Komatsuna (also known as “kombu”) are a type of flowering plant native to Japan. They grow up to 3 feet tall and have thick stems with leaves that resemble little umbrellas. The flowers are white or pink, depending on the variety. Komatsuna is one of the most popular Japanese ornamental plants, but it’s not really well-known outside Japan.
Komatsuna Plants Are Easy To Grow!
Komatsuna are easy to grow and require very little care. You don’t need any special soil or fertilizer, though they do prefer rich organic matter like compost.
A good quality potting mix will provide all the nutrients your plants need.
They’re Not Really All That Tough!
The leaves of komatsuna are tough enough to withstand being crushed under foot and even broken off when pruned back regularly. Their roots are also resistant to pests and diseases.
You Can Use Them For A Variety Of Uses!
Komatsuna is great for decorative purposes, especially hanging baskets, vases, and other small items. They make excellent houseplants too; they tolerate hot temperatures better than many other houseplants do.
They’re also used as ground covers in gardens because their foliage looks attractive against the green grasses and weeds. They’re also edible and tasty!
The leaves, flowers, and stems are all edible. Most varieties taste somewhat like spinach or mustard greens, though some can have a peppery or radish-like flavor.
The plants can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like other leafy greens.
Most Common Questions About Komatsuna
Are komatsuna plants hard to grow?
A. They’re not difficult to grow at all. They grow best in full sun and rich organic soil. They can be grown in a container (and require a lot of water and fertilizer).
How long do komatsuna plants take to mature?
A. All varieties take about four to five months to reach maturity.
Are komatsuna edible?
A. The leaves, stems, and flowers can be eaten either raw or cooked.
What does komatsuna taste like?
A. Most varieties taste somewhat like spinach or mustard greens. However, some have a peppery or radish-like flavor.
Komatsuna Plant Care FAQs
Can I grow komatsuna outside?
A. Yes, komatsuna can be grown outside, but they grow best in partial shade with rich garden soil that’s been fertilized.
Can I grow komatsuna from seed?
A. Yes. Komatsuna can be grown from seed. Sow seeds directly into your garden in the spring once there’s no longer a risk of frost. Soak the seeds in water overnight before planting to help them germinate.
Are komatsuna invasive?
A. No, it’s not invasive. It can be planted in a pot or in your vegetable garden in the ground but it’s unlikely to spread on its own.
Sources & references used in this article:
Growth and Biomass Accumulation of Komatsuna Greens as Affected by Nutrient Solution Electrical Conductivity by J Larkcom – 2008 – Kodansha America
Effect of continuous application of low-acidulent fertilizer on acidification of an andisol and plant growth by LP Malvar – 2014 – scholarworks.uark.edu
Effects of microbubble generation methods and dissolved oxygen concentrations on growth of Japanese mustard spinach in hydroponic culture by CK Morikawa, M Saigusa – … in soil science and plant analysis, 2003 – Taylor & Francis
Effect of different microbubble generation methods on growth of Japanese mustard spinach by H Ikeura, H Takahashi, F Kobayashi… – The Journal of …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis
Study on the Bioactive Phospholipids of Komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) Juice Processed by Micro Wet Milling by H Ikeura, H Takahashi, F Kobayashi, M Sato… – Journal of Plant …, 2017 – Taylor & Francis