Loofah Seeds | How to Grow, Harvest and Process Luffa Sponges

Loofah Seeds | How to Grow, Harvest and Process Luffa Sponges

Welcome, avid readers. Are you wondering about loofah seeds and loofah sponges? Then you are at the right place. Your search ends here.

In this article, I will explain about loofah seeds, how to grow and harvest loofah from seeds as well as how to process loofah gourds into useable sponges. Not only that I will also tell you the uses and benefits of loofah as a vegetable and as a sponges.

So, let’s begin our journey!

What is Loofah or luffa?loofah gourd

Here are some key points about Luffa or loofah:

Name Loofah or Luffa
Scientific Name Luffa aegyptiaca
Genus Luffa
Family Cucurbitaceae family
Plant Type Vine (a fence climber)
Flower: Color and form Yellow color and appear in Clusters
Fruit Loofah Gourd
Fruit: Color and form Green and elongated
Seed Large, Flat and oval shaped
Seed Color Dark brown or Black
Soil Warm and well-drained soil
Sensitivity Sensitive to Frost

What does loofah seeds look like?

Loofah seeds
Credit: Wikipedia commons


Loofah seeds are the seeds of loofah plant, commonly known as Luffa or scientifically as Luffa aegyptiaca.

Appearance: These seeds are large in size with flat and somewhat oval shape. Their color varies from dark brown to black depending upon the varieties of species.

Uses: These seeds are used for cultivating the plant and produce long, cylindrical fruits called loofah gourds. These fruits in mature state are sundried to make natural sponges

Types of Loofah:

There are various types of loofahs, each with its properties and uses.

The two main types are:

Luffa acutangula (Angled Loofah):

Angled luffa

        • It is also called Chinese okra or ridged luffa.
        • It has elongated fruits with raised ridges which normally matured and reduced to tenderness when ‘green’.
        • Among the products when fully grown, the fibrous interior is utilized as a natural absorbent after being dried.


Luffa aegyptiaca (Smooth Loofah):

smooth luffa
Credit: Rangamalai Organic Farms
  • Smooth-skinned and green before maturity, known as smooth luffa or Egyptian luffa.
  • Yields nodding cylindrical fruits usually harvested for purpose of use as natural sponge.
  • The mature fruits are left to dry on the tree and then are split to discover the mesh like structure inside is wonderful in beauty and mostly used in washing and cleansing.


How to plant and grow Loofah from Seeds

Loofah seed is another rapidly growing vegetable that is healthy to eat and also very easy to cultivate as it requires little attention and management.

Planting these seeds is relatively straightforward and enjoyable process.

Down below are the steps you can follow:

Seed Selection:

  • Select healthy seeds. One way is buying them from reputable garden store or any online store. The best option is that you collect the seeds from luffa fruits that are fully matured and dried on the vine.


  • Luffa seeds should be planted after the time when the risk of frost is over in your area, since the seeds need a warm soil to germinate and develop successfully. You can plant them at the end of spring or the start of summer

Soil Preparation:

  • Loofah plants are suited to heavy loamy soil, with good drainage and fertility and having a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6. 0 and 7. 5). Till the area to a depth of 12 inches (30 cm) and mix in organic matter to enrich the soil and provide structure for good drainage.

Planting Depth and Spacing:

  • You should plant these seeds around 1 inch deep in the soil
  • Sow seeds about 12 inches (30 cm) apart by creating rows so that each row is 6 feet long.


  • Maintain the soil’s moisture level but avoid having a stagnant water after planting until the seeds start to sprout. Seedlings are somewhat drought resistant once the plants have been set up, though they should be watered occasionally through periods of drought.


  • Make sure that the planting location gets ample sunshine because this plant grows best in an area that receives between 6 and 8 hours of strong sunlight a day.

Support Structure:

  • When the plants begin to develop, you should do what is referred to as training it, like placing it on a trellis, fence or any structure to climb. This may be done during germination or soon after the plant begins to climb up the support.


  • Look for signs of pests and diseases on the plants, but in most cases, the luffa plants are fairly robust. Add balanced fertilizers, in case, vine starts to turn wilt or turn yellow.

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How to harvest Loofah Gourds?

  • Harvesting starts when fruits skin changes colour to yellow or brown. Usually, this is done during the last days of summer up to early autumn.
  • It is advisable to harvest them before the first snowfall as they start wilting fast in frost condition.

By this, you should be able to properly plant and grow loofahs in your garden if you so wish. Enjoy your gardening experience!

How to make Loofah Sponges?

Luffa sponges

One of the major steps that are part of the technical operation of extracting and preparing loofah sponges is preparing the loofah sponges for use especially if it is natural with seeds attached or is raw.

Here’s how you can process loofah sponges:

1) Peeling:

  • After harvesting, first step is peeling. First, wash the loofah and then cut off the outer skin or peel attached to it. This can be achieved through boiling the skin and then washing it with water. Water would help one to remove skin from the gourd. You can also get rid of the skin by rubbing or scrubbing it gently.

2) Removing Seeds:

  • If your loofah has some seeds inside, it is essential to wash the interior part to get rid of the seeds. It is also possible to blow them out or use a brush for removing them. Shaking must be done softly.

3) Cleaning:

  • After removing the seeds, wash the loofah gourd with clean water gently. Make sure gourd is completely cleany and free from dirt.

4) Drying:

  • After washing the loofah, You should rinse it and let it to dry in the air. It means you can either hang it up or put it on one of those drying racks.

5) Cutting and Shaping (optional):

  • When it is completely dried, you could further chop it into smaller sizes if you prefer or use a mold to change its form. If it is ragged at the end, one may cut it with a pair of scissors or a knife in a way that is required.

After washing and rinsing process, it can be used on shower or any scrubbing services that you may require it for. You should replace it from time to time because it gets damaged with frequent uses.

When to plant loofah seeds?

Loofah seeds should be planted directly into the ground when the soil is warm after last frost in late spring or early summer.

  1. Soil Temperature: The ideal soil temperature should be about 65°F (18°C) or higher for germination and growth of seeds.
  2. Indoor Starting: If you are in a region with a brief growing season or simply desire to begin germination ahead of time, these seeds can be sown indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Choose biodegradable pots or peat pots, so when the seedlings are to be transplanted outdoors, the pots that they are in can be buried in the soil to avoid disturbing the roots.

How long does it take to grow loofah from seed?

From seed germination to the maturity of the loofahs, it takes approximately 100 to 180 days based on several factors such as climate conditions, growing conditions, or kind of seed used.

Here’s a breakdown of the growth stages and approximate timeline for growing loofahs from seed:

Stages Timeline
Germination 7 to 14 days
Seedling Stage 2 to 4 weeks
Growth 6 to 8 weeks after seedling stage
Flowering Starts developing flowers after 8 weeks of rapid growth
Fruit development 50 to 90 days, from flowering to fruit maturity
Harvesting Harvest when fruits turn yellow or brown and feels lightweight

In an average meter, there is timely succession of planting loofah seeds to harvesting mature fruits. It takes 100 days to 6 months, all depending on the climate of the area and the growth conditions. There are certain conditions that must be met to foster growth and the development of fruits, which includes warmth, light or sun exposure, water, and something to hold on to (a fence or trellis).

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Loofah Seeds Benefits and Uses:

These seeds, derived from the plant (Luffa aegyptiaca), offer several benefits and have various uses:

Garden Cultivation:

These seeds are commonly used for cultivating the loofah plant itself. In addition, it offers an aesthetic use by producing large, beautiful yellow flowers when in bloom. It is also cultivated for its unique fruits.

loofa flowers
credit: pixabay.com

Natural Sponges:

The ripe fruit is used as a natural sponge when dried. These are fibrous and when scrubbing, you will find that they perform the exfoliating function perfectly. People commonly apply them in their beauty regimens as they help in the process of skin cleansing and as a way of peeling the skin for better skin feel.

Food source:

Fruits (Gourds) produced by loofah plant are used as a vegetable. They are cooked into varieties of dishes in culinary world.

Dish with loofah as a vegetable
Credit: Wikipedia Common

Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly:

Loofah sponges are natural products while the synthetic ones are often produced through a process that is not environmentally friendly. These do not add to plastic waste and after use, they are reusable as they can be disposed through composting and are therefore environmentally friendly compared to other brands of shower gel that use plastic containers for packaging.

Household Cleaning:

These natural sponges are often used in household for cleaning purposes. It is useful in washing utensils, Spills and other chaps without causing any scratching owing to its natural abrasive nature.

Crafts and DIY Projects:

These natural sponges can also used in numerous activities like in making crafts and DIY projects. With regards to their versatility, they can be sliced and diced in all sorts of shapes and sizes for soap holders, bath toys and other trinkets.

Seed Saving:

You can store the seed after collecting them from ripe fruits. This will help you to propagate loofahs for year after year, thereby creating a continuous supply.

Health Benefits:

This plant has commonly been employed in skin and cleaning activities but in some traditional medicines, they possess other properties like increasing circulation and supporting skin wellness.

Where to buy loofah seeds?

There are a lot of places where you can purchase loofah seeds, these range from online shops to local stores that sell gardening supplies.

Here are some options where you can purchase these seeds:

Garden Centers and Nurseries:

  • It is also highly possible to find seeds of the various plants in local garden centers and nurseries. Go near where there are garden stores and find out the seeds they are offering.

Online Seed Suppliers:

We also get several online stores that major in selling seeds and everything that relates to gardening. Some popular ones include:

  • Burpee: Across Vegetable and Flower Seeds Company which deals with assorted seeds.
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds: They offer seed quality and have a variety of organic seeds that are sold in stores.
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Specifically, heirloom seed supplier, those that look for peculiar and uncommon seed varieties.
  • Park Seed: Sells seeds, plants accessories and sundries including fertilizers and pest controls among others.

Amazon and eBay:

  • Periodically by visiting their websites such as Amazon or eBay where the different loofah seeds are offered for sale by different sellers. It is also advisable to read through the reviews and ratings of the seeds to weed out unpleasant surprises.

Seed Exchanges and Local Gardening Groups:

  • It is common for communal groups or horticultural societies to conduct seed fairs or swaps where you can either barter or purchase seeds within this region. Search for wording like ‘seeking volunteers’, ‘join our team’, or ‘volunteer needed’ in local community boards or gardening groups on any social media platform.

As for the purchase of loofah seeds, it is advised to buy them from trusted stores, and if one buys online, it is important to read customer reviews. Determine whether you would like to use organic or conventional seeds in your gardening needs depending on the type of gardening that you require.


Loofah seeds and the sponges laterally produced are quite an effective and environmentally friendly substitute for synthetic sponges while germinating different practical uses in our day-to-day lives.

If you have any question regarding Loofah seeds or you want us to write about your plant of interest, you can comment down below to let us know.

Please also comment if you found this blog helpful in any regard. This will help us boost our morale a lot higher than you can imagine. Thank you for reading and visiting our site!


How many loofahs will one plant produce?

Normally, luffa plant produces 5 to 6 loofah gourds. If grown in an optimum conditions, you can harvest 10 to 15 loofah gourds per plant.

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