Growing Chinese cabbage, also Wong bok, wong nga pak, napa cabbage

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P P

(Best months for growing Chinese cabbage in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow direct in the garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Harvest whole head or you can take a few leaves at a time.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, coriander), lettuce, potatoes
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Chinese Cabbage (commons.wikimedia.org - Sous Chef Photos - CC-BY-2.0)

Large oval shape with crinkly light green leaves and white stems. Wider at the base. Grows easily from seeds. Prefers cooler weather. Best grown fast with plenty of fertiliser and water.

Watch for slugs and snails.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chinese cabbage

Use in stir-fry . Has a milder flavour than regular cabbage.
Shred the inner leaves and stems to use in coleslaw salad.

Your comments and tips

11 Apr 21, Deborah (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I want to grow this variety of cabbage. Can I plant it in autumn/winter?
12 Apr 21, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
If you are likely to get frosts then it is best to leave starting the seeds till late winter/spring time
20 Jan 21, lori (Australia - temperate climate)
it says ' prefers cooler weather
22 Jan 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
I personally would plant this autumn and harvest winter (not Sept as they suggest - way too hot by Oct/Nov). I'm sub tropical and have done this. Prefers cooler weather means grow it in the cooler months.
27 Nov 19, Sera Taole (Australia - temperate climate)
Iam a home gadener in Fiji.Been tryin g to get my napa cabbage to have a head .The leaves seem to be taller and wider.l have not given up hope yet... would be grateful for advice to get my plant looking like the one on pictures.
24 Dec 19, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
You're not alone! I have *never* been able to get mine to naturally head like it's supposed to, and I've tried several different seed varieties of Napa cabbage. An older gardener told me to tie them loosely with twine once the plants started to get fairly big (he said to do the same with cauliflower) and also to make sure I'm planting in the coolest months possible, amending my soil to make it more acidic (mine is very alkaline), adding phosphorus but not too much nitrogen, and making sure the plant is getting enough water. The twine trick worked fairly well, but it seems like
31 Aug 18, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have some wombok growing at different stages. My biggest three have lage, widespread leaves but all the pics of wombok I can find show me long, compact vegies. Since I don't know what the wombok should look like I don't know if this is how it should be? Should I let them keep growing in hope that a long central core shapes itself?Or is this the way it's meant to look? To confuse things more, I googled wombok images/Chinese cabbage and found a host of different pics but not one that looks like mine. Thanx in advance.
18 Jan 21, Joanne (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Mine is doing the same. Wide spread leaves not compact at all.
02 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The seeds could be mixed up in the packet or wrong seeds sent. I bought bok choy and end up with Chinese cabbage from an internet seed seller. I have very rich soil (too much filter press applied) and the Chinese cabbage never really developed a head. Huge plants and leaves - no head.
07 Sep 18, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks Mike. I'll have to google 'filter press'. I bought mine from an internet seller too - same thing!
Showing 1 - 10 of 26 comments

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