Water Spinach (Water Convolvulus) Seeds
Botanical name: Ipomoea aquatica
Other names: Kangkong, Bamboo Leaf, Chinese Spinach, Morning Glory, Chinese Watercress
Water spinach is an aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plant native to Southeast and Northeast Asia. It is a trailing vine plant with long, pointed or arrow leaves and hollow, tube-like stems.
The plant is easy and fast to grow in subtropical and tropical regions. Reaching over 2 – 3 metres in length, it grows up to 10 cm a day. It is a highly productive plant that grows well in high rainfall areas, and in wet conditions such as ponds and river banks.
These leafy green vegetables are a staple in Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Singaporean (to name a few) cuisine. The flavour is mild, similar to spinach. Although most of the plant is edible, the young shoots and leaves have a sweeter and more tender flavour. The hollow stems add a crunchy and succulent texture to recipes.
Toss the leaves and stems into soups and stews, stir-fry with shrimp paste and aromatics, or blanch and use like spinach.
Grow Water Spinach
Water Convolvulus is a low maintenance plant that can be grown all year round in tropical and subtropical climates. The plant is frost tender and does not grow well in cold climates. It prefer temperatures ranging between 25 – 30°C.
It is easy to grow from seed, and can be grown in soil, if soil is well watered and moist at all times. Container growing is preferable as it will prevent it from becoming too invasive. When grown in a pot, partly submerge it in another pot of water to maintain constant moisture. Water spinach needs the same aquatic environment as paddy rice.
Harvest in 50 – 60 days. The plant can be cut and will continue to regrow. To successfully cut-and-come again, don’t cut more than 1/3 of the foliage.
Hydroponic or Microgreens
Water spinach is well suited to hydroponic grow methods. As a microgreen, it is ready to harvest in approximately seven days. The pointed leaves and long stem make it look like mini-bamboo.