Try out Malabar Spinach: Malabar Spinach

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Try out Malabar Spinach

By dave
April 10, 2015

There's so much to love about this useful plant. Let's look at Malabar Spinach, how to grow it, why you should grow it, and all the wonderful qualities it brings to your garden.

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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
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CDsSister
Apr 9, 2015 8:47 PM CST
From the picture it appears to be pretty enough to be grown for it's ornamental value.
What kind of pests like it too?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Apr 10, 2015 6:32 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

It is indeed a very pretty plant.

I've never had it be attacked by any pest. Thumbs up
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Apr 10, 2015 6:48 AM CST
This grows in large containers here,
but it seldom has a chance to form seeds before our fall frosts hit.
It is useful as an annual ornamental too.
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
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Eric4home
Apr 10, 2015 7:17 AM CST
I've had trouble getting it to germinate, but since my seed came from a swap perhaps it was old. I will have to try it again, maybe on an ornamental arch?
Thanks for all the good info. Dave. It sounds like it would be great chopped in soups.
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 10, 2015 7:32 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Remember that it LOVES heat and will not germinate if its too cold. Even here in Texas, there is a difference between plants grown in my greenhouse (where it bakes all day) and those outside (where it's slightly less hot.) The former ones grow twice as fast.
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
Region: Pennsylvania Dog Lover Cottage Gardener Ponds Garden Art Seed Starter
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Butterflies Birds Greenhouse Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Eric4home
Apr 10, 2015 7:37 AM CST
I will add it to the plants I start on the heat mat, that should help.
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Apr 10, 2015 12:42 PM CST
What an interesting plant and I've never heard of it Dave - thank you so much!

I really want to grow this plant Thumbs up
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 10, 2015 1:18 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

You'd love it Vic!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Apr 10, 2015 2:16 PM CST
I agree Green Grin!
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Apr 10, 2015 8:49 PM CST
I have a packet of seeds but forgot to plant them. Wondering if it's a little too late here in Central Florida -- our temps are already in the mid-80's.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Apr 10, 2015 9:24 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Definitely not too late! They'll germinate quickly and they grow really fast. You've got plenty of time. Thumbs up
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Apr 11, 2015 7:21 AM CST
I have grown it and it is very pretty. I have had some seeds germinate without any help from me. One started growing through a rose bush which wasn't too practical. Interesting fact about mucilage. The new leaves are very mild tasting. Thanks for the article Dave

jddharley
Apr 11, 2015 8:14 AM CST
Tried this plant last year and boy it took off. Have not tried eating the leaves as they say it is a kin to spinach. Bought some seeds again this year and will definitey plant some and try to incorporate in my cooking.
Name: Kathy Yearwood
Mount Vernon, Indiana (Zone 6b)
kyearwood
Apr 11, 2015 9:28 AM CST
I planted the red for the first time yesterday, starting it indoors. I also am trying New Zeland Spinach for the first time to see how both like the summers in southern indiana. Dave, do you have a favorite type of soup in particular that you like to use the malabar in?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 11, 2015 12:11 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I have yet to experiment with using the malabar spinach in soups but I plan to this year!
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
Wet Tropical AHS Zone 12
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Rainbow
Apr 30, 2015 11:03 AM CST
A friend gave us some cuttings of the red vines. They were growing well at the corner of our property. One day they disappeared--think wild pigs ate them along with our cassava roots. Didn't even get a chance to try it in soup.
-Kadie

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