HomeContainer VegetablesHow to Grow Kangkong | Growing Water Spinach

How to Grow Kangkong | Growing Water Spinach

There’s not much in growing water spinach! Learn How To Grow Kangkong and enjoy this leafy vegetable from the family of morning glories.

Water spinach is grown especially in the Southeast Asian region as a vegetable. It is a semi-aquatic plant, a creeper that grows in or near the water on moist soils. Keep reading this article to learn How To Grow Kangkong.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10 – 11, *can grow in lower zones as annual

Difficulty: Easy

Other Names: Ipomoea aquatica, Kangkung, river spinach, water morning glory, water convolvulus, Chinese spinach, Chinese Watercress,Chinese convolvulus, swamp cabbage, phak bung, ong choy,  kongxincai, rau muống, kangkong, trokuon, kalmi saag, kalmi shak, Thooti Koora, kangkung, hayoyo

Growing Habit

grow kangkong

Water spinach has light green ovate leaves, its stems are hollow, so they can float on the water. Both leaves and stems are edible and can be used as the way you use spinach. Under tropical conditions, water spinach can be harvested throughout the year, as the leaves grow again after harvesting. In cooler climates, it is grown as annual, mostly in wide containers.

How to Grow Kangkong


Kangkong or water spinach can be propagated either by seeds or by cuttings. Sow the seeds in fresh potting soil (sow about 0.5 centimeters deep). Ensure that you keep the seeds consistently moist.

Also, remember that temperature should remain around 68 F (20 C). Germination occurs within a couple of weeks. To speed up the germination you can soak the seeds overnight in water. Growing kangkong from cuttings is the easiest method to propagate it. Just cut several 30-40 cm long cuttings from young growth and plant 15 cm deep in potting mix.


In subtropical and tropical climate you can grow kangkong anytime but in cooler climates plant it between late spring to early summer. Choose a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Either grow it in the pot (which is better as kangkong grows aggressively) or on the ground. You can also plant it near the edge of a pond or other water bodies.

Requirements for Growing Water Spinach


Growing water spinach or kangkong needs evenly moist, wet, and nutrient-rich soil of pH level around 6 – 7.


Kangkong grows in a warm and humid subtropical and tropical climate, so it is essential to provide it full sun. However, it also grows in partial shade.


Also called as Chinese watercress or water morning glory, you can easily understand from its name that it grows in swampy areas, it needs consistently muddy soil. Deep and regular watering is important to keep the soil nearly wet.

Kangkong Care


If growing on the ground you don’t need to fertilize it often but in containers fertilize it with high in nitrogen liquid fertilizer every other week.

Pests and Diseases

Its main pests and diseases are stem rot, black rot, leaf beetle, aphids, and wire worm.


A first harvest date of nutritious water spinach is usually 4 to 6 weeks after planting – depending more on the temperature and growing conditions. Cut only a few leaves or entire plant with leaves and stems leaving only 3 inches of growth, the plant will regrow again.

Its stems and leaves are eatable. If you’re growing kangkong on the ground, be careful it’s an invasive plant and grows aggressively. Harvest it before flowering, so that it can’t form seeds.

Benefits of Water Spinach

Just like every green vegetable, Water spinach is a nutrient powerhouse. It is rich in water, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Here are the benefits of eating water spinach.

  • Kangkong helps in losing weight as it is low in calories and rich in vitamins.
  • Fresh leaves of water spinach are effective in controlling cholesterol levels. Dieticians recommend this veggie due to its anti-oxidant and low-fat properties.
  • Vitamin C and antioxidants present in the water spinach can moisturize your skin and hair.


    • I’ve been growing it in a container that doesn’t drain, and I’ve sometimes watered it to the point of standing water, and at other times have let it dry out quite a bit. The plant grows under a wide range of moisture conditions, and we’re getting a lot of harvests. I’m going to try moving the container into a sunny room in the winter to see if I can keep it going year round. This is a very tasty green, a little hard to sprout, but then easy to grow!

      • Re:- draining .
        This kind of vegetables draining is not so important.
        Even you can grow on top of the water body as we did it at home. But you need to give frame for them not to running away from your original place. You may use small bamboo in square and keep them inside. You will have vegetables for your meal regulary. Good luck.

  1. I watch a YouTube channel that grows it quit well using the Kratky hydroponic method out doors at his Florida (hot moist climate) home. I live in Arizona, a hot parching dry climate with huge daily temperature swings that kill a lot of non-native plants. So I’ve acquired some aquatica seeds from Amazon to try growing hydroponically indoors with plant lights.

  2. Wondering if a defunct hot tub would be a good place to grow this?
    Will root stock overwinter in pots, inside?
    I live in the mountains… snow.

  3. Yes just buy some at Asian store Cut stems to about 6 to 8 inches stick it in soil wet soil and that’s it lemon grass also but growing conditions will be a little different for the lemongrass Florida

  4. I live in Arizona and so far so good i grow my Kangkong, Malabar Spinach,Lemon Grass, Calamnsi, Sweet Potato for salad in a very big pots and no problem in growing.

  5. when to know if the seeds are ready to pick up so can be use to replant for next summer? ours is still white bulb from white flowers so not sure if i can get it already.


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