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How to Grow Jew's Mallow

Updated November 21, 2016

Jew's mallow (Corchorus olitorius), also known as bush okra, is commonly cultivated as a source of jute -- a natural fibre used in many textile products. In addition to being an important crop economically, Jew's mallow is popular for its culinary uses in Africa and Asia, according to Purdue University. Jew's mallow is a tall herb that grows up to 4 feet tall and has numerous small yellow flowers.

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  1. Prepare the planting area by removing grass and weeds and break up the soil thoroughly with a shovel. Jew's mallow requires a fine soil to develop its root system and grow healthily.

  2. Amend the soil with compost to provide supplemental nutrients and improve drainage.

  3. Sow Jew's mallow seeds and rake them gently into the soil. Plant in spring only after the risk of frost has passed.

  4. Water the seeds thoroughly after planting. Jew's mallow seeds germinate in two to three days and small shoots appear within a few weeks.

  5. Apply a general garden fertiliser once seedlings display healthy growth.

  6. Remove any weeds throughout the growing season to prevent competition.

  7. Harvest Jew's mallow leaves as needed for cooking since leaves do not keep well after they are removed from the plant. An alternative method of preparation is to cut the plant at the base and hang it upside down for three to four days to dry the leaves. You can then grind the leaves into a powder to season foods.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Compost
  • General garden fertiliser

About the Author

Damien Campbell
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