Fossil fuel free scrubbing with the luffa

Why buy scrubbies and washcloths when you can easily grow your own supply from a small garden plot?  This season I grew two luffa plants and ended up with enough dish washing fiber for the next 5 years.  This unique plant has been selected over the millennia for its fibrous fruit and it should have a space in your garden if you want to be more self sufficient.  Easy to grow and prolific, the luffa provides an alternative to manufactured abrasive cleaning products, many of which are produced from or using fossil fuel.  And when the luffa reaches the end of its useful life, you simply compost it.

The luffa plant looks a lot like a cucumber and it climbs in the same way.  However, it’s more disease resistant and it requires a longer season.  So start the seeds indoors in spring if you want to get a good jump on the season.  Although it has somewhat of a reputation for its high fiber content, in some parts of the world it’s been selected for eating.  It’s only eaten when the fruit is young, before the fibrous skeleton has formed.


  1. Hi Dan,
    Since the Luffa plant is so prolific and has so many seeds, have you considered selling either the plants or the seeds for income? I think many people would like an organic, compostable, luffa or be able to grow their own.


      It’s a possibility. I’ve never considered growing seeds for income, but I know there are some organic farmers in the area who grow seed for Southern Exposure Seed Co. I wonder if they need luffa. If they did, I could definitely grow tons. Thanks for the suggestion!

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