Kang Kong Ipomea (Water Spinach) /Pomoea Aquatica/
Water Spinach is a fast-growing perennial plant with prostrate stems 2-3m long that floats in water or sprawls over the ground.
The leaves vary from arrowhead shaped to spear shaped, 5–15cm long. The white or pink flowers are trumpet-shaped.
The youngest shoot tips can be added to salads, older leaves and the crunchy stems are cooked as spinach.
Often stir-fried with chilli, garlic and shrimp or served with coconut cream in Southeast Asia.
Tropical and subtropical
Plants grow well in full sun. Grows in water or on moist soil. Its stems are 2–3 metres, rooting at the nodes, and they are hollow so they can float.
Plants grown in the ground in soils rich in organic matter are healthier and more productive then water-grown plants and will even survive periods of drought. On the other hand, plants grown in water are more prone to pest damage and tend to produce more stem then leaf.
Plant goes dormant in Winter.
Plant in Spring from seed or cuttings about 15cm apart.
Water Spinach readily roots from cuttings.
Plant cuttings of stem, leaving at least two nodes below the ground.
Leaves, stems and young shoots – raw or cooked. Roots can be boiled and eaten.
Risks and weed potential
Potential weed risk. Do not grow near waterways or drains.
Harvesting & Processing
Harvest about 30 days after sowing.
Greens are most succulent in the warm wet season.
This is a wonderful cut-and-come-again plant that thrives with constant harvesting which keeps the plant compact. Harvesting stems induces more growth.