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Bok Choy In A Pot – How To Grow Bok Choy In Containers

Bok Choy In A Pot – How To Grow Bok Choy In Containers


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By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Bok choy is tasty, low in calories, and rich in vitamins and minerals. However, what about growing bok choy in containers? Planting bok choy in a pot isn’t only possible, it’s amazingly easy and we’ll tell you how to do it.

How to Grow Bok Choy in Containers

Bok choy is a good-sized plant. To grow potted bok choy, begin with a pot with a depth of about 20 inches (50 cm.) and a width of at least 12 inches (30 cm.) in order to grow one plant. Double the width of the container if you want to grow more potted bok choy plants.

Fill the pot with fresh, lightweight potting mix containing ingredients such as finely chopped bark, compost, or peat. Avoid regular garden soil, which doesn’t drain well. Bok choy doesn’t tolerate soggy soil. Mix a small amount of dry, organic fertilizer to the potting mix.

You can start seeds indoors four to five weeks before the last frost date in your area, either in the pot or in seedling trays. Alternatively, save time and purchase small plants at your local garden center or nursery. Either way, allow 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm.) between each plant. Note: You can plant a second batch in later summer for a fall harvest.

Caring for Container Grown Bok Choy

Place potted bok choy where the plant receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Afternoon shade is beneficial if you live in a hot climate.

Water bok choy regularly and never allow the soil to become bone dry. However, avoid overwatering as the plant may rot in waterlogged soil. Water carefully at the base of the plant to keep the leaves as dry as possible.

Cover potted bok choy with a net if pests such as cabbage loopers or other caterpillars are a problem. Aphids, flea beetles, and other small pests can be treated with insecticidal soap spray.

At harvest time, remove the outer leaves and allow the inner part of the plant to continue growth. This cut-and-come-again method of harvesting allows the plant to produce leaves for a longer period of time.

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How to Grow Bok Choy

How to Plant Bok Choy Seeds:

Bok choy seeds don’t take long to germinate. You can start them indoors about two weeks before the last frost. Use indoor peat pots along with nutrient-rich soil (kept moist) and the help of a sunlamp if needed. You will see sprouting in as little as 7 days.

If you are planting bok choy seeds directly outdoors, here are a few things to keep in mind. Seeds should be planted in nutrient-rich soil that drains well and is in a full moderate sun location. As mentioned bok choy does well in cooler climates, so full sun isn’t a must. You can plant the seeds in a row about an inch apart and an inch deep to begin. Once the seedlings sprout to a few inches tall, you can start to thin out the weak ones so only your stronger seedlings remain. The remaining seedlings should be spaced about 6 inches apart so they have the chance to grow and flourish without restraint.

When to Plant Bok Choy

As mentioned you can plant bok choy for two harvests a year. You can plant in late spring for summer harvest, and again in late summer for an early fall harvest. Bok choy is very low maintenance, and you will find that general care is quite simple.

How to Care for Bok Choy Plants

Bok choy plants will enjoy being fertilized after you have thinned the seedlings. You can use a liquid fertilizer or plant food to get the job done. It is very important you weed well around your plants so that weeds don’t steal the nutrients they need. They have somewhat shallow roots as it is, so even a few weeds can still from them. Weed well and avoid this issue.

Pests do like to nibble on the leafy greens. If rabbits are an issue, you can use natural repellants like marigolds around your bok choy plants to keep them out. Using hair clippings from humans or dogs around the plants may help as well. Bugs can be contained by using a natural pest control spray made of dish soap and water.

Keep your bok choy plants cool and fed by offering 2 inches of water per week, more when the weather is extremely dry.

How to Grow Bok Choy in Containers:

If you have limited space, bok choy is a great plant to grow in containers. It doesn’t need a pot with much depth, just width. It is advised that you plant just one mature seedling per pot since they do tend to fan out. When planting bok choy in pots, be sure to use a pot that drains well with nutrient-rich soil. Moderate sun will work, and you can follow all of the regular care guidelines laid out for garden planted seedlings.

Bok Choy Troubleshooting:

One issue you might experience with bok choy is called bolting. This is when the plant starts flowering to create seeds. This happens if the plant experiences shock such as an extreme change in temperature or watering. Always remain consistent with your watering, harvest before extreme weather changes (see more info below) and plant directly into the soil instead of transplanting if at all possible.

When to Harvest Bok Choy:

Bok choy doesn’t look like traditional cabbage when it grows as there is no “head.” Instead, it looks like shoots or stalks as it grows. Your bok choy is ready to be harvested when it is about a foot tall.

How to Harvest Bok Choy

You want to be sure you harvest your bok choy by simply snipping it at the base. Harvest before any high temperatures set in, as high heat can cause the bok choy to start seeding and become bitter.

Once harvested you can use your bok choy in the same way you use most leafy greens and cabbage varieties! It has a crispy texture and can be used in most types of stir fry recipes as well as salads.

Try these tips on growing bok choy and see why this is the perfect, nutrient-dense plant to grow not just once but twice a year! It is one of the most tolerant plants you can grow, and it adds a layer of interest to your garden as well!


Germinating Bok Choy Seeds

As one of the many types of brassicas, Bok Choy is relatively easy to germinate. You can sprout the seeds in a paper towel much like you would for lettuce or tomatoes, or you can sew them directly into rockwool cubes and keep them moist.

Bok choy seeds need slightly more warmth than most other brassicas and greens to sprout, with an ideal medium temperature of 75–85 degrees F.

They don’t need light to sprout but give them light immediately after sprouting to prevent legginess and mold/mildew growth.

Time to Germinate: 4-7 days | Special Requirements: 70-75F | Difficulty: Easy


How to Grow Dwarf Pak Choi

Related Articles

Dwarf pak choi (Brassica rapa chinensis), also called baby bok choy, dwarf Chinese cabbage, celery mustard and chongee, is a small leafy stalk vegetable used in stir-fries, salads and noodle dishes. Pak choi reaches maturity in about 40 days and is harvested when only 4 to 6 inches tall. It is a cool-season crop that can be planted in all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. To keep the pak choi from bolting, plant it when temperatures will be between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the growing period.

Plant in a well-draining soil that gets at least six hours of sun a day. If your soil does not have good drainage, plant in a raised bed. Amend the soil with compost before planting. Sow seeds in late summer or early fall to avoid the summer heat, and harvest before the first frost.

Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Space seeds 3 to 4 inches apart. Space rows 1 to 2 feet apart. As the pak choi grows, thin the plants to 8 to 12 inches apart.

Water about 1 inch per week, keeping the soil moist but not drenched. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer according to the package instructions before planting and again about one month after planting.

Add 2 to 4 inches of mulch around plants as they emerge. The mulch will keep the plants from bolting in case of cooler temperatures.


Watch the video: Fast-growing Mini Pak Choi


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