Loofahs are a squash! Who knew? I thought they were some kind of sea creature. But no. They grow on a beautiful vine which can quickly cover your chicken coop and peach tree or swallow your dog (that's Jack in the photo) if left untrimmed. Our bees love the huge yellow flower.
We grow loofah in our back yard in St. Louis, which is in growing zone 5. Loofah need about a month longer growing season than we have here, so, sadly, not all of our loofah reach maturity. You need to leave them on the vine as long as you can but harvest them before the first hard freeze. We let them sit in our basement until they dry out and then peel them, shake out the hundreds of seeds in each loofah, soak them in a mild bleach solution and viola! A loofah!
They are great for exfoliation or for scrubbing pots or barbeque grills. If you use them in the bath, give them a spritz with a weak bleach solution every couple of weeks to keep them fresh.