Saturday, July 14, 2012

~ What's Growing...Malabar Spinach ~

Malabar Spinach
Basella alba
also known as Indian Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, basella, vine spinach

Malabar Spinach is not a true spinach but is a great vertical climber (10' vines) and loves heat. That means it won't bolt out like regular spinach when the summer heat shows up. They are a great dual purpose plant that can be grown for both decoration and food.

They need to be kept constantly moist to prevent flowering which will make the leaves bitter. They love temps in the 90's and full sun. Seeds can be scarified to improve germination time which can be as long as three weeks.

Those in zone six or higher should start seeds indoor six weeks before last frost although we didn't do this. We started ours right in the dirt so it will be interesting to see if they get to ten feet.

They are an annual but become a perennial in frost free areas of the country. They can be grown from a cutting so I think I will cut a portion and see if I can keep it alive in the house this winter and propagate new plants in the spring from the cuttings.

Link up and tell me what you have growing, whether it be in a garden or a pot on the patio!  Please make sure that you link to your post, not your blog’s main page, so your guests won’t have any trouble finding your great tips! I would also appreciate it if you would link back to my blog in the post that you share!

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