Spicy Wasabi - cool summers required.

source - Pacific Coast wasabi
Wasabi has found its way into a broad range of culinary applications, lending zing to traditional sauces, dressings, rubs, cocktails, even ice cream!
Have shade? Not to fear - Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) grows on cool, shady river banks high in the Japanese mountains so it has evolved to survive in very low light levels. Thus, wasabi makes a striking feature in a shady spot. The heart shaped leaves die back in winter and the plant's energy travels down into the  swollen stems that carry the plant through winter. Cool summers are key.
Hardy to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Protect it from cold nights with some straw covering the the plant. or dig up and pot up for winter....
Leaves and stems are edible and these can be picked in small numbers throughout spring and summer to spice up a salad. In March and April long stems hold a cluster of delicately scented white flowers - these can be eaten raw or fried in tempura batter.
Plant into a 3" pot with compost to help it establish a good root structure before planting out 4-5 weeks later. You can grow in a large container provided the soil is kept moist and nutrition is provided with a top dressing of compost or a general purpose plant food. 
Wasabi likes plenty of water and cool summers.. Plant so the crown of the plant is not covered but remains slightly above the soil Do not bury the crown!
 If you have a pond, wasabi will be happy on the edge provided shade is available. 
Fresh Wasabi is traditionally grated into a fine paste on a shark skin grater. photo by Daryl Kahn Cline
Once established, wasabi is not demanding.






Comments

  1. Wasabi on the edge of the stream in back. Do you think that would give the deer, or rabbits, a 'jolt' if they ate it? Hah! If so, I might just plant some.

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    Replies
    1. As long as you do not have hot summers...it can get scorched..I would love to know what happens to the deer and rabbits!

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