Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Chaya, a.k.a. - tree spinach.

The above plant is just a baby. Only three feet high and a few months old, it will continually grow fast, attaining 6 feet high before Christmas. Chaya will easily grow much taller but I plan on keeping it pruned to about six feet. I've seen it trained into a hedge and that works fairly nice. I also saw one gigantic plant that must have been close to 20' high. I have two bushes at the moment, which will be more than enough for my own needs. The prunings will give me plenty of greens. 

Chaya is very easily propagated from stem cuttings. Mine started out as 18" tip cuttings. I just stuck them into the ground and kept them moist. They both successfully rooted. 

So, what Chaya is good for? As it's alternative name implies (tree spinach), it's edible. The boiled leaves can be used in a variety of dishes. I've been using them as food wrappers in place of grape leaves. 
(Close up of the leaves, sprinkled with an afternoon shower.)

Chaya needs to be cooked to make it safe to eat. 20 minutes at boiling does the trick. This is one veggie that is not for eating raw. 

1 comment:

  1. I've seen chaya but have never eaten it. Since you say it needs to boil for 20 minutes to be safe, then does this mean you cannot stir-fry it?