United States Edition

Chinese Ephedra

Ephedra sinica

'Chinese Ephedra' is a plant in the Ephedra genus with a scientific name of Ephedra sinica.

Ephedra has been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy for asthma, colds, and hay fever. It contains the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine, which have stimulant and decongestant properties. Chemically related to the amphetamines, ephedra extracts used to be marketed for weight loss and have been abused as a performance enhancer by athletes. However, the use of high doses of ephedra is widely held to be dangerous and the sale of such products has been banned or restricted in several countries. Caution is strongly advised.

Chinese Ephedra grows as a perennial and is a flowering herb. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater). Normally grows with a shrubby habit.

China is believed to be where Chinese Ephedra originates from.

Chinese Ephedra is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Chinese Ephedra have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Chinese Ephedra

  • Full Sun

    OR +
  • Partial Sun

  • Very Low

A full sun / partial sun position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water very sparingly. Use Zone 1 - Zone 14 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Keep in mind when planting that Chinese Ephedra is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Chinese Ephedra to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Chinese Ephedra from seed

Sow in a sandy potting soil at 65-70F; expect germination rates from 50-80% after about 11 days. Reduce humidity on germination as seedlings are prone to damping off.

Transplanting Chinese Ephedra

Seedlings do not have a strong root system and are prone to transplant shock; it is recommended to grow seedlings to a minimum of 4" tall before transplanting them.

Likes a sandy soil and dry conditions, but very hardy and drought-tolerant once established. It is known to have been successfully grown outdoors over multiple seasons in the British Isles.

Propagate by root division in Autumn or Spring.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Chinese Ephedra is a very hardy plant.

Harvesting Chinese Ephedra

Harvesting can be done throughout the year.

Seed Saving Chinese Ephedra

Ephedra is a dioecious species, so both male and female plants are needed to obtain seeds. Plants will not usually flower/fruit until they are two to three years old.

Common Chinese Ephedra problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Chinese Ephedra plants:

Other names for Chinese Ephedra

Chinese ephedra, Ma Huang, Jointfir, Joint-pine

Ephedra sinica Stapf

Chinese Ephedra care instructions

How long does Chinese Ephedra take to grow?

These estimates for how long Chinese Ephedra takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


Popular varieties of Chinese Ephedra

View the complete variety list for Chinese Ephedra »

Chinese Ephedra Forums

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