You might hear about longevity spinach with its health benefits like lowering blood pressure, regulating cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, fending off liver diseases protection, and other cardiovascular diseases.
So what makes it stand out among other kinds of spinach? Why should you add this green to your garden? How to grow longevity spinach?
In today’s article, we’ll answer all of the questions above to help you grow it well.
The longevity plant is not spinach. It is scientifically known as Gynura procumbens – a semi-succulent vining light green originated from Southeast Asia. The vines creep along with the soil and might form a thick cover on the ground.
We often call it a “superfood” as this vegetable is highly nutritious with a high content of Vitamin K, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other nutrients.
It is regularly grown as a medicinal plant and for medicinal qualities. You can include this plant in your healthy smoothies and salads.
Besides, you can saute or steam it like regular spinach or boil it in stews and soups.
We will discuss how to grow Longevity Spinach, also known as Gynura procumbens.
Like regular spinach, this plant needs little care. The longevity spinach seeds can grow rapidly in warm climates and spread out along the soil like a ground cover.
So it is imperative to ensure it has enough space in the garden.
It is best to keep this vegetable in the loose, rich, and well-drained soil for optimal growth. Poor drainage can lead to soggy plants.
The best solution is to seek the ideal balance. This issue might be the most challenging when cultivating this spinach.
You need to ensure your soil comes with the proper amount of moisture. If it is too dry, the root can dry out quickly.
Meanwhile, too much moisture can make your plants rot. However, this green isn’t picky about the types of soil.
Nutrient-rich soil with appropriate drainage is the only requirement.
A small tip is that you should keep your eye on the soil’s top inch. If it is dry, it is time you should give the plant some water.
This plant does not need watering daily. You need to keep the soil dry. Moreover, remember to keep the roots hydrated and healthy to make sure they can effectively absorb water and nutrition for the plant.
When you water this green, it is best to cover the soil around the plant. The reason is that direct watering can result in too high water absorption by longevity spinach leaves, causing droopy and soggy leaves.
You can avoid overwatering by following the below tips:
- Utilize gritty soil to boost drainage.
- Ensure the drainage is not blocked if you plant it in pots.
- Try pots made of unglazed materials such as terra cotta since they help to evaporate excess water.
- Facilitate soil to slightly dry between waterings to boost the growth of the root.
This beneficial plant needs a different amount of water throughout the year, mainly when grown outside. In the months with a colder climate, the growth of this spinach will slow down.
In this period, the green won’t need much water. You can lower both the frequency and amount of water given.
You will only need to constantly water when the temperature remains unchanged throughout the year. This situation only happens in the environment of a greenhouse or a region with very mild weather.
It is advisable to grow your plants in the area receiving full sun to shade. That said, growing them in the partial shade can be more feasible for optimal growth. You can make them adaptive to the full sun at frequent intervals.
This kind of plant does not require a high level of humidity. The critical concern is to keep the perfect moisture balance in the leaves and roots. It is best to keep its leaves dry to avoid unexpected diseases.
In addition to longevity spinach sun requirements, you will also need to pay attention to the temperature. The ideal spinach growing temperature is 70 degrees F.
Avoid exposing the plant to extremely hot or cold temperatures that can detrimentally affect its health and growth.
As longevity spinach is an edible plant, it is likely to have pest problems. The beetles can be the big enemies since they like eating this leafy vegetable.
Furthermore, stress plants and aphids can damage your green as well. This plant can suffer from the deficiency of airflow, resulting in the plant’s fungal infections.
Thus, you should prune the plants to remove all the sick parts whenever you notice any infection.
Leaves of healthy spinach do not have a yellow color. If you notice the spinach leaves turn yellow, it is a sign of nitrogen deficiency.
In this case, it is crucial to provide the green with a nitrogen-high fertilizer like fish fertilizer or blood meal. After this crop perks up, you can fertilize quarterly.
Here are our tips for growing a healthy, longevity spinach plant garden.
For growing outdoors: It is ideal to choose an area with partial shade to protect longevity spinach leaves from burning.
For growing indoors: A place with plenty of naturally grow lights is the best.
- Soil: Grow in rich and loose soil with enough drainage.
- Water: Try to avoid overwatering and underwatering by tracking the soil moisture.
- Fertilizer: You can provide fertilizers rich in nitrogen to the plant every three months.
- Relocation: If you live in cool weather, it is advisable to move your vegetables inside when the temperature is under 40 degrees F.
- Harvest: Wait till there are at least eight leaves before pulling them off.
- Propagate: It is best to cut the stem segment 10-18 inches off, dip it in the rooting hormone and put it in the soil to root.
With several health benefits, it is understandable why longevity spinach has become popular these years. You can grow longevity plants both outdoors and indoors, depending on the climate of your area.
These plants need to be planted in an environment with indirect sunlight and no freezing temperature to deter damage. And to have a high yield, you should meet all longevity spinach growing conditions like water, light, humidity, and temperature, to name a few.