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Seeds need to be kept damp and planted within 48 hours of arrival.
When ready, soak the seeds overnight. Using a good quality potting soil, slightly moisten and spread 1 inch wide. Place the seeds in one long row or several rows 1/4 inch in depth and spaced 1-2 inches apart, and cover with remaining 1/8 inch of soil, mist with water. The soil needs to remain slightly damp during the germination process, so mist daily.
Light levels should be filtered sunlight and started indoors with a temperature range of 50-62 degrees F. Seeds should germinating in 10-14 days however, seeds can take up to 90 days to germinate. After germination it is suggested to move the seedlings into small pots or plug trays. If properly germinated, you should expect a 30% - 40% germination rate. Please continue reading for additional growing information.
Keep plants in the refrigerator and keep moist until ready for planting. We recommend planting within 30 days of ordering.
Take the plants out of the plastic and soak the roots thoroughly in cool water. Take any broken leaves off the plant, as these will delay the plant's recovery due to moisture loss. After soaking, plant in loose moist soil in a shaded area. If planting in early spring, make sure this is after temperatures no longer drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. We suggest the north side of the house, or providing between 70 - 75 percent shade. If planting in a container, we suggest a 6-inch pot, transplanting after one year to a 12-inch container. Too much sun will cause the plant to wilt.
It is possible to grow wasabi indoors with a constant 70 degree F temperature. The plant does not require a lot of light. We recommend that, unless wasabi is getting north light indoors, you do not put it on a window sill.
In areas where the average high temperature is over 75 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to keep the plants out of direct sunlight. Watering the plants to cool and hydrate will help the plant tolerate periods of direct sunlight.
A good vegetable fertilizer should be applied every six months. To increase the flavor and heat of the plant, sulfur should be added. To protect the Wasabi plant from slugs and snails, any metaldehyde type slug bait should work well.
After approximately 18 months to 2 years, the Wasabi plants will be ready for harvest. The main root (rhizome) will have reached 4 to 6 inches and approximately one inch in diameter and about 6 inches in length (total plant). Pull up the plants and remove any side shoots (baby plants). These can be used for replanting.
Wash the plants thoroughly and remove any dead or dying leaves. Break the roots off at the rhizome and cut off the stems and leaves. Many people use the leaves as a garnish or even as a salad item. Scrub the main rhizome to remove any soil and debris. Grate, using a fine grater in a circular motion. After grating, chop the fresh Wasabi with the back side of a knife. This will release more of the flavor. Compress the fresh Wasabi into a ball and let stand for five to ten minutes at room temperature so that the sweetness and heat have time to develop.