Loofahs need full sun, very rich, fertile soil and warm temperatures. For earliest and best yields, hand-pollinate gourds: pick a blooming male flower and dust pollen onto fresh female flowers (the ones with small fruits at the base). Repeat as new flowers appear. Pollinated fruits start growing larger within several days.
HARVEST AND USE
Harvest when loofahs are fully matured with brown and dry outer rinds, are very light for their size, and seeds rattle inside. Peel off the dark outer rind, exposing the fibrous honeycomb sponge-like interior. Cut open end to shake out seeds. Finish by soaking loofahs for an hour in a weak bleach solution (10:1) to whiten and brighten color. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. Use in everyday skincare as a natural sponge, skin, buffer and exfoliator.