Corchorus olitorius, Egyptian spinach belongs to the family Malvaceae and can be quickly grown in all types of gardens provided by drained, and rich soil, sunny growing conditions, and good irrigation. Egyptian spinach grows well in the shrub shape, so plants should be planted at an appropriate distance for profitable growth, and development. This is a tropical pan plant and is being grown in various countries for its high nutritional value. These leaves can be eaten as cooked or raw form (salads).
Egyptian spinach grows well in the warmer climatic conditions so it must be planted in summer or spring season. The seeds of Egyptian spinach can be directly sown to the garden soil or by seedlings transplantation. Seeds can also be started in the indoor conditions. Typically, these plants range between 1.2 – 1.8m in height and produce lance-shaped leaves.
Egyptian spinach needs well-manipulated soil to grow so the ground must be tilled appropriately up to the depth of about 25cm. Addition of 7-10cm of peat, rotten manure, organic matter, or compost is an excellent approach to improve moisture conservation, the bioavailability of nutrients. Moreover, it also enhances the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the rhizosphere.
Egyptian spinach plants grow well in the vertical direction, and each successive harvest helps to produce more growth of branches. The size of individual leaves is variable between 5-7cm and can reach to 1.8m if left uncut.
Seeds sowing or seedling transplantation must be practised at an appropriate distance so that plants can get enough to grow and develop. The seeds must be sown near to the soil surface to allow good light penetration for germination. Seed sowing in sunny conditions helps to create real leaves and helps in the development of healthy, and vigorous plants.
Egyptian spinach needs good moisture contents for optimal growth. However, both overwatering and under watering should be avoided, as it can negatively affect the development of Egyptian spinach. These seeds should be carefully watered as they are sown near to surface so any mismanagement may cause their washing. The germination of seeds can be observed in three days during the favourable conditions.
Development of Seed Pods
Egyptian spinach produces bright yellow-coloured flowers that emerge from its leaf excels. Pod development is started soon after flowering initiation. These pods can reach to the same length as leaves. These pods have five sections and are filled with greenish tinted, and angular seeds. Plants start dying after maturity of seedpods followed by tan development and drying.
Growing Egyptian spinach plants should be fertilised adequately by using or organic fertilisers. Gardeners should be careful to apply fertilisers at the right place, and right time followed by the appropriate source.
Upper leaves of Egyptian spinach can be harvested after reaching 15-20cm length. Moreover, gardeners can also reap the entire plant according to their personal preferences. Growing Egyptian spinach is an easy and rewarding approach as this plant starts producing fruits only after reaching 60cm height. Its stems are also an excellent source of fibre and help to get a good return.