Are you trying to know what is Epazote and how to grow it in your garden spaces but don’t know the requirement? Don’t Worry! In this blog, we’ll provide you with a complete guide about what is Epazote and how to use it and how to grow and care for it.
Epazote is a herb that tastes similar to oregano and tarragon. It requires minimum care and can be grown easily in your garden spaces. It can be used in cooking meals and enhancing the flavors.
However, some may think it is the weed scientifically known as the Dysphania ambrosioides.
All you have to do is maintain the ideal temperature, soil quality, and water supply. Besides that, harvesting the Epazote is easy and can be done manually.
Let’s not yell out here and read in detail about the Epazote and how to grow Epazote herbs and gardens with different methods.
By the way, is garlic a vegetable, herb, or spice? Confused? Well, you need to click on this link.
All About Epazote
Epazote is a form of herbaceous plant famous by the name of wormseed. The plant has medicinal value and also contains flatulence reducing and ahem properties.
Some people often use it to enhance the flavor of their dishes. The plant is a South American species and can grow in tropical climates quickly as it can tolerate 50 degrees of temperature.
It has a weed property which means it grows faster and spreads in your garden quickly. It requires drained soil to grow optimally.
Also Read: How to Grow Cardamom
Epazote herb produces long and serrated leaves. The leaves of the plant have a kerosene-like smell. On maturation, it produces yellow and greenish color flowers.
Since it grows faster, anyone can grow Epazote herb into the garden area very quickly. Though it’s a tropical plant, it can tolerate frost conditions too.
Epazote herb contains toxin substances such as ascaridole, which can be harmful to some people as it can cause deafness, sweating, jaundice, incontinence, paralysis, and even death.
Epazote is a herbaceous plant that also has culinary ingredients. Due to its pleasant flavor, you can add leaves to dishes to create a unique taste.
However, it goes perfectly with beans and is helpful to prevent flatulence. You can see the epazote leaves in Mexican dishes and other fish-based dishes.
If you are planning to grow epazote herb in your garden, it is best to have an idea about its uses for an informed decision.
- Epazote leaves are also used in squash dishes, pea soups, chilis, and many meaty dishes. Some dishes are also prepared by using the seeds of the epazote to enhance the dish’s flavors.
- You can combine the epazote flavor with green chilis, cilantro, shellfish, pork, and chili pepper.
- This is an herbal spice that can complement all forms of dishes. You can dry the leaves under the sun and crumble them into the dishes to enhance the flavors.
- Apart from this, epazote is a herbaceous plant that is also used to enhance the pizza flavor and make them a bit spicy.
- The entire plant has medicinal values. It is helpful to get rid of intestinal parasites. Even Hibiscus and curry leaf plants have medicinal values too.
- Epazotes can stop the invasion of the parasites that disturb digestion. It helps to paralyze the parasites and is also used in various pharmaceutical products.
- Some epazotes are also used to create dried floral decorations, wreath-based, and other things.
- However, it would help if you were cautious while using the dried seeds because dermatitis may cause it.
Also, check our article in which we have mentioned 8 ways to preserve flowers that can be used later for various purposes.
These are some of the epazotes uses that we think are enough to grow epazote herb in your garden.
Are you convinced enough? Want to grow epazote herb in your home garden? If yes is your answer, do check the below guide that will help you to grow epazote herb.
How to Grow Epazote
Epazote is a South American species that can grow easily in tropical climates. It grows faster and can be grown easily in all places. Here is the way to grow epazote herb from the seeds.
We have tried to write the guide in an easy format that will help you to grow epazote herb in your home garden without scratching your head. Have a look!
Grow Epazote Herb from Seeds
Pick out the epazote seeds or buy fresh seeds from the market. An average seed is also great to grow the epazote into the soil.
Clean the seeds with water and then dig out the half-inch deep hole into the soil. Place the seed into the soil. But make sure that the soil is moist and the temperature is ideal.
The seed starts growing within a few weeks. Once it starts growing, it will grow exponentially and spread in your zones.
Epazote herb grows like weeds and spreads all over into the garden areas because it doesn’t require much water. Do ensure to prune it at regular intervals to avoid overgrowth issues.
Also Read: How to Grow Persimmon
And that is how you can grow epazote herb from seeds which we think is quite easy.
However, there are a few things that you need to consider while growing the epazote plant that we will cover below. Keep scrolling!
When to Plant Epazote
Epazote can be grown throughout the year and can tolerate high temperature and frost conditions both.
Ideally, April to May time is excellent due to the moderate climate. However, it would be great to sow the seeds during the mid-spring season when the temperature rises.
The seed will take around two to three weeks to break out leaves from the soil.
After that, it will protrude out all over the garden within a few weeks and start producing leaves and flowers. Its harvesting season is in the middle of summer.
Also Read: How to Grow and Care Betel Leaf
Where to Grow Epazote Plant
Epazote expands like the weeds. It requires a temperature of around 50 degrees to grow to the fullest.
Therefore, it would be great to grow in outside spaces that receive complete sunlight. However, you can transfer it into the pot and keep it inside during freezing temperatures outside.
If you are growing the plant indoors, make sure to keep it under the sunlight during the daytime so that it receives light and wind properly. Growing epazote indoors for four to six weeks can be easy.
Make sure to keep it outside so that it can grow properly. But as soon as it starts expanding.
Do not move the plant during the first week as it may damage the plant and result in stunted growth.
Epazote Plant Height and Width
Epazote can grow up to four feet in height. It has a reddish color stem and dark green color with sharp-toothed leaves.
This plant can grow up to 8-10 inches wider and may gain height above 15 feet sometimes. So, when it reaches this height, do ensure to perform pruning.
Epazote Leafs Color
Epazote plant has dark reddish color stems and bright to dark green leaves. The leaves have sharp edges and a tooth-like structure.
The dark color leaves and stem plant start producing yellow color flowers when it matures. It may look like cilantro and camphor when it matures completely.
Are the leaves turning yellow? Find the 9 reasons for leaves turning yellow and how to fix them.
Growth Habits for Epazote Plant
The epazote plants grow like weeds. It expands rapidly and may gain height from 4 feet to above 15 feet.
If you prune the tip of the plant and cut its stem, then within two to three weeks, it again starts growing exponentially.
So, gardeners need to harvest the plant continually. It grows best during the summer season.
However, the epazote plant can also tolerate mild frost but grows slowly compared to the summer season.
Try to water plants at least two to three times a week. Avoid overwater conditions to keep healthy.
How to Care for Epazote
Epazote can be grown quickly by following simple steps. In addition to this, caring is very easy that will help you to grow epazote herb.
Here are some of the steps that allow you to take care of the plant easily.
1. Add Fertilizers
Epazote can grow excellently in the soil, having moderate amounts of nutrition. But try to maintain the fertilizer quantity to avoid stunted growth.
But do ensure to add fertilizers only if they show stunted growth or look unhealthy and dried.
Use organic matter and manure to enrich the soil with essential nutrients. It helps to support the growth of the plant in a natural way.
2. Water Requirements
Do ensure to add water regularly. But try to avoid overwater conditions, especially when growing plants into the pot or enclosed container.
The plants require constant moisture during the summer season, but the soil must be well-drained not to cause waterlogging conditions and hold moisture.
3. Prune Regularly
As we already discussed, the epazote grows exponentially in the soil like a weed. So, pruning is essential to prevent the overgrowth of the plant.
If you do not perform pruning, it results in hanging bushes and produces an enormous number of leaves. Make sure to prune the plant regularly. Prune the plant when it reaches the height of 15 inches or longer.
Do ensure to maintain the shape of the plant. Cut the center stem to get rid of bushes and bunches of leaves.
Problems of Epazote Plant
Epazote has a very pleasant aroma which is why plants are prone to attack by beetles and bugs.
This can be problematic as it destroys the plants. So, here are some of the common problems and solutions to the same that will help you to grow epazote herb plants.
1. Slugs and Snails
Snails eat away the leaves, destroy the stems, and weaken the plant’s growth. Maximum damage to the epazote occurs due to the slug and snails.
If you observe them on the plant, then remove them by handpicking. Alternatively, you can use an insecticidal spray to eliminate slugs and snails.
2. Leaf Blight
Leaf blight is a form of fungus that can affect the plant’s growth. The fungus infection occurs during windy conditions and even in wet conditions.
The epazote will show stunted growth loss leaves earlier before maturation.
You can notice the brown rings that spread on the leaves. Besides that, you can use organic fungicides to remove the leaf blight.
3. Flea Beetles
The Beatles attack the plant during the planting season and attack young leaves. Though the plant doesn’t die from the attack of the Beatles, it destroys the leaves and spreads diseases like blight and wilt.
Flea beetles can feed on the young leaves. Make sure to eradicate the beetles manually or use an insecticidal spray to prevent the beetle’s attack or the outbreak.
4. Root Nematodes
Root nematodes are huge in numbers and varieties. It can be found in all seasons and may attack the roots of the epazote plant.
Besides that, nematode attack may result in stunted growth, fading the foliage, and poor fruiting in later stages. So, make sure to remove the root nematodes or strictly cut the roots of the plants infected with the nematodes.
However, you need to be careful while cutting the roots. You can use a scissor to cut the young infected roots.
5. Downy Mildew
Downy Mildew is also a form of fungus that may attack the leaves of the epazote. It creates white and yellow color patches on the leaves.
Sometimes, you may observe the white cottony fungus on the bottom of the leaves. It happens due to overwater conditions. So, try to avoid the overwater condition.
6. Cabbage Loopers
The cabbage looper is probably known as the green caterpillar, which eats the leaves and stems of the epazote. You may notice them on the plant during the growth phase.
It lays eggs on the leaves. Besides that, it may damage the foliage of the plant. You can spray neem oil on the leaves and stems to prevent them from laying eggs.
Also Read: How to Grow Microgreens
If you observe such signs, immediately cut the plant’s part and burn it. Do not throw it into the soil as it may disturb the plant’s growth and infect the plant again.
When to Harvest
Harvesting the epazote is very easy, and gardeners can harvest its leaves anytime they need it.
However, ideally, young leaves would be excellent to harvest if you want to use them for cooking purposes and enhance the dishes’ flavor.
You can pluck the leaves manually with your hands or use a scissor to ensure proper cutting.
However, before you store leaves, let them dry under the sun’s direct heat and then store them in an air-tight container.
If you want to store young leaves without drying, place them in a zipper bag and keep them in the fridge. You can also keep the leaves in a paper towel to keep them fresh for longer.
You should also check out a complete guide on how to grow and harvest vegetables at home.
Enhance the Flavor with Epazote Leaves
Cultivation and harvesting can be a lot of fun if you follow the guide. In a nutshell, this is the best way to grow epazote herbs and how you can harvest them.
However, you need to take care of its growth because it grows faster like a weed and spreads into the garden faster.
You may need to trim the plant timely to avoid overgrowth. Otherwise, Epazote is the best herb-based plant that you can grow as it has medicinal values.
Epazote herb can also be used for culinary purposes as it is rich in Vitamin A, B6, and many more. Preserving and maintaining it is very easy, so anyone can easily grow it in their localities.
What do you think? Will you grow epazote herb in your home or pots? We think if the climate is ideal, you should epazote herb for its medicinal value. Whatever you decide, do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Is it difficult to grow epazote herb plants?
No, epazote herb plants are very easy to grow. You can easily grow in pots or your home garden.
What are the companion plants to grow with epazote?
There are many varieties that you can grow with epazote. Some of them are lavender, beans, cucumber, pumpkin.
Can I grow epazote herb plants using cuttings?
It can be grown using cuttings but the best and easiest way is to grow epazote herb plants from seeds.