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Growing Water Spinach: How to Grow Kangkong in Home Garden

Growing water spinach is very popular as a vegetable, especially in the Southeast Asian region. It is very popular in the Southeast Asian cooking, and it has a nutty flavor similar to spinach. Water spinach grows rapidly and they are among the fastest growing vegetables.

Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) is a semi-aquatic, tropical plant which is actually grown as a vegetable for it’s tender shoots and leaves.

Today, growing water spinach is much popular and the plant is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Water spinach is known by many other different names such as river spinach, kangkong, kangkung, water morning glory, water convolvulus, Chinese watercress, Chinese convolvulus, Chinese spinach and swamp cabbage. It is also known by some other local names in different parts of the world.

It’s other local names include Kalmi shak in Bengali, Thooti Koora in Telugu, Kalama saga in Odia, Dagoeblad or dagublad in Suriname, Hayoyo in Ghana, Kalmi saag n Hindi, Vallal in Tamil, Kolmou xak in Assamese, Trokuon in Khmer, Gazun in Burmese, Rau muong in Vietnamese, Kongxincal in Mandarin Chinese, Ong choy in Cantonese, Eng chhai in Teochew and Hokkien and Phak bung in Thai and Laotian.

Water spinach plants grow in water or on moist soil. The plants have long stems, measuring about 2-3 meters or even longer. The stems are hollow and can float, rooting at the nodes.

Shape of the leaves typically vary from sagittate to lanceolate, long and broad. The flowers are of trumpet-shaped measuring about 1-2 inches in diameter. The flowers are usually white in color with a mauve center. Propagation is either by planting seeds or cuttings.

Both leaves and stems of the water spinach plants are edible and can be used in many different ways. Both leaves and stems are very nutritious and contain good amount of energy, dietary fiber, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals.

And it is very good for human health. But consuming raw water spinach which is harvested from contaminated areas may transmit Fasciolopsis buski (an internal parasite of humans and pigs causing fasciolopsiasis).
How to Grow Water Spinach

Growing water spinach is very easy, as long as the soil is moist consistently. It grows vigorously in East, South and Southeast Asia.

You can even start growing water spinach in containers in the non-tropical areas if you can plant the seedlings in sunny location and give them enough water.

However, here we are describing more information about growing water spinach organically in home garden from planting, caring to harvesting.
Select a Location

Select a good location in your garden with full sun for growing water spinach plants.

Because the water spinach plants require full sun for proper growth and they can’t tolerate shade.

Planting water spinach near the edge of a pond or other water bodies will also be good.

Prepare the Soil

The water spinach plants grow well in fertile soil which is rich in lots of organic content.

So while preparing the soil, add as much organic content as you can. Adding well-rotted aged manure and homemade compost will be very good for the growth of the water spinach plants.
Best Time for Growing Water Spinach

Water spinach can be grown throughout the year in tropical areas. But generally the summer season is the best time for growing water spinach.
Purchase Seeds or Cuttings

The water spinach plants can be grown from both seeds and cuttings. So, purchase either seeds or cuttings for growing water spinach organically in your home garden.
Planting seeds for growing water spinach. Soak the seeds 24 hours before sowing.


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Author: Henry

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