How to plant jambu

Acmella oleracea , formerly known as Spilanthes oleracea and Spilanthes acmella

Jambu is a vegetable native to the Amazon region, but currently grown in various regions of the world. It also receives the popular names of cress-do-pará, amazon-cress and northern cress. Its branches, leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads and in cooked, stewed or roasted dishes. Jambu is also used as a condiment and as a medicinal herb. Its flavor is quite peculiar, and the flowers produce a sensation of tingling and numbness in the mucous membranes of the mouth, due to the presence of the substance spilantol, an alkylamide. Because of this, flowers can be used to relieve toothache.


Jambu is a vegetable that prefers hot and humid weather. Temperatures below 15 ° C damage the plant, with ideal temperatures above 26 ° C. It can be grown all year round in hot climates, and during spring and summer in other regions.


This plant can be grown under direct sunlight or in partial shade, as long as there is good light.


Cultivate in well-drained, light, fertile soil and rich in organic matter. The ideal soil pH is 5.8 to 6.5.


Irrigate in order to keep the soil always moist, without being soaked.


Planting is done by seeds or branches. Sow in the final location of the vegetable garden or in sowing and other containers, transplanting when the seedlings are large enough to be handled (about one month old). The seeds should be sown superficially, at most covered only by a light layer of sieved or fine sawdust.

The branches can be used to propagate the plants, and can be planted in soil that is kept well moist until rooting occurs. They can also be planted in pots kept in a shaded but well-lit place. After rooting, the seedlings can be transplanted from the pots to the final location.

The recommended spacing is 20 to 25 cm between plants, but many use other spacing, ranging from 5 cm to 40 cm between plants. These can reach 20 to 45 cm in height.

Jambu can also be grown easily in medium or large pots.


Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.


The harvesting of the branches can be done at any time during the life cycle of the plants, which become well developed 45 to 50 days after sowing. Remove branches, leaves and flowers individually when necessary or harvest part of the branches weekly, without over-harvesting so as not to weaken the plants.

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