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Malabar Spinach as perennial in zone 9a?

 
Steve Flanagan
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Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I'm in a low zone 9a. I am wonder if Malabar Spinach will grow as a perennial here?
 
Josh Jamison
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I'm in zone 9a. Malabar Spinach is not a great survivor. My plants did not return from cold and they hardly make it a year in the warm. They are very susceptible to disease and lack of water. My well established plants died in the summer without irrigation.

In the spring my plants grew at rapid pace and produced abundant food. In the fall they are pathetic. They are decent to grow as an annual. I prefer Basella alba (green) to Basella rubra (red). A great way to grow them is to use a hogwire cage and train them in a spiral around the cage as they grow.

The Perennial Vegetables book says they are perennials here... I disagree.

I recommend Chaya, Edible Hibiscus, Moringa and Katuk and many others as perennials for this region.
 
Steve Flanagan
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Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Will Moringa reliably grow as a perennial in zone 9a? I am wanting to grow this plant here.
 
Steve Flanagan
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Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Oh, and thank you for your suggestions.
 
Josh Jamison
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Moringa will absolutely grow as a perennial. Be sure to get the plants out in the spring and get them established before frost comes next year. Might even want to mulch them up really or put something over the base for the first year. After they get over a year old they take the cold with no problems.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Awesome, Thanks Josh. I'm excited to hear this! I'm beginning year two of my great permaculture project, there is going to be a lot to do. I am focusing on perennial leaf food and medicinal herbs this year. My First year I mainly planted fruiting plants. I think year three I will again work on planting more fruiting plants.
 
Josh Jamison
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Do keep in contact. I have all sorts of excellent perennials for zone 9a. I could send you my list if you'd like.
 
Steve Flanagan
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Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I would love that very much!
Just an FYI, on my property the lowest it got last year was 27. But according to USDA info my average low is 22. My property slopes to the west and south west, some slopes quite steep.
Thank you again. I look forward to that list.
 
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