Growing Wasabi in the Backyard Garden

If you love the spicy taste of wasabi that you find in many Asian dishes, you might be interested to know that you can grow wasabi in your own garden. Although it is considered one of the most challenging plants to grow, you can grow wasabi as long as you take a great deal of care to provide the correct growing environment.


Why is Wasabi Difficult to Grow?

One of the main reasons wasabi is not an easy plant to grow is because it requires particular conditions that are not simple for the average gardener to provide. Some of these include:

  • Full shade. Wasabi does not tolerate direct sunlight well and will die off quickly when exposed to it.
  • Well-drained, fertile, loose soil with a pH between 6 and 7.
  • Moist soil at all times, but not saturated. Wasabi roots will rot if left in standing water or waterlogged soil.

Tip: If the temperature in your area consistently gets above 80°F (27°C), you should plant your wasabi plants in pots so you can move them indoors when the weather is hot.

When to Plant Wasabi

One of the best things about wasabi is that when you are growing it in your garden, you can plant it any time of the year. Plants like garlic and onion have specific planting times, but you can put wasabi in the ground at any time. If you live in an area where the ground freezes solid in the winter, you can plant the wasabi indoors in a planting container and transplant it into your garden when you can work the soil.

Where to Buy Wasabi to Plant

If you are planning to grow wasabi plants, you need to plan ahead of time and purchase either wasabi seeds or roots to get your plants started. Since genuine wasabi is expensive, it is unlikely you will find roots for sale in your local nursery or garden center. Instead, you will have better luck sourcing your wasabi online. Be sure to order from a reputable company, however, and follow the planting instructions exactly.

Once you have planted your wasabi plants, be prepared to wait approximately two years before the roots or leaves are mature enough to collect. Once you have an established bed, however, you can easily harvest wasabi for years to come, making the initial investment well worth it.