere, so you’ll want to do it outside.)  Then I lay them out to dry.  You can bleach them if you want, but it’s not needed.

Edited to add: I’ve had a few people ask where I get the seeds from, so I thought I would just update.  I got them in the early spring at the local Rural King.  I’m not sure how national they are, but maybe check other garden care stores.

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