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60 Days to maturity. Corchorus olitorius. Egyptian Spinach Molokhia Seeds. Warm-season annual heirloom. Egyptian Spinach Molokhia, also called jute leaf, is not a true spinach. It is grown for the leaves used as dark greens and for plant stalks to make yarn, sacking, and other textiles. Molokhia is traditionally served throughout the Middle East as a staple food. This delicious green loves high temperatures! It originates in the tropics and really can't get enough heat. In cooler climates, it does very well in hoop houses or greenhouses, even in the summer. Approx 14,800 seeds / oz.
Other Common Names:Egyptian spinach, jute leaf, molokhia, Jew’s mallow, denje'c'jute, nalta jute, tossa jute, jute mallow, edewu, ayoyo, mulukhiyah, molokheyya, mulukhiyyah, koshta, po krachao, rau day, saluyot, tororo no
How to Grow Molokhia Egyptian Spinach
The seeds need to be prepared before planting. Put them in hot water briefly, then soak in cooler water overnight before planting. For direct seeding, start at least 3 weeks after the last frost. sow the seeds 6 inches apart and thin to 18 inches apart. In cooler climates, start indoors six weeks before the last frost, then transplant to the garden three weeks after the last frost. The soil should be fertile and well-draining. Water regularly.
Harvesting Molokhia Egyptian Spinach
Molokhia grows quickly and reaches full maturity at about 60 days. Start harvesting when the plant reaches about 24 inches in height, trimming off stems and leaves as they get taller. Trimming will encourage branching, and keep the plant at a manageable size. Use all the leaves as dark greens. These will regrow, and the leaves can be continue to be harvested until fall.
At the end of the cycle in the fall, yellow flowers will create seed pods that can be harvested easily. Once the pods dry completely while still on the plant, they can be removed, dried, and stored for future seasons.
Molokhia can be added to salads raw, stir-fried, or added as a dark green to any recipe. It’s commonly used in soups and stews, or the leaves are dried to make tea. The traditional Egyptian dish called Molokhia is named for this plant. For this soup (or stew), the molokhia leaves are usually minced finely, and then stir-fried with garlic, coriander, and sometimes with added meat, fish, or bouillon. Tomato paste (or even tomato sauce) or sugar can be added if desired.
Tips From Our Gardeners
"I have seen that Egyptian Spinach is not cold tolerant. Container gardening can be used to grow this plant in challenging areas. I would choose a large pot, and place one plant if started ahead of time. In cooler climates, start the plants indoors and directly sowing in the pot that will be its home. Then, take them outside on warmer days and move the pots to take advantage of the available sunlight. To be sure, I would also trim the plants more than those raised in a garden bed to keep control of the growth. Continuously harvest through the warmer months."
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