How to grow Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach grow and care – vine of the genus Basella also known as Basella alba. Malabar spinach evergreen perennial but in cold climate grow as annual plant also used as ornamental plant, grow in mediterranean, subtropics, temperate, tropics climate and growing in hardiness zone 11+ as perennial with the right care hardiness zone 10b and hardiness zone 6+ as annual.

Malabar spinach leaves

Leaves edible, the size 2-20 cm, structure is fleshy thick, oval to heart shape, the color in the green cultivar is light green in the red cultivar it’s dark red.

Stem edible recommend using the young stems because the older stem become fibrous.

Flower edible small white with pink.

Fruit edible small purple black fruit with big seed in the middle the fruits are edible and tasteless

Malabar spinach for sale – Seeds or Plants to Buy

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How to grow Malabar spinach growing and care:

How to grow:
Trellising, moist soil, rich soil, organic matter

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seed/ Vegetative Reproduction – bending a branch over and covering it with soil

How to propagate:
Propagating from cuttings better to start in the early spring or with temperature of ~26C, but possible all the year in warm temperature, requirements: moist soil, high humidity, peat soil, hormone for root growth, highly recommend to use green house (or small plastic box with holes) it will take few weeks, possible to put cutting in water it’s also work well

Is it necessary to use vegetative reproduction?
No but it’s possible

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Very aggressive, might be invasive in the tropical

Planting season:
Spring as annual in hardiness zone 6-10 (possible indoor in the end of winter), spring to summer in hardiness zone 10b, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11, all year in hardiness zone 12

Pests and diseases:

Pruning season:
All year

How to prune:
When the stem start to grow into other stems it become hard to collect the leaves

Size of the plant?
2-8 m, 6-24 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Fast growing

Water requirement:
Average amount of water / big amount of water

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun / Half Shade / Full shade with a lot of light won’t bloom

Is it possible to grow indoors as houseplant?
Yes, but need a lot of light and won’t bloom

Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, start with container un the desirable size if grow as perennial, need to switch the container to bigger when root ball over grow the container, better to switch soil in the winter, when the plant arrive to the desirable size of container need to switch the soil once in a few years by new soil, possible if it’s small container switch all and cut some roots and prune the plant, if it’s big container switch only part of the soil easier from the side, soil better to use potting mix or peat soil with perlite, mix it with hummus and organic matter, use chopped mulch to keep the soil moist, let the bottom of the pot fill in water but dry in the same day, possible to grow the plant in container of 2gallon (8L) better 5gallon (19L), when start to grow it in pot practical method to grow it, to start with half empty pot and slowly with the growth to cover more.

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Spring / Summer / Autumn

General information about the flower
Small flower white with pink

Thinning the bloom:
Recommend to thinning the flower but it’s a lot of work

Pollination is done by:
Bees, fly

Edible Fruits

Fruit harvest season:
Spring / Summer / Autumn

Fruits pests or diseases:
Bird / pigeon

What can be done with big quantities of Malabar spinach fruits?
Juice, eaten raw

Work requirements on the fruit:
No special requirement

How long does it take to bear fruit?
1-2 month

Edible leaves

Leaves harvesting season:
Spring / Summer / Autumn

How to harvest the leaves?
Next to the steam, young leaves can cut with the stems

Information about leaves:
Oval to heart shape, the color in the green cultivar is light green in the red cultivar it’s dark red

Uses of Malabar spinach leaves:
Eat raw, salad, cooked, Casserole, soup, Juice

How to grow from Vegetative Reproduction

How to make Vegetative Reproduction in Malabar spinach?
Cutting, bending a branch over and covering it with soil

The best time for vegetative reproduction in Malabar spinach:
Spring / Summer / Autumn

How much time does it take to grow roots in vegetative reproduction?
1-4 weeks

What is the treatment for vegetative reproduction in Malabar spinach?
take branch with 3 wood knot cut the leaves, put the stem in the water and change the water every day, or put it in the moist soil and keep it wet, bend the branch into the soil break it little but keep the connection with the mother plant

How to grow from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Black-gray seeds, 2-4 mm, clean the seeds from fruit leftover

Saving seeds until sowing:
Room temperature, dark and dry place

Sowing season:
Spring to summer

Planting spacing:
10 cm, can be less

Depth of Sowing:
1-2 cm

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist, rich soil

Watering requires for Seeds:
Big amount of water, don’t let it dry

Germination time:
2-10 weeks usually germinate after 2 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Moist, sun, mulch

Do the seeds require burying?


Green malabar spinach – big green leaves, bigger than the red

Red malabar spinach – the veins are red to pink, the leaves thicker

Scientific name:

Basella alba

How to grow Malabar spinach

Growing Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach leaf and flower

harvest Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach harvest leaves

Malabar spinach


Blooming Seasons
  • Autumn flowers
  • Spring flowers
  • Summer flowers
Edible Parts
  • Edible Fruit
  • Edible leaves
  • Edible Stem / Wood
Culinary uses
  • Cooked
  • Eaten raw
  • Stuffed or Wrapped
Flower colors
  • Pink flower
  • White flower
  • Mediterranean Climate
  • Subtropics Climate
  • Temperate Climate
  • Tropics Climate
Harvest Season
  • Autumn Harvest
  • Spring Harvest
  • Summer Harvest
  • Winter harvest
Ornamental parts
  • Ornamental flower
  • Ornamental leaves
  • Ornamental plant
Plant growing speed
  • Average growing plants
  • Fast growing plants
Plant life-form
  • Annual plant
  • Evergreen
  • Herbaceous
  • Perennial plant
  • Vine
Plant Uses
  • Edible plants
  • Ground cover plants
  • Hedging plants
  • Ornamental plants
Planting Season
  • Autumn Planting
  • Spring Planting
  • Summer planting
  • Winter planting
Plants sun exposure
  • Full sun Plants
  • Part shade Plants
Watering plants
  • Big amount of water
  • Regularly water
Hardiness zone
  • Hardiness zone 10
  • Hardiness zone 11
  • Hardiness zone 12
  • Hardiness zone 13
  • Hardiness zone 6
  • Hardiness zone 7
  • Hardiness zone 8
  • Hardiness zone 9

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