1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: Garden H, Garden N, Garden I, Eco-Community Amenities,
Scientific & Other Names: Abelmoschus Manihot, Hibiscus Manihot, Bele, Hibiscus Spinach, Aibika
- Region of Origin: Tropical Asia
- General History: Pacific Spinach (Abelmoschus manihot; formerly Hibiscus manihot) is Edible hibiscus is a fast-growing excellent warm weather green vegetable that can be eaten raw for maximum nutrition! It is one of the world’s most nutritious leafy green vegetable due to its high protein content. The blooms of this species come in late summer and are a brilliant pale yellow with a dark purple center with a diameter of 6 inches. In Japan, the roots are used to create a paste for making paper.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: Leaves can be cooked or used in salad as spinach. The bigger leaves can be used as a wrap. Nutritious, full of protein and iron.
- As Medicine: Drinking a tea made from the leaves will lower blood pressure
- Other Uses: n/a
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Plant in September-February season. Grow from cuttings about 10-20cm long, buried half-way in potting mix. Keep them spaced about 60cm apart and fertilize regularly.
- Best time to Harvest: January-May
- Sunlight Requirements: Full sun. This plant will not thrive in shade.
- Soil Requirements: Thrives in moist and fertile, well-drained soil. This hardy plant tolerates a range of soils, from sand to clay and acidic to alkaline. For best growing results, soil must be kept moist. May also be grown as a potted specimen.
- From cuttings taken in spring/summer. Allow stalks to reach mature height for blooming. Pruning main stalk will promote branching.
- Use loppers cutting stem at an angle about every 12 inches on Hibiscus, Lay each Edible Hibiscus stem one down in the correct direction (top of stem pointing up, bottom of stem pointing down) to the side
- Remove the bottom leaves of the Edible Hibiscus but keep a few of the top baby leaves on the top piece,
- Choose the area you are planting to and stick the correct angle cut ends of plant into the ground at least 2-3 inches,
- Cover base of plant with brown paper bag, put soil and a few lava rocks or guava to hold down paper on top and water thoroughly.
Controlling Spread: When the plant gets too tall to harvest, cut main stem of plant with loppers, harvest leaves, lop the branch evenly at an angle and propagate.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
- Edible Hibiscus is planted prominently on the side of the Candy Barn growing into the Hang Out Zone, and many other places on the property. The food growing into the living area actually does entice more people to try it as an alternative green! It’s used quite often for plate presentation, cooked as greens, sauteed, great to chiffonade for soups and presentations!