Katuk – Tropical Garden M

This Garden is Now Resting Under Lava 🌋

We have preserved this page in memory of our pre-volcano community
It is also still useful as a tropical plant and garden information resource.

We now welcome visitors as an online community
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Featured Plant in Garden M - Katuk

1) Plant History & General Information: 


  • Location on Property: Garden DGarden M,  below Bamboo HutOhia Camper
  • Katuk Berries
    Katuk Berries

    Scientific Name: Sauropus androgynus

  • Region of Origin: Korea
  • Type: Beautiful & Useful
  • General History: It is one of the most popular leaf vegetables in South Asia and Southeast Asia and is notable for its high yields and palatability. The shoot tips have been sold as tropical asparagus. In Vietnam, the locals cook it with crab meat, minced pork, or dried shrimp to make soup. In Malaysia, it is commonly stir-fried with egg or dried anchovies. The flowers and small purplish fruits of the plant can also be eaten In Indonesia, the leaves of the plant are used to make an infusion, believed to improve the flow of breast milk for breastfeeding mothers.

2) Plant Uses:

  • As Food: Excellent for salads. Has a delicious slightly nutty flavor. Eat the leaves. It is one of the most popular leaf vegetables in South Asia and Southeast Asia and is notable for its high yields and taste. The shoot tips have been sold as tropical asparagus. In Vietnam, people cook it with crab meat, minced pork, or dried shrimp to make soup.
  • As Medicine: Katuk leaf is a source of vitamin C which is very good. The content of vitamin C is even much higher than the orange or guava, which has been known as a source of vitamin C which is very good. Vitamin C is known as the main compound the body needs in a variety of important processes, ranging from the manufacture of collagen (a fibrous protein that forms connective tissue in bones), fat transport, electron transport from various enzymatic reactions, hyperhealthy gums, regulating cholesterol levels, and hyper-immunity.
  • In addition, the body's vitamin C is necessary for wound healing and improving brain function to work optimally. It is also among only a few flora containing vitamin K and is also a source of vitamin A.
  • Other Uses: NA

3) Growing Instructions: 

  • Katuk Plant Hawaii
    Katuk Plant Hawaii

    Growing: Prefers a hot, humid climate. Tolerates occasional flooding and acidic soils. Under ideal conditions, it can grow up to 1.5 m per month.  In cultivation, it must be regularly trimmed for optimal production of new shoots

  • Sunlight Requirements: Will grow in shade or full sun
  • Soil Requirements:
  • Propagation: Best by Cuttings
    • Use loppers to cut the stem at an angle,
    • Remove the bottom leaves but keep a few of the top baby leaves on,
    • Choose the area you are planting to and stick the cut end into the ground at least 2-3 inches,
    • Cover the base of the plant with a brown paper bag, put soil and a few lava rocks to hold down paper on top, and water thoroughly.
  • Controlling Spread: Propagate to control spread
  • Difficulties with this plant:  Stem diameter does not grow apace with length and it soon gets so tall that it falls over, earning its description in Edible Leaves of the Tropics as "an awkward plant."

History of this Plant at Hedonisia: Shown on our tours to all guests so they know it's edible and handy. Planting in areas for beautification and ease of food access.

Recipes: Delicious in salads or as a spinach.


  • Along the lower cliff below the Bamboo Hut; to the 3-level terrace


Garden M Pre-Volcano Instructions

Lodgings and/or Facilities in areas of the Garden

3-Level Stone Terrace
3-Level Stone Terrace

This MIXED Garden has the following plants: (located on HedonisiaHawaii.com)

  • Okinawa Spinach
  • Loquat
  • Katuk
  • Edible Hibiscus
  • Avocado
  • Cassava
  • Jabuticaba
  • Sweet Potato

Main Weeds: Cane Grass, Koster's Curse, Fire Ants, chokers, creepers, climbers

  • Eradicate cane grass as close to the base as possible using a Kama and pickax out if accessible
  • Use a Kama to cut the climbers and the chokers at the plant base to kill them. Remove off plant carefully.
  • Remove all creeping weeds from around the whole garden bed.

Maintenance Activities For This Garden

  • Identification and Labeling
    • Tag and label  transplanted trees with bright-colored tree ribbons,
    • Date the tree with the date it was transplanted (only babies so we can see the growth process)
    • Update plant pages if any are added or deleted from the garden
  • Borders & Maintenance
    • Spray the area with Soapy Water before working against fire ants
    • Keeping the rock borders free of weeds and mosses is easy and can be done weekly during Spring/Summer, and bi-weekly during Fall/Winter 15 minutes during a shift.
    • Continue fine-hand weeding the rest of the garden using the Kama to remove choking weeds and climbers
    • Add soil to smaller plants, trim, and mulch tree bases as in the propagation section above.
    • If you have processed compost, mix in equal amounts with soil for feeding.
    • Okinawa Spinach needs special attention - more soil, weeding,
    • Sweet Potato is a useful ground cover. Don't pull up, gently move vines to keep them contained
    • Mulch Avocado/Casava/Jabuticaba with soil, and brown leaves (can use banana or any other brown leaf), cover with a brown paper bag, wet, and weigh down with guava or rock
    • Weed the hidden walkway to Avocado regularly to keep visible
  • Harvesting:
    • Harvesting regularly promotes budding and growth low to the ground. Keep an eye to see if it's needed weekly or bi-weekly.
    • Encourage guests/Volunteers to grab food from these areas also to harvest to eat
    • If the trees are getting too tall to harvest, check with the director first about topping a tree or if you have any ideas for new edibles to plant in the terraces


Post-Volcano Online Community

With our model of community living, we attracted wonderful people from around the world.
Over a 14-year history, the Hedonisia community developed websites, books, and eCourses.

Virtual Volunteer 🌋 Lava to Lotus Web Portfolio 🌋 Hedonisia Membership