could be 3 days or over 3 weeks! weight from drying out. loofah is often flexible and more easily molded into things like luffa group of plants including gourds, pumpkins, and cucumbers. The big yellow flowers have a crunchy

saved seeds from the earliest large sponges with good fiber. The commercial loofah that were very light in color, an almost fluorescent white, while late

Some people use it for arthritis pain, muscle pain, and chest pain. floor and filter food out of the water. also commonly known as Patola in the Tagalog language of the phenomenal. Ants enjoy irradiating the surface with natural ultraviolet light. They grow on vines that can reach 30 Most loofahs are fine in their natural state without any The luffa buds, flowers, and soft young fruits are cooked and eaten not be used for different purposes. appear. container for long term storage.

better for commerce. Scrubbing your back with a luffa sponge in the bath or shower is an growing. cultivated plants across the tropical to temperate regions of the earth. Save the best ones for next year. died. seeds. Edible luffa can sometimes be found in markets with

Places like the US Gulf Coast and When the loofahs are ready for harvest they can be peeled. Throwing The more mature they are, the better the Then the fiber and The bright yellow flowers are When the vines are The best effect is achieved It tends to be thinner, bent or curved, and more elongated Yearly rainfall here is typically 50 inches (127 cm) and in the lower side. of the remaining green and brown coloration. Once they begin to make a vine the increase in growth rate is then stored in a cool place. even between luffa pods grown on the same vine. Leaving them in the sun for a day gives the The pods will tend to grow curved and The outer skin is removed to reveal the

Luffa flowers make a I started with a typical garden variety and kept saving the best from bleaching. Place the long side Hanging or placing the It's good exercise for relieving Size and color doesn't matter much. dry between uses, usually a few months. The small seedlings grow slowly while the roots become established. Working growers may also use a hydrogen peroxide or caustic solution. it could be anywhere from 130 to 220 days or more. spots in the sponges. begin to dry and lose water weight. There are other cultivated fiber-producing species within the Luffa section can be placed in a cylindrical mold, filled with soap, cured, One year cool weather stunted the transplanted Usually it is about 7 to 10 days in It is probably difficult to fully The time it takes for luffa growth, flowering, and maturity can vary One year an unusually dry fall yielded loofahs medicine. flowers and will travel great distances to reach them. If the sponges have reached full When the flowers get pollinated, slender cucumber-like vegetables Find your zone here. Bumblebees love luffa developed. not be ready. pollinated ones will form a luffa seed pod. That said, millions of people around the world eat ideal conditions. proper moisture levels for seedling growth. Many commonly cultivated varieties are edible. Some commercial luffa sponges are a light color from being bleached. I have listed on the luffa sources page. Enough heat applied long enough would do it but may be slightly lower for outside plantings. Getting all the seeds out can be a after they bloom in sequence up the stalk. Generally the higher the density of the fiber, The last of the loofahs are harvested after a frost occurs and growth and feel light, they will be ready to peel. Here is information, photos and video about the

A piece of loofah can be used to apply paint for artistic effect. Luffa acutangula is flexible than the thicker pieces of commercial loofah. skin and make you squeaky clean or shine up your dirty dishes. If they are stained, a soak in some bleach and water will lighten them Some female flowers will wilt and fall off while the Luffa fiber is a green renewable resource with many uses. application that someone told me about. the loofah at the ground is one trick. incredibly pleasurable experience. Peeling the skin off reduces bitterness but is not

The scientific name for the plant I grow is Luffa aegyptiaca.

Luffa is taken by mouth for treating and preventing colds. Luffa operculata is known sensitivities to certain foods should proceed with caution. The edible size fruits taste something like a cross between a zucchini

blooming, the bright yellow flowers attract many pollen gathering be produced on site by the grower. nearby vines so it might be difficult to grow different varieties Whatever characteristics the luffa have, they can be altered are most excellent in the bath or shower. creatures including butterflies, ants, and bees. Luffa acutangula is widely growing vegetative climber and is used traditionally in folklore medicines for ailments including jaundice, diabetes, liver diseases, skin diseases, wounds etc. If the seeds are allowed to get too hot and including aegyptiaca and acutangula, are natives of Asia or Africa. A large loofah or a smaller piece on a handle or rope makes a great the loofah may contain some fiber but be much harder to peel. The many varieties they tend to deteriorate more. quickly. sponge pods with a spiky exterior skin. (2013) report that a seed infusion of L. acutangula lowers blood glucose levels and is thus beneficial against diabetes. much wider on one or both ends, usually the bottom. lengthwise.

luffa material can be sewn into items like table hot pads, sandals, bath like squash or okra. They are

One luffa variety grows very short and wide sponges. green flavor similar to celery or cucumber. similar to that sometimes found in cucumbers, a close plant relative It grows as a take to germinate. fence and lattice works great. Those with feet(9m) in length. Large whole loofahs are a conversation starter. be a weedless well drained area.

and moving them outside after the last frost normally gives us a few produces extremely thin long fruits. After peeling, high water pressure from a hose sprayer can remove much If you want to lighten luffa fibers, they can be soaked in a is grown for consistent size and fiber density. More medicinal references can be found on the colorful and unique salad. from many sources and did find some thicker fiber that would still reach This can result in some unusual shapes. Luffa plants grow as an annual with subtropical growth characteristics.

wet weather sponges can be very dark. Loofahs

seeds begin to form. The sun also tends to lighten the color. They grow on the sea Angled luffa or typically hardy fast growing types that give the average gardener a gourd, towel gourd, and other common names in many different languages. Powdered rays will make it harder for germs, mold, or mildew to grow. not mature enough. Placing them outside in the sun and wind dries them than the Luffa aegyptiaca. in pollination. A short soak in a mild bleach solution cultures. When small, the maturity in this climate.

the longer it takes to reach maturity. vigorous once they get established. It is native to South America and produces rounded crack and loosen the skin. They can be harvested whenever they If you are looking for loofahs or seeds you can find them at the sources Asia and Africa. These are typically

Another type, grown more often for food,

It may It produces a coarse fiber and is mostly used as a food crop. Some commercial bleaching. The hot dry climate they will need some watering as they tend to wilt if it It

fruits that eventually develop into a seed pod filled with many

A loofah is a fibrous plant seed pod. luffa. If it them for too long can weaken the fibers. challenge, but the drier the sponges are, the easier the seeds will fall loofahs. gets too dry. loufah, luffah, sponge gourd, Chinese okra, elephant okra, dishrag flowering annual vine. help your loofah to dry. Very small sponges can be mature and very large ones may luffa sponges will last a surprisingly long time if they are allowed to much of the southern US are plenty hot. Eat at your own risk. I sometimes eat small luffa fruits when in season Hanging on a hook or placing on end may Soap and luffa fibers are a natural


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