How to plant new zealand spinach

Tetragonia tetragonioides , formerly called Tetragonia expansa

New Zealand spinach is a vegetable originally from Oceania, having been used as a source of vitamin C by English navigators on their travels through the region during the 18th century. More suitable for cultivation in tropical regions than real spinach, New Zealand spinach has leaves and tips of nutritious branches that are usually eaten cooked like spinach, but also contain a high concentration of oxalates, therefore it should be consumed in moderation.


New Zealand spinach can be grown in a temperature range from 16 ° C (better if it is above 20 ° C) to 30 – 35 ° C. This plant cannot withstand low temperatures and frost.


New Zealand spinach needs high light and should receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily. In very hot regions (30 ° C or more), the plant can benefit from receiving some shade in the hottest hours of the day.


The soil must be well drained, light, fertile and rich in organic matter. The plant is tolerant of soil pH, but grows best when the pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.


Irrigate as often as necessary so that the soil is kept moist, without being soaked. This plant is resistant to short periods of drought, but grows better if water is not lacking.


The seeds (actually nuts) can be sown directly at the final location of the garden. Soaking the seeds in water for 1 day can hasten germination, which is usually slow (between 2 weeks to 3 months or more).

The seeds can also be sown in seedlings or small pots, with the seedlings being transplanted when they have 4 to 6 real leaves.

Although New Zealand spinach can also be propagated by chunks of branches, which take root easily when partially submerged in water, it is rare to find someone who uses this planting method, even in hot climates where it can be grown by all year.

New Zealand spinach can be easily grown in planters and large pots.


Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.


Harvesting the leaves and tips of the branches can begin when the plant is well developed, which usually occurs 50 to 80 days after planting, repeating the harvest every one or two weeks thereafter.

Older leaves are less tender and are more bitter than young leaves.

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