Growing NZ Spinach, also Warrigal greens

Tetragonia expansa : Aizoaceae / the fig-marigold family

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

(Best months for growing NZ Spinach in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 45 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Pick the tips.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Does better if alone.
  • NZ Spinach

NZ spinach has green, triangulated leaves and a spreading habit.

This is a coastal plant which natively grows on dune edges. It survives salt-spray in coastal gardens.

It can withstand hot, dry summer weather when real spinach tends to die off. Will self-sow and become widespread.

Soak seeds for one or two hours before sowing as the outer skin is hard.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating NZ Spinach

Can be used as a substitute for real spinach in cooking. Pick the growing tips at about 8 - 10 cm (4 - 6 in).

To remove oxalates it's a good idea to blanch the leaves for 3 minutes or so, then rinse the leaves in cold water before using them in salads or for cooking. (ABC TV)

Your comments and tips

17 Aug 23, Jamie (Australia - temperate climate)
I live on the coast and rather than bothering with Warrigal greens I munch the indigenous Bower Spinach (Tetragonia implexicoma). Very similar plant except that it climbs and drapes curtains of succulent greenery off long trailing stems from the lower branches of the local tea trees. It is good tucker and being by the sea it is naturally salty.
07 Dec 22, Dot (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
What is real spinarch, perpetual spinarch?
11 Apr 20, Robert Schaper (USA - Zone 3a climate)
If new zealand spinach self seeds, when would I expect seedlings to sprout?
16 Oct 21, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They take around 1-3 weeks to germinate
03 Aug 19, Peter Nuzum (Australia - temperate climate)
Growing prolifically among my silver beet so maybe this is a good companion plant.
07 Aug 19, (Australia - temperate climate)
Probably more to do with good rich soil. It does suggest here to plant by it's self as it spreads out and may eventually smother out other plants.
28 May 18, Ronnie Enis (USA - Zone 12b climate)
Where can i find Warigal spinich in the U S. I live in wisconsin.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
USA company is Sow No GMO on the net.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
I found some on Amazon - 30 seeds for $6.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look up seed selling companies in the USA on the internet.
Showing 1 - 10 of 42 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about NZ Spinach

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.