The health benefits of green, leafy spinaches are widespread and well-known.
It’s no surprise that yet another type of spinach is gaining popularity for indoor and outdoor gardeners alike, especially when you take into consideration how easy it is to grow.
Longevity spinach, sometimes referred to as “the leaf of the gods” due to it’s supposed health benefits, is high in protein and very easy to propagate.
Many believe that longevity spinach can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
It’s said to also have anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help heal lesions and ulcers.
If any of these claims are true, longevity spinach is a superfood that is super easy to grow.
And best of all, it’s as easy to mix longevity spinach into your diet as it is to grow it. Pluck it right from your garden, rinse it and mix it into a smoothie, salad, or soup.
The Basics of Longevity Spinach Care
Longevity spinach is pretty hardy and does well in indoor or outdoor environments. When grown outdoors and left to spread, it will trail up or cover the ground. It can also be trimmed to grow more like a bush or clipped when growing in a pot.
No matter the placement, longevity spinach does best when the soil it’s in is kept moist. It also thrives when in partial shade, though it can be trained to tolerate full sun as long as the roots don’t dry out.
Longevity spinach has been known to survive freezes by going dormant and reemerging when the weather warms, but it doesn’t typically fare well in cold weather. It’s a good idea to bring outdoor pots of longevity spinach indoors for the winter, especially if the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re trying to grow longevity spinach in a colder climate, it’s best to treat it as an annual. When cool weather approaches, take some clippings, put them in pots, and grow them inside for the winter. We’ll touch on this again when we talk about where to grow your longevity spinach and how to propagate it.
Longevity Spinach is a Tropical Plant
Longevity spinach originates from the tropical regions of China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. By nature, it does best in a warm, tropical climate.
Because of its origins is best adapted to grow in warmer climates. Places in the southern United States, like Florida, provide great outdoor conditions for longevity spanish plants. If you live farther north don’t be too worried. With a little extra care, you too can fill your home, garden, and diet with longevity spinach.
Is Longevity Spinach a Good Plant for Beginner Gardeners?
Longevity spinach is a nice hardy plant that is easily propagated. This makes it a great choice for beginner gardeners. As long as you keep the plant in a partially shaded spot and keep the soil from drying out, you should be able to grow it without issue.
If you’re looking for an easy and edible plant to start your garden with, this is a great first pick. With the tips provided here for longevity spinach care, you’ll have a healthy supply of these leafy greens in no time.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Growth
As I mentioned before, longevity spinach can thrive indoors or out with the right care. When deciding where to plant your longevity spinach, it’s important to consider the weather where you live. If you experience freeze during the winter, it’s best to bring your longevity spinach indoors.
You can also consider moving your indoor plants to a porch or balcony during the spring and summer months. This is the time of year they thrive. You may even be lucky enough to get some of the rare orange blooms these plants are capable of producing.
Best Location in the Garden
When planted outdoors, partial sun is ideal for these plants. Too much sun, especially in the summertime, can scorch the leaves of the plant and dry out the roots.
In the winter, some people move their plants indoors, or simply take some clippings in to grow if it gets too cold for the plants to survive.
Remember, the longevity spinach does best in mild weather. If the weatherman predicts a drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to move your longevity spinach plants inside or to a greenhouse.
Best Location Indoors
While partial sun is preferable outdoors, your longevity spinach must get plenty of sun indoors. The best place for it is a room that receives a lot of natural sunlight. Even indoors, it’s still best to keep it out of direct sunlight.
Another thing to consider is the location of heating and cooling vents. Direct airflow can cause the roots to dry out, which is detrimental to the plant’s health.
If you don’t have enough natural light, consider using a grow light to keep your longevity spinach healthy.
In the past, I’ve used a grow light in my bathroom and kept my potted longevity plants in the bathtub to survive the winter. While not ideal, it had a good outcome. I had healthy longevity spinach plants to replant in my garden when spring arrived.
The Best Soil for Longevity Spinach
For the best growth, longevity spinach should be kept in loose soil with plenty of drainage. Poor drainage will result in soggy plants. As with other succulents, this can result in rot. The key is to find the perfect balance. This might be the biggest challenge of growing longevity spinach. You have to make sure your soil has the right amount of moisture. Too dry and the roots will dry out, but too moist and your plant could rot.
Longevity spinach is not picky about soil type. Just choose a rich soil with decent drainage and consider supplementing it with coffee grounds or used tea leaves.
Watering Your Longevity Spinach
Just as important as soil drainage is the amount of water you give your longevity spinach plants. Again, there is such a thing as too much water.
So, what’s the secret? Keep an eye on the top inch of soil and let it dry out in between waterings. Once you notice this top inch is dry, it’s time to water.
Don’t Water Your Longevity Spinach Daily
Your longevity spinach plant probably doesn’t need to be watered daily. You just have to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely. Keep those roots healthy and hydrated to ensure your longevity spinach can thrive.
Water Around the Plant, Not On It
When watering your longevity spinach plant, it’s best to water into the soil around it as opposed to directly onto the plant. Pouring water onto the plant can cause too much water absorption by the leaves. This can lead to soggy, droopy leaves.
Under or Over? Both can be bad for your Longevity Spinach Plant
If you are worried about over or underwatering your plants, there are a few ways to ensure that you don’t.
Don’t Overwater Your Longevity Spinach Plant
- Use a gritty soil to promote drainage
- If potted, make sure the drainage holes aren’t blocked
- Try to use pots made from unglazed materials like terra cotta, as they help evaporate excess water.
- Allow soil to dry a little between watering to promote root growth.
- Water the soil, not the plant. When you put water on the plant directly, this can cause leaves to become diseased.
Don’t Underwater Your Longevity Spinach Plant
- Provide even moisture to the soil by watering around the plant, not at just one point.
- Instead of daily waterings of a small amount of water, it’s better to water two times a week with more amounts of water.
- Timing is important. Watering in the morning or later in the evening is best. When you water mid-day, the sun evaporates too much of the water before the plant can absorb it.
- Ensure the water is reaching the root by providing an ample amount each time you water.
Watering with the Seasons
The amount of water your longevity spinach needs changes throughout the year, especially if you are growing them outside. During winter months, as temperatures cool, you plant growth will most likely slow. While it’s not as extreme, this is also true with indoor houseplants. During this time of slower growth, the longevity spinach will not require as much water. You can decrease both the amount and frequency of water given.
The only time watering will remain constant throughout the year is if the temperature of the environment remains constant throughout the year. This might happen in a greenhouse setting or an area with extremely mild weather.
You’ve set up a strict watering schedule for your longevity spinach plant. But then, you go out of town for a few days. Should you give it a little extra water for the next few days upon return?
First, I want to remind you that a schedule is probably not the best way to water your longevity spinach plant. The frequency with which you water should be solely based on the moisture in the soil, not the number of days since the last watering. Let the top layer of soil dry out, then water.
With that being said, don’t make the mistake of overwatering your plant all at once to make up for some missed days. Just work on getting that moisture level in the soil back on track and your longevity spinach plants will be okay.
The longevity spinach plant doesn’t require a high humidity, so it’s not really a concern. The main concern is keeping the optimum moisture balance in the roots and leaves. Focus on this and make adjustments as necessary.
Misting a plant is typically used to help high humidity plants in low humidity environments. In this case, misting the longevity spinach plant may actually cause more trouble than its worth. It’s best to keep the leaves dry to avoid disases in the leaves, so misting is not a good option for these plants.
Unless you live in an extremely dry environment, setting up an air humidifier for your longevity spinach plant is not necessary.
You’ll need to fertilize your longevity spinach plant quarterly. These plants don’t require a specific type of fertilizer, as long as it is high in nitrogen. For this reason, consider using a fish fertilizer or blood meal.
One of the top concerns when choosing plants for your yard or home, especially if you have pets, should be toxicity. We know longevity spinach is great for the human diet, but is it safe for your furry friends, as well?
Great news! Not only is the longevity spinach plant safe for your pet, it can be a great addition to their diets, too. Dogs will benefit from a spinach supplement almost as much as you will.
There is no question that longevity spinach is safe for both humans and pets alike.
Once you realize how easy longevity spinach is to care for, I’m sure you’re going to want more. Before you rush out to buy more, don”t! Longevity spinach is really easy to propagate, even for beginning gardeners.
Propagate Using a Cutting
- Cut 10 to 18 inches from the stem, or even off a shoot. Your cut should be just below a leaf.
- Remove a majority of the leaves, leaving only two or three at the top of the cutting.
- For best results, dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone.
- Put the cutting into a vase with filtered water.
- Keep the cutting in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees fahrenheit for a period of 10 to 14 days.
- When you start to see new growth on the cutting, including an ample root system, you can re-pot into potting soil.
- For the first couple of weeks, make sure your water your new plant daily to keep the soil extra-moist until it has a chance to take root.
You can also try putting the fresh cutting directly into the soil after you’ve dipped it in rooting hormone. As long as conditions are favorable, the cutting will still develop roots and should be able to grow into a healthy plant.
Propagate Using a Rooted Stem
Taking a small piece of an already rooted stem can also be done. This option is often quicker and will take root faster.
Either way you choose to propagate, it is pretty simple and will result in additional longevity spinach plants.
Congratulations! You just propagated a longevity spinach plant!
Using the Leaves of a Longevity Spinach Plant
It’s really easy to harvest the leaves of a longevity spinach plant. All you have to do is pinch them off the stem.
The young leaves near the end of the shoot will be the most tender. These are perfect for adding to salads, mixing into smoothies, and juicing.
The older leaves near the bottom of the shoot are better for cooking with. You can boil them, use them in stir fry, or add them to soup.
Even the stem of the longevity spinach plant is useful. It’s pretty crunchy in texture and can be used as a substitute for celery.
Once you have built up your supply of longevity spinach plants, you should be able to pick leaves from them daily. They regrow pretty quickly, so larger plants especially can be picked from daily.
Longevity Spinach Care FAQs
While longevity spinach is an easy plant to care for, you might still come across some issues. Here are some commonly asked questions about caring for the longevity spinach plant.
Why are the leaves of my longevity spinach plant yellow?
If you see that the leaves of your longevity spinach are turning yellow, it’s probably a sign of nitrogen deficiency. There’s a simple solution. Pick up a bag of fertilizer rich in nitrogen, like a fish fertilizer or blood meal. Once your plant starts to perk up, remember to fertilize quarterly.
Why do the leaves of my longevity plant have small speck on them?
If the specks are also accompanied by yellowing and curling up, this is probably a sign of a pest infestation. More specifically, an infestation of Aphids. Aphids are tiny green insects that feed off of the nutrient-rich liquids in plants. They colonize on the undersides of leaves and leave behind a sticky residue called honeydew. An aphids infestation can get out of hand quick because they multiply very quickly. To rid yourself of these pesky and harmful insects, spray your leaves with water. Make sure to give it a little extra sun to dry them out after.
Why do my newly rooted cuttings have dark water-logged stems?
You might be planting them in before they are ready. Keeping cuttings in a smaller pot or container where it is easier to control moisture can help with this. Ensure that the pot and soil are providing adequate drainage.
Why does it look like my longevity spinach leaves have white tunnels running through them?
This happens when you have a leafminer larvae infestation. Remove the infested leaves and cover the plants to protect them from the adult flies.
Top Tips for Successful Longevity Spinach Care
- Location: Choose the best placement for your plant
- Indoor: a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight
- Outdoor: partial shade to protect leaves from burning
- Soil: plant in loose, rich soil with good drainage
- Fertilizer: fertilize your longevity spinach quarterly using something high in nitrogen
- Water: avoid overwatering by monitoring moisture in the soil. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering.
- Relocate: If you live in cooler weather, move your plants inside when the temperature drops below 40 degrees fahrenheit when possible. If not, propagate from existing plants for replanting in the spring.
- Propagate: Cut a 10-18 inch segment of the stem off, dip it in root hormone and place it in soil to root.
- Harvest: Wait until a longevity spinach plant has at least 8 leaves before you start pulling them off.
The Bottom Line About Longevity Spinach
WIth all the health claims, its no wonder that longevity spinach has spiked in popularity in recent years. Whether you’re looking for a plant to supplement your diet or you just want some easy to care for greenery around the house, longevity spinach is just what you need.
The slightly fuzzy, bright green leaves of the longevity spinach plant are both beautiful to look at and beneficial to the body. Add these to your garden or indoor planters, and you’ll have plenty of healthy green leaves to enjoy in no time at all.
The ease of care, quick growth, and variety of uses make the longevity spinach plant a great addition to any garden or planter. They’re easy enough to attract the most novice gardener, while beneficial enough to turn even the most experienced gardeners hear.
Start growing your own salads and add a little more green to your smoothie by adding longevity spinach to your garden and you won’t regret it.
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