Harvesting Loofa Gourds

Loofa gourd
The loofa gourd is usually raised as an ornamental for it's green fruit. The dry fibrous interior of this fruit is used as a sponge or cloth.

Loofa gourds, sometimes called dishrag or sponge gourds, are used primarily for the fibrous sponge inside the gourd. Harvest when vines begin to wither, about 90 days after planting, or when frost kills the foliage on the vines.

Loofa gourds have green, thin skins that peel back when dry. After peeling away skins, soak loofas to remove pulp and seeds. Sponges can be bleached to obtain a lighter color.

SOURCE: Mary Beth Musgrove, Extension associate-horticulture, Alabama Cooperative Extension System (334) 844-5481.

Prepared by Kenny Smith, Communications intern