Rising Mizuna: Peppery Asian salad greens

Pan-fried dishes in spring and salads in midsummer have one thing in common – the peppery and wonderful vegetables that Mizuna is! These wonderful little plants are an addition to the garden that produces at the beginning of the season and can withstand the fluctuations in weather that make gardeners' nightmares. They will give you delicious greens harvest after harvest for months. Growing mizuna greens should be on the garden plan of every family who enjoys cooking.

Native to the Kansai region of Japan, these seeds have now traveled around the world and are grown in Zones USDA 3-10. They were also grown in space as part of a vegetable growing experiment on the International Space Station!

These distinctive plants sprout from the ground almost overnight and make great salads, stir-fries, and shabu-shabu, among other things. Traditionally, many chefs have pickled the tender green leaves of the mizuna to prepare a variety of side dishes. Some varieties of plant mizuna that are purple due to the presence of anthocyanins, the same compound that turns blueberries blue!

Similar to rocket, you can taste it on the pronounced mustard aftertaste of the mizuna. This plant is particularly suitable when it is grown alternately with legumes. As a heavy nitrogen feeder, it happily absorbs the nitrogen that legumes "fix" in the soil.

Good Products for Growing Mizuna:

Brief instructions for care

Once you start growing mizuna, you can do it every year! Source: Farmer_Jay

Common Name (s) Mizuna; Potherb mustard; California peppergrass; Spider mustard; Kyona; Shui Cai; Japanese mustard
Scientific name Brassica rapa var. Niposinica or Brassica rapa var. Japonica
Days to harvest 20-40
light Full sun to partial shade
Water: 1 inch per week
ground Well-drained nitrogen-rich soil
fertilizer Seaweed or fish emulsion
Pests Flea beetles; Aphids
Diseases damping

Everything about Mizuna

Mizuna and mustard greensA side-by-side comparison of mizuna and purple mustard green. Source: JasonUnbound

Japanese mizuna greens have long been a staple of Asian cuisine as the plant originated in Japan. Like other green mizuna, there is a long list of names like Japanese mustard, potherb mustard, California peppergrass, Shui Kai, and spider mustard. This versatile addition to the garden is a peppery and flavorful vegetable and can be grown year round in some regions. It is valued for its wonderful nutritional content.

As a member of the Brassica family, it actually belongs to the same family as Kohl. In contrast to other Brassicas, Mizuna tolerates heat and cold better.

Mizuna greens are foot-high clumps of green, serrated leaves with thin stems. While some varieties also produce purple leaves like "Mizuna Crimson Tide", this plant is added to gardens almost entirely for its leaves. A fast growing, small gray seed quickly sprouts in sturdy leaves in small circular clumps. Towards the end of the plant's life, it will fuse into seed-producing small yellow flowers on long green spikes above the plant.

Planting Mizuna

It's best (and easy!) To grow Mizuna from seeds. A small round gray seed, about the size of a lentil, is easy to sow. Sow the seeds in well-drained, rich soil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Plant in rows 18-24 inches apart. After sowing, the plants will germinate in 4-7 days when the temperatures are between 45-85 degrees. Once the seedlings are 1 inch tall, thin to 6 inches apart. You can expect a harvest 3 to 6 weeks after germination.

It is best to plant your seeds two weeks after the last frost. However, if you grow in areas without frost, Mizuna can be planted in the garden in late summer.


Mizuna with water dropsMizuna grows well in temperatures up to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Source: isaac’licious

Mizuna is a difficult choice and has some basic growing requirements. Plant Mizuna in a sunny spot with well-drained and fertilized soil and you are off to a good start!

Sun and temperature

Mizuna is a good choice for a garden in the north where the occasional late frost occurs. It's a sturdy little green that, once established, can withstand sudden and unexpected frosts. As such, it can be one of the earliest crops in the garden. Likewise, for a southern garden, these plants can handle hotter weather than most other greens.

Can grow in USDA zones 3-10; Mizuna grows best in full sun of the day, but tolerates partial shade. If you need 10-12 hours of sunlight, plant in an area that receives little or no shade. Also, sow a few inches apart so that mature plants don't shade plants that are self-regenerating.

Water and moisture

Moist soil is the key to a happy Mizuna! The leaves contain a lot of water, and if the soil dries out it can cause your mizuna to turn into seeds. Mizuna greens need to be watered in the morning, preferably on a drip system. At the beginning of your life, try to water your mizuna twice a week to keep the soil evenly moist. After the leaves grow and shade the surrounding soil, decrease to once a week.

Pour an inch a week and put a light mulch of straw or fine wood shavings around the seedlings. Reduce watering in spring and fall when the soil gets wet. Monitor the soil in summer when it dries out quickly in heat or warm winds.


It is best to grow mizuna greens in well-drained, rich soils. Ideally, work the soil with compost or sterilized manure before sowing. Mizuna thrives in most soils but requires a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. If you're growing in containers, coconut is a good choice as it helps drainage. But don't let it dry out here either, as it will turn into seeds.


Mizuna greens have very simple fertilization requirements. Since these plants are grown for their leaves, they require a lot of nitrogen! When you first sow your seeds, you are working well-rotten manure into the soil. This provides nitrogen early in the life of the plant. After about a month, apply a liquid algae solution or a fish emulsion so that the mizuna grows well. Reapply every month or so or as needed.


Mizuna greens are a very rewarding crop. Since it is easy to breed Mizuna, Mizuna can tolerate several rounds of pruning once it has been established. Once the leaves reach a length between 10 and 12 inches, cut the stems to about 1 inch above the ground. It is best to use a sharp or serrated knife and cut parallel to the ground.

After pruning, water the area and make sure the soil stays moist. In a few weeks you can harvest again!


Mizuna greens are grown exclusively from seeds. A fast growing crop, either sowing seeds or buying seedlings. Seeds are hardy too! They are very viable if kept for up to 4 years!

Harvesting and storing

Harvested MizunaOnce harvested, Mizuna is incredibly fresh. Source: Joshbousel

Harvesting mizuna is as easy as cutting off a delicious green leaf. This Japanese mustard is a great option to add to the garden.


Mizuna, like any green, can be eaten from the earliest stages of growth. However, it's best to harvest mizuna between 20 and 40 days after germination. Many gardeners like this Japanese green when it is still at a relatively young stage as a delicate green. Others prefer to let this green grow over 10 inches long before harvest. Cut off the green at the base of the leaf and leave internal growth undisturbed.


After harvesting, store unwashed mizuna greens in a salad spinner or a breathable bag in the refrigerator. Avoid storing them in a sealed plastic bag, as this will cause the green leaves to decay instantly.

For long-term storage, try to pickle your greens. Japanese chefs and home cooks have long been pickling these strong greens and using them as a spice. Pickling is a common method of preservation in Asian cuisine. There are plenty of recipes for pickled side dishes. A quick search brings up lots of delicious options!


Mizuna seedsMizuna seeds are roughly the same size as mustard seeds. Source: John and Anni

You're lucky! Mizuna greens are a relatively easy plant to grow. Monitor outside temperatures, keep your soil moist, and use row cover. In about a month, you will likely be able to harvest without any problems!

Growing problems

Mizuna greens are very hardy. They can withstand warm summer weather better than most other greens and can harvest mizuna well into the 80s. However, remember that it is possible bolt. The bolting happens when your Mizuna tries to reproduce and grow seeds for a different generation of plants.

To avoid bolting, make sure the soil around the base is constantly moist as drought will trigger the plant to reproduce. Alternatively, if you expect weather above 85 degrees, you can expect the harvest to end.


Flea beetle are the main pest you will come across while caring for Mizuna. These bugs lay their eggs on the surface of the soil not far from the stems. The larvae hatch and eat holes in the stems and leaves. To avoid flea beetles, cover your crops with a row cover. This will prevent the beetles from physically laying their eggs anywhere near your plants.

Aphids are small, light green beetles that are approximately 1/8 of an inch long. They usually appear in groups and suck up the sap from the plant. They reproduce quickly and can kill a plant by overeating and bringing disease to the weakened plant. Use insecticidal soap and pyrethrum to control.


Mizuna greens are not very prone to disease. The only exception is Attenuation off, a disease most likely to occur when you sow seeds in inner husks. Steaming presents itself as a fuzzy shape on the ground and stems that appear shriveled or eaten. There is no cure, but it can be prevented by increasing ventilation or sprinkling sulfur powder over the affected areas to stop it from spreading to the surrounding seedlings.

frequently asked Questions

Q: How long does it take for Mizuna to grow?

A: About 40 days.

Q: is mizuna a salad?

A: Mizuna is not a salad. They come from different plant families, but are used in similar ways in cooking.

Q: is mizuna the same as arugula?

On a. These are two different plants, although both are peppery-tasting greens.

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