Loofah Gourd Seeds

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Loofahs are part of the vegetable family, grow on vines, and look very similar to green squash or cucumber. After about 120 days from planting the seeds, the loofah starts to turn a yellow/brown color, and it’s time to shed its outer layer and uncover the sponge inside. We just harvested our loofah's here at Keeted Corner at our south Texas ranch where we planted the loofah seeds in March 2021. 

We did a lot of research before venturing to plant our garden, but once we did, we created a cage-like garden in direct sunlight, watered it consistently, and watched these vines grow as fast. We documented every step from building the garden, weekly progress, and the final shedding of the skin to uncover the beautiful loofah sponge underneath.  

We planted about 5-6 seeds per mound, with 5 mounds. We should get about 20-40 loofahs at the end of this first harvest. Each loofah range in size but could get up to 12 inches or longer. 

30 seed pack- $5 

Directions to plant

  • How to grow loofahs from seeds: 

    1. Research your climate to determine when you can start planting your seeds outside. Some climates recommend sowing seeds five to six weeks inside before transplanting them outside. This all relates to the last freeze in your area and when it's safe to plant outside.
    2. Soaking Seeds: If planting outside right away as we did due to our climate, we soaked our seeds for about 48 hrs in water before planting them. For best results, use newer seeds, less than 2 years old. 
    3. Building the garden: Loofahs grow best on an arch, trellis, or fence since they grow on vines, and can become heavy. Below are a few photos of our garden. By no means is this the one and only way, but it worked for our area and budget. We decided to put a roof over our garden because there are many animals roaming the ranch like chickens, horses, and donkeys, so we didn't want to take any chances that our fruit was food for them.
    • Materials used for our 28-foot x 8-foot garden 
      • Welded wire fence 36in x 50-foot roll (2in x 4in) 14 gauge galvanized steel wire
      • Chicken mesh about 50 feet
      • (4) 8ft metal posts, 6ft apart in a line, stuck into concrete 
      • wire to tie and connect the chicken mesh and wire fence pieces
      •  topsoil and compost bags
      • already established fence (used as one of the sides)
  • Planting seeds: We started with 25 seeds to plant
    • Create 5 mounds, each mound about 12 inches apart 
    • Sow 5 seeds per mound, placing them about 1 inch deep
    • Cover the mound and water them right away
  • Post-Planting Care
    • Water daily
    • Add compost or fertilizer every four to six weeks
    • Leave the yellow flowers alone, some may say otherwise, but we left ours alone
    • Watch for any insects or animals eating plants
    • Clean out weeds in your garden to ensure your plants get as many nutrients as possible
    • Watch for any escape vines that could travel up a tall tree or other tall structure near your garden. We had this happen to us and found a few loofahs up in a tall tree (now to get them down). 
  • Harvesting Loofahs: About 120 days after we planted our seeds, our loofahs becomes mature. Once the green skin on the loofah has turned to a yellow/brown and becomes much lighter in weight, it's time to peel back to the skin. Don't wait until the skin is too brittle, as it's harder to take that dried skin off of your loofah. If you leave the plant on the vine too long, it could also become moldy. If your crop gets hit by frost, make sure to pick and peel immediately. 
  • Once the skin has been peeled, shake out the seeds by either tapping the loofah sponge on a table or hard surface. 
  • Wash out the loofah sponge in case any sap is still left inside with either a strong water flow or soak in a bucket with a little bit of dishwashing soap. 
  • Let the loofah sponge dry in the sun until completely dry. We strung them together and hung them on a rope so we didn't have to constantly turn them. 
  • Once dry, store them in a cloth bag or storage container to avoid dust when not using them to clean your body, surfaces, or in our case, soaps. These loofah sponges can be used for years with proper upkeep.