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

Brassica rapa (Pekinensis Group) : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

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 50°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 inches 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 ( - 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

13 Jul 24, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Where can I get it
24 Aug 22, John Downey (Australia - tropical climate)
Is the information correct for wom bok? It needs warmth to start. Cool weather to form the head. So planting in August? There will be very little cool weather from now on.
29 Aug 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could try and hope we don't have a hot start to spring.
14 Aug 22, Ray (Australia - temperate climate)
I tried growing napa cabbage in summer, winter and spring for 2 years. germinated quickly 3-5 days if the soil is kept moist. The problem is, the never the core never coil to form a ball and started flowering.
16 Aug 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Don'ty have too rich a soil and plant in late April May June - after the rain season has finished.
15 Jun 22, john millington (Australia - temperate climate)
one web site says avoid growing wong bok in cold times of the year. this site says sow in soil temp 10 to 20, the packet i bought says all year on east nsw what is right
17 Jun 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm sub tropical and have grown these into the winter. Plant April to June after the rains/pests. You may be able to have a crop from Sept depending on how cold it is where you live. Or how hot it becomes after winter. Plants slow down growing in the cold months. The thing is have a go and see what works for you.
08 Mar 22, Kelly Soo (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Looking at the weather this year in Coffs Harbour, do you think I could sow direct for the Napa Cabbage this outside in July?
11 Mar 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Chinese cabbage germinate very quickly. I have them germinating now. You could do it in May June July outside. If now make up a little tray of light soil, plant and keep moist - not really wet. They will germinate in 3-5 days.
13 Dec 21, dave clark (Australia - temperate climate)
I am growing bok choi but this one is different. it is dark green crinkly leave has anyone else grown it. Also can you eat it without cooking
Showing 1 - 10 of 40 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Chinese cabbage

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.