OK
In progress indicator

Basella rubra (Ceylon spinach)

Advanced
skill rating
4 hours care
per year
10m
Max height
1m
Max spread
5-10 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Basella rubra

Other names

Ceylon spinach, East Indian spinach, Indian spinach, Malabar spinach , Malabar nightshade , Red Malabar nightshade, Basella alba, Vine spinach

Genus

Basella Basella

Species

B. rubra - B. rubra is a vigorous yet tender, climbing perennial, often grown as an annual, with red-flushed stems bearing edible, heart-shaped, mid- to bright green leaves and, from summer into autumn, short spikes of white, pale pink, or pale violet flowers followed by glossy, ridged, black fruit.


Basella rubra is: Evergreen

Habit

Climbing

Flower

White, Pale-pink in Summer

Foliage

Green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Can get aphids, scale insects and mealybugs under glass.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Pinch out growing tips to create a bushier habit. Clip as needed to keep size in check. If growing as a vegetable, remove flowers before they bloom.

Propagation

Sow seed indoors in late winter or early spring at 18-22C. Scarify seed with sandpaper or a knife to knick the seed coat. Germination takes 14-21 days. Direct sow after danger of frost has passed.

Propagation methods

Seed, Stem tip cuttings


Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions

Where to grow

Basella rubra (Ceylon spinach) will reach a height of 10m and a spread of 1m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Greenhouse, Containers, Conservatory, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in loam-based compost with added leaf mould in bright filtered light with humidity. Water freely & feed monthly in growth; water moderately in winter. In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in fertile, moist soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Does not tolerate frost and or when summer temperatures go below 15C(59F). Leaves taste like spinach.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Basella rubra

Other names

Ceylon spinach, East Indian spinach, Indian spinach, Malabar spinach , Malabar nightshade , Red Malabar nightshade, Basella alba, Vine spinach

Genus

Basella Basella

Species

B. rubra - B. rubra is a vigorous yet tender, climbing perennial, often grown as an annual, with red-flushed stems bearing edible, heart-shaped, mid- to bright green leaves and, from summer into autumn, short spikes of white, pale pink, or pale violet flowers followed by glossy, ridged, black fruit.

Native to

India, Papua New Guinea, Southeastern Asia

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Climbing


Colour

Flower

White, Pale-pink in Summer

Foliage

Green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Can get aphids, scale insects and mealybugs under glass.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Pinch out growing tips to create a bushier habit. Clip as needed to keep size in check. If growing as a vegetable, remove flowers before they bloom.

Propagation

Sow seed indoors in late winter or early spring at 18-22C. Scarify seed with sandpaper or a knife to knick the seed coat. Germination takes 14-21 days. Direct sow after danger of frost has passed.

Propagation methods

Seed, Stem tip cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Basella rubra (Ceylon spinach) will reach a height of 10m and a spread of 1m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Greenhouse, Containers, Conservatory, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in loam-based compost with added leaf mould in bright filtered light with humidity. Water freely & feed monthly in growth; water moderately in winter. In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in fertile, moist soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Does not tolerate frost and or when summer temperatures go below 15C(59F). Leaves taste like spinach.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10, Zone 9

In order to add a note on this plant, please add this plant to your plant lists.

In progress indicator
Full size image
In progress indicator
Caption

Caption

Cancel and close this form
In progress indicator
This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1) Tell us...

Report content or feedback to Shoot

To add ? to your lists,
login to your account or subscribe.

Find out more about plant lists here

or Login


To check if this plant is suitable for your garden first login to your account or subscribe.

or Login

In progress indicator
Note

Note

You are adding a note to: ?

Cancel