Spinach-Malabar Red Stem

Spinach-Malabar Red Stem

Regular price $5.72
Seeds or Plants
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Red Stem Malabar Spinach

Basella alba ‘Rubra’

Malabar spinach has many names Phooi leaf, Red Vine spinach, Creeping spinach, Climbing spinach, Indian spinach, Alugbati, Vietnamese Spinach, and Ceylon spinach. This gorgeously lush vine grows best in tropical and subtropical climates and can reach up to 14'.In cooler areas, vines will not over-winter but can be cut back and kept going in warmer areas to produce again in Spring. It will also do a good job of reseeding itself. Vines display reddish-purple stems, glossy dark green leaves, and grow more rapidly than the green stem variety. Malabar Spinache has a similar flavor to Swiss Chard but milder and much more tender. The leaves have a similar mucilage to spinach, but with less oxalates. The mucilaginous texture and can be used to thicken soups/stews. Use in any recipe that calls for spinach, with noodles and in stir-fries. In Japan, it is cooked in tempura, ohitashi or braised and topped with a sesame dressing. 

Prepare fertile, well-drained soil. Avoid clay soils. Start seeds inside 6 weeks before last frost date (or 8 weeks before expected transplanting date). Keep soil warm until emergence. Seeds will not germinate in cool soil and planting out too early may affect plant vigor. Harden off plants carefully before transplanting. Partial shade may increase leaf size. Consistent moisture helps to keep plant from flowering (which can cause bitterness). Fertilize as needed. Train to a sturdy trellis. Harvest by cutting 6-8" young tips and leaves. New growth can be cut throughout the season.

Days to germination

 2-12 days

Days to maturity

49-65 days

Life cycle

Perennial (grown as annual in cooler climates)

Plant time

Spring and summer


12-18 inches


Full sun to part shade

Soil temperature

75-90 degrees

Optimum soil P.H



4-5 feet


Early summer through early fall

Our aim is to fulfill your order as quickly as possible. While most orders are processed within 7 days, we understand that sometimes it may take longer. Please note that expedited shipping options like Next Day Air or 2nd Day Air only affect the transit time once your order leaves our facility, not the preparation time.

Pickup Orders
Pickup orders are typically ready within 2-4 days. If you require it sooner, please let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate you. For bagged soil pickup orders, please refer to the details below. Once your pickup order is ready, we will contact you (usually by text) to schedule a 2-hour pickup appointment window. Pickup times are available 7 days a week, between 7 am and 9 pm. Your order will be placed under the brown tent in front of our location at 7409 N Highland Ave Tampa, FL 33604, for easy pickup.

Live Plants
For out-of-state orders, we ship on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Florida orders are shipped on Mondays or Tuesdays. If you place an out-of-state order on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, it will likely be shipped the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Florida orders placed on Sunday or Monday may be shipped the following week. We schedule shipments this way to ensure that live plants don't travel over the weekend, minimizing any potential damage.

Seed Orders
Our seed packets are prepared over the weekend. Orders consisting only of seeds are shipped on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Bulk Soil
After you place your order, we will contact you to arrange the soil delivery. Please note that our trailer or dump truck is large and heavy, with a limited turning radius. We cannot be held responsible for any damage within 1.5 ft of the edge of the driveway or the designated delivery area. If there are plants, grass, artificial turf, sprinkler heads, or any other items within 1.5 ft of the edge, they may be damaged. We are not liable for any damage unless it is due to gross driver negligence. Driveway surfaces (concrete, shell, pavers, turf, etc.) and anything within 1.5 ft of the drive may experience cracking, splitting, breaking, depressions, tracks, etc. Please be aware that large item deliveries carry inherent risks. If the driver determines that it is unsafe to dump the soil in your desired location, they will either choose a safe alternative or the soil will not be delivered, but the delivery fee will still apply.

Bagged Soil
We fill bagged soil orders every Wednesday. If your order is placed after 4 pm on Tuesday, it will be filled on the following Wednesday. Once your bags of soil are ready, we will follow the regular pickup protocol mentioned above.

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