How to Grow Pechay


Also known as Chinese cabbage, mustard cabbage or pak choi, pechay is a native of the Orient. This leafy green is tolerant of many soil types and temperature zones, requiring little more than full sun. Quick growers, pechay leaves are ready for harvest in as little as one month. Pechay plants require little space. In fact, if you have room for one or more 6-inch pots, you can grow pechay.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed starter tray with clear plastic lid or plastic wrap
  • Perlite
  • Watering can
  • Pechay seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Spray bottle
  • 6-inch pots
  • Organic potting soil
  • Scissors
  • Fill a seed starter tray ¾ full with perlite. Dampen the perlite with water from a watering can.

  • Lay one pechay seed on top of the perlite, in the center of each cell. Sprinkle peat moss over each seed, filling the remainder of the seed starter tray.

  • Cover the seed tray with a clear plastic lid or piece of plastic wrap. Place the seed tray in an undisturbed area that receives bright, filtered sunlight.

  • Check the pechay seeds daily for signs of germination, which can happen in as little as two to three days. Remove the plastic immediately when you see green shoots poking through the perlite and peat moss.

  • Continue to provide the pechay seeds with filtered sunlight and damp growing medium for the first 10 days. Dampening the peat moss and perlite with water from a spray bottle should suffice. A light misting is all that is necessary. The growing medium should be moist not saturated.

  • Transplant the pechay into 6-inch pots filled with organic potting soil once they reach 10 days old. Keep the soil moist at all times and continue to provide bright, filtered sunlight. Harvest the pechay when the plants are 30 days old by snipping the stems at the soil level with a pair of scissors.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not want to harvest the pechay early, wait an additional 15 to 20 days for the leaves to fully mature.
  • Pechay plants are hardy within USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. Seeds sown in the early spring, as soon as the soil is workable will produce immature plants, ready for picking within 30 days. Mature leaves can take up to 80 days depending on the variety. Broadcast the seeds directly over the soil in rows spaced 15 inches apart. Apply a thin dusting of soil overtop and water lightly afterward.
  • After the initial watering, refrain from adding more water to the perlite and peat moss before germination. Oversaturating can cause the seeds to rot before they have the opportunity to germinate.

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