Guide To Growing New Zealand Spinach

New Zealand spinach an evergreen perennial plant in cold climates, New Zealand spinach is also known as botany cooks cabbage, bay spinach, sea spinach, tetragon, and Della Nuova Zealand. It is often cultivated as an annual herbaceous delicate plant.

Maori spinach is another name for it among the locals of New Zealand. Despite having a common name, it differs greatly from ordinary spinach but is used in the same way because it has more leaves and is less likely to bolt in the hot summer months than regular spinach.


The young shoot tips and leaves of New Zealand spinach are consumed raw or cooked as a green vegetable. However. When curry is eaten after stir-frying, it is excellent. Its edible leaves are also used as a salad or a serving dish for pickled foods, cheese, cooked fish, and meats.

Due to its sprawling character and lovely foliage, it is the ideal plant for borders and beds used as decorative and edible landscaping. It is used in casseroles and soups.

 It is also used as an ornamental plant for ground cover.

Medicinal use:

Spinach from New Zealand is useful in battling the scurvy virus. It lowers the danger of developing heart disease, cancer, insomnia, and other degenerative diseases. Its leaves are abundant in carotenoids, which lessen the harm superoxides do to the body.

Its consumption strengthens the immune system, produces, and maintains

a crucial protein called collagen is present in both hair and skin. Its vitamin K increases calcium absorption and decreases calcium excretion in the urine.

calcium modifies the protein in the bone matrix.

Climatic requirement for growing New Zealand Spinach

New Zealand Spinach

New Zealand spinach grows best in frost-free, cool climates with ample sunlight, and it produces excellent leaves all year long in temperate climates.

It is not frost resistant, just like regular spinach. The ideal temperature for achieving a higher yield lies between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. It favours somewhat humid weather for growth.

Long days and warm conditions encourage the growth of seed stalks, but because this crop is biennial, low temperatures change how it responds to photoperiod.

Even in situations with short days, exposing plants to temperatures of 10-15 degrees Celsius for a month might cause them to flower. Bolting is a result of the long, hot summer days, which results in low leaf quality. The ideal soil temperature for its cultivation is between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. In warmer climates, midday partial shade is advantageous for the development of leaves.

Soil requirement:

Being a halophyte, New Zealand spinach thrives in coastal saline soils and is drought resistant.

However, the best soil for its cultivation is well-drained sandy loam soil rich in organic matter since it has a good capacity to retain moisture and a pH between 6.8 and 7.

Cultivated varieties:

The variety that is most frequently grown is Maori. For plantings in the future, use kinds that don’t bolt. Spinach comes in two varieties,

  1.   The cool season type.
  2.   The warm season type.

which, despite being taxonomically distinct from broad-leaf spinach, is similar in both flavour and appearance. Another kind. Winter blooming dale, which is commonly used for horticulture.

Planting time:

New Zealand spinach is sown in the early spring in temperate zones; however, it is sown in the early autumn in tropical and subtropical areas. At intervals of two weeks, successive sowing is done to provide a consistent supply of spinach.

Seed rate:

Ten to fifteen kilogrammes of seed are frequently used to plant one hectare of land with New Zealand spinach. When New Zealand spinach is cultivated at high temperatures, seed rates should be decreased..

Planting method:

Seeds are used to propagate New Zealand spinach, which are fruits that contain multi-germ seeds similar to beetroot and produce several seedlings in clusters.

Because seedlings sprawl on the ground, the seeds are sown directly in the field at a depth of 1-2 cm, with row spacing of 60-90 cm and plant spacing of 30-45 cm.

One square metre of earth is covered by a single fully grown plant. The seeds sprout gradually and erratically. As a result, for optimal seed germination, the field has to have adequate of soil moisture at the time of sowing.

To speed up germination, the seeds should be soaked either overnight in regular water or for three hours in warm water before sowing.

The additional seedlings are removed when and when they reach a height of 3 to 4 cm emergence if the germination is high and the seedlings are in a cluster. If the entire plant is to be harvested, the thinning technique is not necessary.

Nutritional requirement:

Manure and fertilisers are applied, and the crop responds favourably to both. This needs to be provided in order for the plants to grow quickly. Compared to regular spinach, New Zealand spinach requires more manure and fertiliser.

The amount of farmyard manure that should be applied depends on the texture of the soil. Additionally, 100 kg of nitrogen, 25 kg of phosphorus, and 150 kg of potash are applied per hectare.

Only if the leaves are light green should extra nitrogen be added. When preparing the soil, farmyard manure ought to be added.

While nitrogen is used as a top dressing in split amounts to encourage regrowth after harvest, phosphorus and potash are applied as base doses upon planting.

Irrigation requirement:

New Zealand spinach is a shallow-rooted crop, it requires consistent moisture for better plant growth, as water is an essential component for plant growth and development.

it provides adequate moisture to plants through frequent irrigation and, when necessary, prevents bolting. As a result, light irrigation at regular intervals is advised to keep the plants healthy and produce the highest quality leaves. It grows well on sandy soils in coastal areas because they provide consistent soil moisture, resulting in the best-flavored leaves.

Interculture operations:

To reduce competition with crop plants and achieve a higher yield for the best quality leaves, the New Zealand spinach field should be weed-free. Hand pulling or shallow hoeing close to the plant is used to control weeds.

To promote side shoots and shorten the harvest period, it is crucial to pinch off the top shoot and new buds on New Zealand spinach. Since it has weak stems and trails across the garden, pinching is important.

After planting, mulching the soil surface reduces weed growth, helps maintain soil moisture, and boosts crop yields. Insect-pest damage can also be prevented with floating row covers.


Typically, New Zealand spinach is harvested 40 to 80 days after planting. The variety and developing circumstances will determine this. When the main branch has reached a length of 30 cm or when the plant has covered the soil surface, the initial harvesting of new shoots or 15-20 cm tops may be carried out.

 For the best flavour production over a period of months, the young, fragile leaves or shoot tips are selected every week.

Harvesting is typically done by hand-picking the outer leaves and saving the younger ones for later pickings, or by cutting with a sharp knife just below the surface. In contrast to commercial farming, where the crop is fully removed after a few months when the yield and quality deteriorate, this approach is typical in kitchen gardens.

It is advised to harvest once or twice a week to encourage shoot growth. It is best to avoid selecting older leaves or stems that have fruits since they become bitter and fibrous.

It is best to harvest the crop when it is still in an edible state rather than when the leaves or seed stalks have already started to deteriorate. The entire plant is uprooted once the seed stalks have developed.


In New Zealand, spinach typically yields 10 quintals per hectare at first harvest and 30 quintals per hectare in total after 3–4 months of continuous harvesting.

Post-harvest management:

To avoid unnecessarily breaking leaves during harvest since morning-harvested leaves contain high tutor levels that will cause leaf breaking, New Zealand spinach for the fresh market should be harvested in the evening first.

It should be consumed as soon as possible after harvest because it cannot be kept at room temperature for more than a day and can only be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. Additionally, it can be frozen, canned, or dehydrated.


Spinach leaf miner.

Under the epidermis, a leaf miner excavates tunnels inside leaves. When the attack is strong, the leaf mine creates tiny black specks, and the lava feeding inside the leaf tunnels creates a lot of black faces.


  • Utilize non-host crops in a lengthy agricultural rotation.
  • If you can, cultivate resistant cultivars.
  • Neem oil 0.4%, dimethoate 0.03%, and DDVP 0.5% should be sprayed on the crop every 15 days.

Spider mite:

They typically reside in colonies on the underside of leaves that are wrapped in silky white webs. The elder leaves’ lower surfaces are sapped by their adults and nymphs, which causes the upper surfaces of the infected leaflets to develop yellow or white patches. Leaf bronzing and defoliation are the effects of severe infestation.


  • Eliminate and dispose of the damaged leaves.
  • At intervals of 10 to 12 days, spray the bottom surface of leaves with neem oil 0.4%, methyl parathion 0.01%, phosalone 0.25%, or dicofol 0.1%, wettable sulphur 80 WP @ 3 g/liter, or fanzine 10 EC 1 ml/liter of water.

 Lygus bug

Lygus bugs can harm plants in many ways depending on their stage of development, including blackheads, blasting on flower tissues, collapsing, and reduced leaf production. Common spinach seed harvests are also harmed by the bug because it feeds on the growing blossoms and seeds. Frequently, a black, sticky substance is generated at the site of the feeding injury.


  • Deploy mymaridae-family natural biocontrol agents.
  • Utilize nonhost crops in a protracted crop rotation.
  • Using biological weapons like damsel and big-eyed bugs.
  • Apply acephate 0.1%, aldicarb 0.05%, or dimethoate 0.03% to the crop.


Fusarium wilt:

A pathogen from the soil enters the plant’s body via the roots.

In poorly drained soil, it is the most serious disease. The symptoms begin with yellowing of lower leaves, including leaf balds and petioles, and progress to younger leaves.

The infected plant’s leaves congregate around the pseudostem and wither. Yellowish to reddish striations are visible in the pseudo-stem of the diseased plant, with colour intensification towards the roots. Warm soil temperatures, poor drainage, light soils, and high soil moisture are all conducive to disease spread.


  • Deep summer ploughing should be followed to expose the soil to atmospheric heat.
  • Maintain a long crop rotation of non-host crops.
  • If resistant varieties are available, plant them.
  • Remove infected plants from the field and destroy them.
  • Use soil-based bio-agents such as Trichoderma.
  • Apply 0.3% lanacol or brassicol to the field.

Damping off:

In general, damping off disease causes more damage to seedlings after emergence. The roots of the rotted seedlings had turned black and brown. A common phrase for the rapid demise of seedlings is “damping off.”

Under damp conditions, this fungal attack on the collar region leads seedlings to fall to the ground.


  • soil solarize or sterilization with chemaical method.
  • Use dithane M-45, copper oxychloride, phenyl mercury, or captan 3 g/kg of seeds to treat the seeds.
  • After planting, soak the soil in the field. 0.1% bassicol, captan, or aretan, and 5% copper sulphate.
  • At intervals of 10 to 12 days, drench the crop with 0.3% copper oxychloride, 0.25% dithane M-45, or captan 50 WP.

White rust:

New Zealand spinach is severely infected by the fungus. On all aerial portions other than the root, the symptoms manifest as light brown water-soaked lesions coated with white mycelium growth, while the lower surfaces of the leaves develop noticeable white or creamy yellow pustules.


  • To eliminate soil inoculums, plough the land in the summer.
  • Choose the correct time to plant the crop.
  • At 50 and 70 days following sowing, spray the crop with garlic bulb extract or mancozeb 75 WP @ 0.2%.

Verticillium wilt:

It is a soil-born fungus. Lower leaves begin to exhibit interval chlorosis, which develops into interval necrosis, as symptoms. A whole plant is thus drying out and wilting.

Plants topple over the ground surface as a result of the destruction of the root system.


  • To kill the inoculums, plough deeply in the summer.
  • Utilize non-host crops in a lengthy agricultural rotation.
  • cultivate resilient varieties.
  • Apply 0.3% of brassicol or lanacol to the soil.

Cladosporium leaf spot:

Round, tan leaf spots that are rarely more than 6 mm in diameter are the disease’s primary symptom.


  • cultivate resistant strains.
  • When sowing, use wholesome, verified seeds.
  • Observe appropriate cultural conventions.
  • Spray the crop twice, every 10 to 12 days, with dithane m-45 or copper hydroxide 0.1%.


Tropical, subtropical, Mediterranean, and temperate climate zones are all suitable for growing it. It is a warm-season perennial that is frequently used as a great substitute for conventional spinach because it does well in hot and arid climates.

It can be grown all year long in subtropical locations and up until the first frost in temperate regions. It has a taste that is intense and similar to regular spinach, but it is not as bitter.

Nutritionally, New Zealand spinach is virtually identical to regular spinach. It is a great source of vitamins A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as minerals including iron, potassium, salt, and magnesium. It contains few calories, fibre, and fat. Its calcium to phosphorus ratio is balanced, which makes it perfect for the body’s absorption of calcium.

Amar Sawant is a Hi-tech farmer, professional Greenhouse consultant, and trainer. He works for more than nine years as an agri-entrepreneur.

Greenhouse Business Blueprint course

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest