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Malabar spinach

Basella alba

  • 54 plantings
  • 15 for swap
  • 9 wanted
  • 63 stashed

Malabar spinach is a member of the Basella family. Its botanical name is Basella alba. The scientific name epithet alba means 'white coloured'.

35 days. Hot weather spinach substitute. Vines 8 to 10 feet in cooler climates. Vining with large, flat, bright green leaves. Grows best in warm conditions with plenty of moisture. Black, bead-like seeds set in late summer. Good for ornamental use as well as being edible. Use raw in salads, boil, steam, or add to soups, stews, tofu dishes, stir fry, curries, quiche, omelets, pot pies, savory turnovers.


Sow seeds in spring after danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures have reached a minimum of 50 degrees F, optimum is 70 degrees F. Sow seed 1/4 inch deep in well prepared soil amended with rich compost and a general garden fertilizer. Plant along fence or use supports for climbing vines. Keep well picked to maintain productivity. Thrives during warm weather.


Perennial in tropical areas, where it can grow a foot per day. In cooler climates it is grown as an annual.


Seed saving: dry entire fruit. Can also be propagated from cuttings.

It is an edible vegetable that typically grows as an annual/perennial, which is defined as a plant that can matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of one year or more.

Normally grows with a climber habit.

Malabar spinach is normally fairly low maintenance and quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

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

How to grow Malabar spinach

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately.

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

Growing Malabar spinach from seed

Transplanting Malabar spinach

How long does Malabar spinach take to grow?

These estimates for how long Malabar spinach 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!

Days to Germination How long does it take Malabar spinach to germinate?
12 days

Average 12 days | Min 5 days | Max 27 days (24)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Malabar spinach?
+ 11 days

Average 11 days | Min 7 days | Max 17 days (3)

Days to Maturity How long until Malabar spinach is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 135 days

Average 135 days | Min 128 days | Max 142 days (3)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Malabar spinach?
= 158 days

Other names for Malabar spinach

Flowing water vegetable, Fallen hollyhock, Wood ear vegetable, Ceylon spinach, Indian spinach, East-indian spinach, Surinam spinach, Chinese spinach, Vietnamese spinach, Malabar nightshade, Malabar climbing spinach, Broad bologi, Buffalo spinach, Vine spinach, Pui saag, Valchi bhaji, Basale soppu, Bachhali, Spinach climbing

Basella alba L.

Latest Malabar spinach Reviews

  • Some of this Malabar spinach has been transplanted to the two original beds in the back garden along with my Soy beans.

    2 stars

    Kevalsha about growing Malabar Spinach

See all Malabar spinach reviews and experiences »

Footnotes

Malabar spinach Forums

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