Longevity Spinach: How To Develop Gynura Procumbens Proper


Longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens) is a well-liked vegetable grown within the tropics. Whereas common spinach is finest grown in colder climates and tends to bolt within the warmth, longevity spinach is perennial in hotter climates. It’s a widespread cooking and medicinal ingredient all through Southeastern Asia.

As its identify implies, this vegetable is well known for its well being advantages. Japanese drugs practitioners use longevity spinach to help in treating kidney issues, rheumatism, constipation, hypertension, diabetes, and extra. It may be ingested or topically utilized. 

In Malay, this plant is named Sambung Nyawa, which implies “prolongation of life” and in Chinese language, it is called Bai Bing Cao, which interprets to “the grass that heals 100 ailments.” There’s ongoing scientific analysis on the pharmaceutical potential of longevity spinach. Though there is no such thing as a such factor as a miracle plant, this one might simply be integrated as a part of a nutritious diet. 

Longevity spinach can be a wonderful addition to gardens in North America and perennial in USDA zones 11th of September. They are often planted as annuals in cooler rising zones. Totally different components of the plant are edible uncooked in salads and smoothies or cooked in stir-fries and soups. When heated, longevity spinach has a viscous consistency and will depart a sticky residue akin to okra or Malabar spinach. 

These with meals allergy symptoms ought to first attempt just a few leaves earlier than making an enormous batch. It’s simple to propagate, so you’ll be able to take as many cuttings as you prefer to share with curious household and pals!

Fast Care Information

Longevity spinach
Longevity spinach. Supply: the queen of delicate
Widespread Title(s) Longevity Spinach, Longevity Greens, Scrambling Gynura, Sambung Nyawa, Ldl cholesterol Spinach, Bai Bing Cao, Leaves of the Gods
Scientific Title Gynura procumbens
Days to Harvest From 30 days onwards
Gentle Semi-shade
Water Average water
Soil Free soil with good soil drainage
Fertilizer Nitrogen wealthy fertilizers similar to blood meal, kelp, or fish fertilizer
Pests Beetles, aphids, mites, whiteflies, leafminers
Illnesses Broad bean wilt virus 2

All About Longevity Spinach

Gynura procumbens mature plant
Gynura procumbens mature plant. Supply: Daderot

Longevity spinach, Gynura procumbens, is a low-growing perennial plant native to Southeast Asia, China, and Africa. Within the wild, longevity spinach vegetation may be present in forests by streams or climbing on bushes. Vegetation within the Gynura genus belong to the aster household (Asteraceae). 

Like its sunflower cousins, the longevity spinach plant additionally produces lovely yellow flowers which then produce seeds. Nonetheless, should you plan to cook dinner with longevity spinach as an alternative of utilizing it as a decorative, it’s best to take away the flowers to advertise lush development of leaves. 

It has a climbing development behavior which gave this plant one in all its widespread names – the Scrambling Gynura. Longevity spinach vegetation may be grown straight within the floor and let sprawl as a pretty groundcover or grown in containers to handle the vines and transfer indoors. 

The fleshy leaves are spherical to ovate in form with a clean inexperienced higher floor, making it semi-succulent. Leaves are configured in an reverse sample and may stand up to 6 inches lengthy. The stems are additionally edible however will root wherever they contact the soil. 

The underside of leaves, stems, and buds might have purple hues. Leaves may be harvested as quickly as one month after planting, however be certain to not over-harvest through the early stage of planting. Often harvesting of longevity spinach leaves may help the plant look bushier. 

Planting Longevity Spinach

If you happen to order on-line from backyard suppliers, you’ll mostly obtain plant cuttings as an alternative of seeds. Seeds are very tough to germinate, even on the hand of skilled gardeners. Cuttings may be planted straight in nutrient-rich soil after the final frost. Take care to not plant them any sooner, because the younger cuttings will want time to regulate to your backyard and will not be very cold-tolerant. 

Longevity spinach must be planted in partial shade and well-draining soil. Whereas the vegetation can tolerate full solar, an excessive amount of solar publicity will trigger the leaves to develop a bitter style. Depart loads of area between every plant, as they’ll simply sprawl. As a result of they don’t seem to be native to North America, they might turn into mildly invasive if not pruned.   

If you happen to’re planting longevity spinach in containers, the containers must be a minimum of 3 gallons to accommodate vigorous development. Fertilize container vegetation extra incessantly than these grown within the floor since vitamins within the containers are likely to deplete quicker.  

Caring For Longevity Spinach Vegetation

Closeup of longevity spinach
Closeup of longevity spinach. Supply: Judgefloro

It’s simple to develop longevity spinach indoors or outdoors. This plant isn’t inclined to many ailments or pests and may thrive below favorable situations. 

Solar and Temperature

Longevity spinach grows finest in partial solar soil and particularly shaded from the cruel afternoon rays. In North America, it may be grown as a perennial plant in zones 11th of September and as an annual in all different zones that have frost. 

As a result of longevity spinach is a tropical plant, it’s delicate to colder climates. If the plant suffered gentle frost harm, prune the broken leaves and stems again to encourage wholesome new development. Mature vegetation can tolerate just a few nights of sunshine frost however received’t recuperate after extended chilly spells.

Water and Humidity

As with many vegetation, longevity spinach additionally advantages from drip irrigation as an alternative of overhead watering. Longevity spinaches have an ample root system to tolerate some drought situations however will develop higher with extra constant watering. As a result of the longevity spinach plant has a vining development behavior, the lengthy tendrils of leaves may act as a residing mulch to assist retain soil moisture. 

If you happen to see your plant wilt or turn into sickly, it may be as a consequence of an excessive amount of water absorption or poor drainage. As new transplants, they need to be watered on daily basis. Nonetheless, as soon as they’ve turn into bigger vegetation, weekly watering will suffice. In contrast to different high-humidity vegetation from the tropics, this one doesn’t require misting to take care of ambient moisture.  

Soil

Develop longevity spinach in unfastened, well-draining soil and never soggy zones. If you happen to’re rising longevity spinach straight in out of doors environments, you’ll be able to assist enrich the soil by including natural supplies similar to compost. As a result of these vegetation can be utilized as a pure floor cowl, they don’t want utility of extra mulch.

Fertilizing Gynura Procumbens

The use and frequency of fertilizer functions relies on the soil high quality. Longevity spinach can profit from nitrogen-rich fertilizers similar to espresso grounds, blood meal, worm castings, or a kelp or fish liquid natural fertilizer. Fertilizers are particularly vital in case you are rising longevity spinach in indoor planters and with two or three vegetation in the identical pot. Too many vegetation usually will compete for assets so it’s vital to feed them with nutrient-rich liquids. 

Pruning & Coaching Gynura Procumbens

Longevity vegetation get pleasure from vigorous development and tend to take over an space if left unpruned. The perfect technique of pruning is to easily harvest the leaves and in the reduction of the vines. Mature vegetation can develop as much as a foot tall with scrambling vines.  Within the wild, this plant tends to climb bushes, to allow them to be skilled to develop upwards utilizing helps like bamboo stakes. 

Propagation

It’s simple to propagate longevity in spinach from present vegetation.  Take a chopping with a minimum of two to a few leaves and put the chopping into some soil. Hold the soil nicely watered for the next days, and the chopping ought to root and begin to produce new leaves. Propagation is a good way for cool-weather gardeners to have extra longevity spinach for the next season with out ordering new vegetation. 

Rising longevity spinach indoors is simple; save cuttings close to a heat and sunny window and let the soil dry out between waterings to maintain roots wholesome. They will additionally profit from being positioned below a develop gentle. The plant will develop extra slowly through the winter however will probably be able to be transplanted outdoors after the final frost. 

Harvesting and Storing

Gynura procumbens top view
Gynura procumbens high view. Supply: Shahidul Hasan Roman

Longevity spinach is usually a nice substitute for true spinach in sizzling climates. It thrives within the warmth and may yield an plentiful and steady harvest of leafy greens all through the summer time.

Harvesting Spinach

Longevity spinach is a vigorous plant that may be harvested as early as a month after planting. Because the plant matures, it requires frequent harvesting to regulate the vines. Frequent harvesting is a good way to comprise the plant earlier than it takes over the entire backyard. Longevity spinach can also be a wholesome plant to feed chickens.

Storing

Put together and retailer longevity spinach as you’ll some other leafy inexperienced, though freezing would be the finest technique to protect its dietary worth. Wash and pat dry the leaves earlier than freezing them in sealed containers or luggage. 

Longevity spinach may help pack in further well being advantages into smoothies. Longevity spinach leaves may also be dehydrated at a low temperature. The truth is, there are at present powdered longevity spinach capsules and dried tea leaves being offered as natural dietary supplements. 

Troubleshooting

Rising longevity spinach is usually not tough because it’s naturally vigorous and doesn’t face too many pests or ailments. Nonetheless, should you encounter some points whenever you attempt to develop longevity spinach, listed here are some widespread methods to troubleshoot. 

Rising Issues

Longevity spinach will sometimes arrive as younger cuttings. Some of the widespread rising issues is exposing them to freezing temperatures earlier than they’re strong sufficient to be outdoors. Be sure that solely to transplant the chopping after any probabilities of frost in order to not harm younger longevity spinach leaves. 

The temperature shouldn’t be an enormous difficulty for gardeners in heat climates. Whereas they’ll thrive indoors, they may also be extra weak to nitrogen deficiency or turn into root sure. Examine your plant day by day. 

Pests

Your longevity spinach plant might entice beetles, whiteflies, and different tiny inexperienced bugs similar to aphids. Wholesome vegetation are extra immune to pests, whereas those who have already suffered some harm will entice them. Beetles will sometimes straight eat components of leaves, whereas the piercing and sucking bugs will feed on plant tissue utilizing their specialised mouthparts. Neem oil can function a pure pest management when utilized to leaves. In extreme circumstances, you’ll be able to apply chemical controls similar to spinosad or pyrethrin.

A leafminer larvae infestation is seen when leaves have small white squiggles on them. That is proof the larvae have tunneled into the world between the leaf floor and its tissue to feed earlier than pupating. The perfect plan of action right here is to take away the leaves that comprise leafminers and get rid of them.   

Illnesses

Researchers from South Korea, the place this edible plant is a favourite, have discovered that aphids are a vector for the Broad bean wilt virus 2 (BBWV-2). Longevity spinach that has this virus will develop chlorotic native lesions on leaves. The diseased plant’s leaves will turn into mottled, and the virus will finally trigger stunted plant development. It’s vital to regulate aphids to lower the possibility {that a} pest infestation will unfold ailments. 

Moreover, as a result of longevity spinach can develop as a dense patch, the dearth of airflow could cause some fungal points. Harvest recurrently or lower the vines again to advertise airflow. This additionally provides you the chance to look at your plant extra carefully for different indicators of pests and ailments so you’ll be able to deal with them accordingly. 

Regularly Requested Questions

Gynura procumbens
Gynura procumbens. Supply: Judgefloro

Q: Can longevity spinach be eaten uncooked?

A: Sure, longevity spinach may be eaten uncooked or cooked. Many individuals eat longevity spinach for its well being advantages, similar to to handle blood sugar, decrease blood strain, management unhealthy ldl cholesterol, and so forth. 

Q: Is longevity spinach invasive?

A: No, the longevity plant isn’t sometimes invasive and may be planted straight within the backyard. 

Q: Does longevity spinach like full solar?

A: Longevity spinach may be grown in direct daylight. Nonetheless, if potential, be certain your longevity spinach plant has sufficient pure gentle however is positioned in partial shade. 

Q: Does longevity spinach style like spinach?

A: Longevity spinach is a leafy inexperienced that can be utilized as an alternative of spinach in all use circumstances, however it has a milder style. 

Q: Is longevity spinach the identical as Okinawa spinach?

A: No, longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens) isn’t the identical as Okinawa spinach (Gynura crepioides), though they’re each within the Gynura genus and are extra warmth tolerant than true spinach. Each vegetation additionally develop finest when propagated from cuttings somewhat than straight sown from seed. Longevity spinach originates from Southeast Asia as an alternative of Japan. 

Q: How chilly can longevity spinach tolerate?

A: Longevity spinach is delicate to frost. Potted vegetation may be moved indoors when temperatures cool in colder local weather environments. 

Q: Are you able to eat the stems of longevity spinach?

A: Sure, you’ll be able to eat the stems of longevity spinach, though this plant is extra generally eaten for its leaves. 

Q: Does longevity spinach have oxalates?

A: Sure, longevity spinach incorporates oxalates which may be decreased by way of cooking earlier than consuming.

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