TX Organic Research Center




Spinach, Malabar

Common Name: Malabar spinach

Botanical Name: Basella alba

Family: Basellaceae

Type and Use: Twining herbaceous vine with edible foliage

Location: Sun to partial shade

Planting Dates: Spring after the last frost

Planting Method: Seeds, cuttings, or transplants. Very easy to germinate from seed.

Seed Emergence: 2 to 3 weeks

Harvest Time: When the leaves are young and tender.

Height: Will climb or spread to 8-20 feet easily in season

Spread: Same as above.

Final Spacing: 6-8, but 1 or 2 plants is more than enough

Growth Habits: Succulent dark green vine with brightly distinctive red stems and leaf veins. Red stems and red leaf veins Fast growing and aggressive.

Culture: Easy to grow in any well drained soil. Requires normal amounts of water and fertilizer.

Troubles and Solutions: Spreads by seed and can become a pest although the seedlings pull up easily if you get them early.

Harvest and Storage: Pick the young tender leaves and use fresh or store at 32-40 for up to two weeks.

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