Vegetable seeds Red malabar spinach,CeylonGreen Vine,Basella alba ( Mong Toi do )

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Vegetable seeds red malabar spinach,CeylonGreen Vine,Basella alba ( Mong Toi do )


Open-Pollinated Non-Hybrid Non-GMO

Germanation: > 80% (tested)


Also known as Indian spinach, Ceylon spinach, basella, vine spinach
Basella alba
Basellaceae Family

Straight species Malabar spinach has yellowish stems and green leaves and is a pleasing enough plant, but it's the red-stemmed cultivar 'Rubra' that really catches the eye (whether it's growing in a pot or lounging in a salad bowl). The thick red stems contrast wonderfully with the round, highly textured, two- to four-inch-long dark green leaves. Red venation in the leaves adds another level of color contrast.

Malabar spinach grows eight to ten feet tall and wide and produces inconspicuous white-tinged pink flowers in its leaf axils. Upon fertilization, the flowers develop into small, highly ornamental, single-seeded purple berries. The juice from the berries is so intensely purple that it puts beet juice to shame. It's used as a natural food colorant for agar (vegetable "gelatine") dishes, sweets, and pastries.

Malabar spinach excels in warm, tropical areas, where it can easily grow a foot per day. It's intolerant of any chills; thus, the only regions in the U.S. where it would be perennial are the Deep South or southern Florida. Gardeners in colder climates can grow it as an annual.

Basella alba prefers a humus-rich, sandy loam in full sun. Seeds can be sown in situ after all danger of frost has passed, or they can be started indoors eight weeks before the last frost date, hardened off outside, and transplanted one foot apart. Use any style of plant support you prefer: poles, teepees, chain-link fencing—I use a tall, recycled Eiffel Tower-esque metal étagère missing its glass shelves. Malabar spinach is amazingly insect and disease resistant, and that is saying a lot; down here in Puerto Rico, legions of caterpillars and grasshoppers can decimate an entire planting overnight, yet the spinach remains untouched!

The leaves from this heat-loving vine have a mild flavor and are used like spinach in salads and cooking. this vine grows up to 14 feet tall, so you'll want to train it to a stake or trellis. Ideal for soups, salads and stir-fries alike, Malabar Spinach can be prepared as spinach is cooked. Do be careful not to overcook it, as it becomes slimy. Exceptionally nutritious, these varieties are also quite striking additions to the garden. In China the leaves and roots are sometimes used medicinally for digestive problems. Frost-sensitive. It creeps when temperatures are cool, but leaps when the mercury hits 90 F.

Part shade increases leaf size, but prefers hot weather and full sun.

Soil conditions:

◾tolerates damp soil

Grows well in a wide range of soils, but prefers moist, fertile soils, high in organic matter, pH 6.5 to 6.8. Requires consistent moisture to keep from flowering, which causes leaves to turn bitter.

Lifecycle: annual

Grown as an annual, but is perennial in frost-free areas.

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

In most of New York, you must start plants inside and transplant after danger of frost has passed. Requires trellising.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: climbing / vine

How to plant:

Germination temperature: 65 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 14 to 21 - Scarify seed to hasten germination.

Seed can be saved 4 years.

Maintenance and care:

In Zone 7 and warmer, direct seed 2 to 3 weeks after last frost date. In colder areas or to get an earlier crop, start seeds inside about 6 weeks before last frost.

Scarify seed (use a file, sharp knife or sandpaper to carefully cut through the tough seed coat) to speed germination, which may take 3 weeks or more.

Wait until soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed before transplanting -- at least 2 to 3 weeks after last frost date. Space transplants about 12 inches apart.

Well-adapted to high temperatures, even into the 90s F. But growth is disappointing when temperatures stay below 80 F. Requires consistent moisture to keep from flowering, which causes bitterness in leaves.

Requires trellis or other support for twining vine. Can follow peas up the same trellis.

Average review
Thank you for making these available. Now, if it would just warm up!
May 13, 2017 by LucysLocket

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