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Molokhia Plant Care: Tips On Growing And Harvesting Egyptian Spinach

Molokhia Plant Care: Tips On Growing And Harvesting Egyptian Spinach


By: Liz Baessler

Molokhia (Corchorus olitorius) goes by several names, including jute mallow, Jews’ mallow and, more commonly, Egyptian spinach. Native to the Middle East, it’s a tasty, edible green that grows quickly and reliably and can be cut again and again throughout the growing season. Keep reading to learn more about molokhia plant care and cultivation.

Molokhia Cultivation

What is Egyptian spinach? It’s a plant with a long history, and molokhia cultivation goes back to the times of the Pharaohs. Today, it’s still one of the most popular vegetables in Egyptian cooking.

It’s very fast growing, usually ready to harvest about 60 days after planting. If it goes uncut, it can reach as tall as 6 feet (2 m.) in height. It likes hot weather and produces its leafy greens throughout the summer. When temperatures begin to drop in the fall, leaf production slows and the plant bolts, producing small, bright yellow flowers. The flowers are then replaced by long, thin seed pods that can be harvested when they naturally dry and brown on the stem.

Growing Egyptian Spinach Plants

Growing Egyptian spinach is relatively easy. The seeds can be sown directly in the ground in the spring after all chance of frost has passed, or started indoors about 6 weeks before the average last frost.

These plants prefer full sun, plenty of water and fertile, well-draining soil. Egyptian spinach grows outward into a shrub shape, so don’t put your plants too close together.

Harvesting Egyptian spinach is easy and rewarding. After the plant reaches about two feet in height, you can begin harvesting by cutting off the top 6 inches (15 cm.) or so of growth. These are the most tender parts, and they’ll be replaced quickly. You can harvest from your plant like this again and again over the course of the summer.

Alternatively, you can harvest the entire plants when they’re very young and tender. If you plant a new round of seeds every week or two, you’ll have a constant supply of new plants.

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Maryland Grows

The end of the spring lettuce and spinach harvest doesn’t mean we have to wait until fall to enjoy home-grown leafy greens. In addition to the kales and collards we know and love there is a world of heat tolerant leafy green crops that grow well in Maryland. These plants tend to grow rapidly and quickly fill their allotted space. They can all be eaten fresh or cooked and can help you introduce new textures, flavors, and culinary accents to your kitchen table.

Find local and online seed sources for these crops and follow planting instructions on seed packets and on seed company websites. Most of the leafy greens below can be treated as cut-and-come-again crops: they put on new growth below each harvesting cut.

Leafy green vegetables are some of the easiest and most nutritious crops our garden can produce. Of course, with any new crop it may take several years of growing and experimenting to decide if it will work for you and the people who eat from your garden.

Leafy (vegetable) amaranth
Amaranthus tricolor (Chinese spinach)
Amaranthus viridis (callaloo, also known as slender amaranth)
Tri-color amaranth is lower growing than callaloo, a popular plant in Jamaica and other countries

Callaloo plant in Baltimore Photo credit: Jon Traunfeld

Tokyo Bekana (Brassica rapa Var. Chinensis) – fast growing, light green color, mild flavor

Vitamin Green (Brassica rapa Napa group) – a non-heading type of Chinese cabbage with thick stems and large cupped leaves

Malabar spinach (Basella alba green stem and Basella rubra red stem) – a vigorous leafy vine that thickens soups and stews (mucilaginous) can also be sautéed

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Red Malabar spinach climbing on a trellis in the UME Master Gardener Demo Garden in Montgomery Co. Photo credit Bill Newman

New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides) is a low growing annual with a spreading habit that has somewhat fuzzy, arrow shaped leaves and mild spinach flavor

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Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris) – a fairly well-known garden plant. Mid-ribs are thick and wide and leaf and stem color varies greatly between cultivars. Can produce a large amount of leaf! ‘Perpetual Spinach’ (a.k.a. leaf beet) is closely related and can also be grown through the summer.

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“Bright Lights’ cultivar of Swiss chard. Photo credit: Ria Malloy

Molokhia (Corchorus olitorius), known as Egyptian spinach, an important plant in Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Higher in vitamins and minerals than most other leafy greens. This is the jute plant, known for its strong fibers. Young leaves can be eaten fresh, sautéed, or used to thicken soups and stews.

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) – young leaves and stems are excellent in many top-of-the-stove dishes. Harvesting leaves, even on a regular basis, will not reduce your sweet potato harvest.

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Sweet potato plants growing in containers. Photo credit: Jon Traunfeld

Roselle hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) originated in India and is grown throughout the tropics and sub-tropics. This plant is in the Malvaceae family along with cotton and okra. One type of roselle is grown for its strong fibers. The type grown for leafy greens comes both in red stem and green stem forms. The leaves have a compelling lemon-sour flavor similar to garden sorrel. It’s also grown for its fleshy calyx from which gardeners make tea, juice, and preserves.

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Green stem roselle growing in a Howard Co. community garden. Photo credit: Jon Traunfeld

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Red stem roselle after a harvest Photo credit: Jon Traunfeld

By Jon Traunfeld, Extension Specialist


Egyptian Spinach Seeds, a.k.a. Jute ,Saluyot, Molokhia, ,asian vegetable, very hardy,

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This "food of kings" dates back to the time of the pharaohs, when an Egyptian king drank it in soup to recover from an illness. Today, it is the most widely eaten vegetable in Egypt, where it is often cooked with rabbit broth, garlic and coriander and served with baked rabbits and rice. Modern Egyptians also use Molokhia to make a soup prepared since ancient times with the same spices but with lamb, beef or duck. Molokhia is considered to be extremely nutritious.

Warm season annual/perennial
Corchorus olitorius-Egyptian spinach seeds
This "food of kings" dates back to the time of the pharaohs, when an Egyptian king drank it in soup to recover from an illness. Today, it is the most widely eaten vegetable in Egypt, where it is often cooked with rabbit broth, garlic and coriander and served with baked rabbits and rice. Modern Egyptians also use Molokhia to make a soup prepared since ancient times with the same spices but with lamb, beef or duck. Molokhia is considered to be extremely nutritious.
Jute, Egyptian Spinach Also known as, Molokhia , Malu Khia, Melokheya, Meloukia, Salad Mallow, Jew's mallow, West African sorrel !
Asian names for this vegetable.
India: koshta
Japan: tororo no
Philippines: saluyot
Thailand: po krachao
Vietnam: rau day
his "food of kings" dates back to the time of the pharaohs, when an Egyptian king drank it in soup to recover from an illness. Today, it is the most widely eaten vegetable in Egypt, where it is often cooked with rabbit broth, garlic and coriander and served with baked rabbits and rice. Modern Egyptians also use Molokhia to make a soup prepared since ancient times with the same spices but with lamb, beef or duck. Molokhia is considered to be extremely nutritious.
Corchorus olitorius
A very hardy, fast growing annual . The young leaves used in salad, older leaves and the shoot tips cooked as spinach and are high in protein. It self-sows readily. Sow spring and summer. Suitable for subtropical and tropical areas.
Seed is naturally green in color and is NOT treated. Start seeds in flats or direct sow fairly heavily and thin. The is a hot weather loving green. Plant out after danger of frost is past and soil is getting warm. Does best in good soil for rapid growth, so continue to give compost or nutrients throughout the season. Likes full sun, warm to hot weather and steady moisture - mulch will help keep soil moist. Cut tender top leaves continuously or harvest whole plant and succession-sow.
BOTANICAL NAME: Corchorus olitorius


Spinach, Egyptian

100 Seeds per pack
Organic

Medicinal Seeds, Egyptian Spinach, chorchorus Olitorius, Organic, 100 seeds per pack, GMO Free, Egyptian Spinach

Name: Egyptian Spinach
Scientific name: Corchorus Olitorius
Family: Malvaceae

Egyptian Spinach is a quick growing annual that produces bountiful tender spinach like greens well into the summer. It has a long history of use in the middle east as a super green known for its high vitamin and mineral content. Reaching a height of 5-8 feet in the ground it can be harvest and topped when young for more lateral growth or clear cut when tall and replanted. If grown out to maturity the stalks can be processed to make the fibrous material jute. The plant produces ample naturally green seeds that are unique and eye catching. It is a heat tolerant plant that loves water so make sure to keep it moist and can be kept as a perennial in warm climates but grows best as an annual for more tender new growth.

Origination: Middle East
Recommended Uses: culinary for young leaves, jute fiber from mature stalks

Height: 5-8′ in ground, 2′ in pots
Hardiness: annual in warm climates
Flower Color: yellow
Characteristics: A quick growing heat and water loving summer spinach like green that produces when nothing else will.
Other Names: molokheiya or jute
Maturity: 70 days

Sowing Instructions:
Direct sow after danger of last frost or sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Sow seeds near surface as light aides germination. Germination in 7-14 days. Plant in full sun rich soil location once plants have a few sets of true leaves. keep moist and top at 2′ for lateral growth or grow to full height if for jute fiber. space 12-24′ apart and space to 24-36″ if using for greens.


Egyptian Spinach Seeds

Egyptian Spinach is said to be more nutritious than kale! This leafy green contains 4x more carotene than spinach, 10x more calcium than broccoli, 5x more vitamins B1, B2 than spinach. It even contains more vitamin C, E, potassium, iron and fiber than most other vegetables.

How To Care For The Plant
This plant has been widely grown in tropical Africa as food and tea. Egyptian Spinach is a heat loving bush. They start off moderately slow, but once the heat comes they grow quite fast. Best to grow in full sun and regular watering to keep soil moist (not soggy). This plant grows as annual in cooler climate. Here in zone 10 it's leaves begin to drop by around 60F. Life cycle will be fully completed by winter. Collect seeds to grow again the follow year!

How To Use
This plant has a mild / neutral flavor. Young leaves are picked for salads, mature leaves can be cooked in soups, stews, even dried for tea. Dried leaves can be powdered to use as nutritious soup thickener due the gelatinous texture. Leaves are great to add in green smoothies due to the soluble fiber in these leafy greens. They make the smoothie taste smooth almost like a juice!

Young seed pods are tender, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Texture and taste is similar to okra.

How To Start Seeds
Sow seeds in potting soil after the last day of frost. Sprinkle a light layer of soil over the seeds. Keep soil moist. Seeds may not germinate until the days warm up in mid spring. You can also plant seeds in warm indoor space to speed germination.

What You Will Receive
Approx 50 seeds
Growing Instructions will be included.

Various Names Of This Plant
Jute Mallow, West African Sorrel, Molokhia, Mulukhiyah, Corchorus olitorius

Our Growing Practice
We believe that growing high quality foods require high quality soil therefore, the ingredients we use for growing are of higher standards compared to the conventional systems. All our plants are grown in full organic soil, GMO FREE, and are not treated with any chemicals or pesticide.

***Disclaimer***
Description is for educational purposes only.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Shipping Info
To my friends in HAWAII -- Due to strict policy in the State of Hawaii, shipping seeds to this state would be at your own risk. If you have any questions please contact me. Mahalo!


Watch the video: Egyptian Spinach. Molokhia Plant in Arizona