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Gardener shares plant with hidden benefit for the bathroom: 'One of the most rewarding plants we've ever grown'

"Nature is so cool."

"Nature is so cool."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Gardens are great for growing produce — but did you know you can also grow shower sponges? TikTok gardening expert Kevin (@epicgardening) revealed the plant he said "is one of the most rewarding plants we've ever grown," called luffa.

The scoop

Kevin introduces luffa, which originated in Asia, as "a prolific vining gourd that goes crazy in a ton of light and heat." While the fruits are edible when they're young — in Filipino cuisine, they're known as patola — Kevin showcases a mature, purple luffa gourd.

@epicgardening Luffa is one of the most rewarding plants we've ever grown in the garden. You can eat it when young, let it climb all over your garden for a beautiful aesthetic, AND harvest it when it matures, cut it up, and use as a scrub brush or shower sponge. #garden ♬ Storytelling - Adriel

He cuts and peels its skin, removes the seeds — which he makes sure to keep, for next season's planting — and removes the hard, rough-textured fibers, which he cuts into one-inch slices. 

"It is super rough, super durable, and once dry makes the perfect use case for a scrubbing tool, a dish brush, or a shower sponge," he says. 

How it's helping

Growing your own produce — whether it's sponges, vegetables, or even edible flowers — is an excellent hack for those looking to save money and help the planet. Gardeners who opt for growing over groceries see a considerable return on investment, often to the tune of over 300% in just one year. 

Additionally, growing your own food has been proven to make you healthier, including increasing physical activity, decreasing stress, and providing more dietary fiber. 

Avoiding grocery store produce is also healthier. Researchers found that so-called "fresh" produce often travels over 1,500 miles before it is consumed, and all that time in transit causes the produce to lose key nutrients. 

Finally, gardeners know that growing your own food increases the chances you'll actually eat it. Considering that 40% of all food in the U.S. supply chains goes to waste each year, consuming produce more mindfully is a great step towards reducing that waste.

And why stop at food and sponges? Go a step further and make plant-based soap straight from your garden — just try horse chestnuts, clematis, soapwort, and yucca.

What everyone's saying

Several commenters were familiar with the luffa. "It's absolutely perfect for bathing," one person wrote. 

Another commenter suggested using the slices as a seed starter, while others embedded its coarse fibers into soap

"I made mine into soap bars this year! It was the perfect gift for so many people on my xmas list!" one person wrote.

"Nature is so cool," another marveled.

One commenter was eager to try it herself. "My luffa is TAKING OVER," she wrote. "It's HOT here. So it's definitely a prolific grower. Can't wait to harvest!"

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