Gardening Australia

grow tropical greens


If you plant them now, tropical vegies will flourish in all areas. All they need to keep happy is water and warmth, plus the occasional liquid feeding, and they’ll produce an abundance of leaves to use in stir-fries or as steamed vegies.

Kang kong or water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica, above left) grows easily from seed or cuttings, and does well with a slightly boggy potting mix – try a 50:50 compost and garden soil blend. Malabar spinach (Basella alba, centre) is a prolific producer that needs a frame to support its climbing stems. Aibika (Abelmoschu­s manihot, above right), which can grow to 3m, is also called the lettuce tree, as it can be used as a substitute. And the almost indestruct­ible Okinawan spinach (Gynura crepioides, left) has bicoloured leaves that add a purple touch to salads.

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