Thursday 23rd June 2022
Luffa (also spelled loofah) is perhaps one of nature’s best exfoliators, whether it’s for your dishes or your skin. But did you know you can grow your own luffa?
At the Yeo Valley Organic Garden, we love to experiment with the different types of plants we grow. We’ve grown luffa plants in the glass house in our organic garden for the last couple of years. So we spoke to our very own Head Gardener Sarah Mead to get her top tips for growing luffas in your own home…
Did you know these natural scrubbers come from a vegetable? Many people think they come from the ocean but luffas in fact belong to the gourd family along with cucumbers, squashes and melons.
In the glass house this year, we’re planning on creating a luffa, tomato, cucumber, and bottle gourd tunnel by training them over a frame that goes over-head. We’re aiming for a forest garden feel!
Luffa seeds are fairly large and black in colour and like to grow in a warm environment, so a glass/greenhouse set up is perfect to get them going. However, a windowsill in full sun will do as long as you can give it plenty of space and support using canes or string.
When the luffas grow, they look a bit like a yellow cucumber. You’ll need to leave them on the plant until they’re brown. This is when you pick them off the plant and let them dry out in a cool dry place.
Once they’ve dried out you can then peel the skin off. You’ll see lots of seeds inside. Bang on the ends to get the seeds out (you can plant these seeds next year!)
Then there you have it! You can slice the long luffa into smaller sections, perfect to use in your kitchen as a natural scorer or cut them longer to use in your shower to wash your skin. Luffas have so many helpful uses!
They’ll be ready in time for Christmas, so they’re great as a homegrown, sustainable, useful gift!
You can buy luffa seeds at most nurseries and garden centres, or you can order them online.