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Loofah

Scientific Name: Luffa cylindrica

Plant Height: The typical height of a loofah plant ranges from 60-90cm or 2-3 feet. It is important to consider this height requirement when planning the spacing between your loofah plants to ensure they have enough room to grow.

Days to Full Maturity: Loofah plants usually take around 90-120 days to reach full maturity. This means that you will need to plan ahead and provide consistent care for your plants throughout this period to ensure optimal growth and development.

Sun Preference: Loofah plants thrive in full sun conditions. It is crucial to choose a planting location that receives ample sunlight throughout the day to promote healthy growth and abundant fruit production.

Plant Type: Loofah plants are classified as perennials, meaning they can live for multiple years under the right growing conditions. By understanding their perennial nature, you can plan for long-term cultivation and harvest of loofahs in your garden

Appearance : It typically has a rough, spongy texture and can come in various shapes and sizes depending on how it is cut or shaped after being harvested and dried. The appearance of a natural loofah can resemble a coarse, fibrous sponge with an open-cell structure that aids in exfoliating the skin.

Harvesting :  Shake and bang your loofah gourds to rattle the seeds loose from the interior. This can be a fun activity to involve children in. Loofah gourds have a secret opening at the bottom (side not attached to the vine). Break off the little end bit and pour the seeds into a bowl. You may need to shake the gourd a bit more to ensure all seeds are out. If you harvested your loofah when it was slightly yellow, allow the seeds to dry for about a week before storing them. If you waited until the gourd was brown and crisp, you can skip this step. Place the dried seeds into a paper envelope, plastic zip lock bag, or another container, then store them in a cool, dry place until the next planting season.

Special Features:  Loofahs are usually the colour of pale straw, with a slightly herbaceous scent. They come in many shapes and sizes and are often sold as either cylinders or sliced discs. The texture of a loofah is rough when dry, but once you add hot water it becomes soft and supple. Warmer water will cause the loofah to get softer more quickly. If you want the loofah to retain some texture and scrubbing ability, just wet it slightly before proceeding.

Design features: I use loofah for a natural and organic design mechanic in installations and wearables.

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