How to Take Care of Ashitaba Plant (Longevity Herb)

A Bit of Intro

Sometimes referred to as the Japanese dong quai, ashitaba comes from a unique strain of celery-like vegetable family. It has been part of the local diet of indigenous people of China and Japan for thousands of years. Tomorrow leaves can be eaten as a vegetable in meals and/or drunk as tea. It provides many health benefits.

This medicinal herb is often sold singly in pots. It grows as a rosette plant with a height of 20 to 30 cm. Its large, much divided leaves confer a rather lush look to the entire plant. If you have bought one or have one yourself at home, here are tips that can be useful to you to take good care of your ashitaba baby:

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Grow ashitaba in a semi-shaded spot.

The tomorrow plant grows well when it is sheltered in a hot and humid tropical climate. This is why the Philippines is a good location to plant and harvest tomorrow plant. If there are torrential and heavy rains, you can always bring the pot indoors.

Keep the tomorrow plant moist at all time.

When the pot of ashitaba plant is placed outdoors, it will be exposed to the sun directly. When it receives excessive direct rays from the sun, it will wilt faster and dry out. The leaves’ color will turn a sickly shade of yellow—which is unhealthy for the ashitaba plant. Therefore, you must make sure to water it or sprinkle it with water at all times. Its soil must remain fertile and free-draining.

Avoid excessive wind.

Ashitaba is a good and attractive houseplant in your garden, patio or yard. It grows better when there’s not much wind that dries the plant out. A good suggestion is to place the plant on a bright windowsill indoors for about four hours daily. In this way, it still receives adequate sunshine either filtered or reflected.

Wait for leaves to mature.

If you don’t want to look into the calendar of how many days have passed since today, watch just how many leaves your tomorrow plant grows. One leaf is one day. But if you are growing a small plant, you may choose to harvest the leaves every other day or once a week. Patience is a good virtue practiced here. Mature leaves tend to have more active ingredients than the new shoots. So if you can patiently wait for some time, even if the tomorrow leaves are readily harvestable, wait.

Harvest properly.

If you are growing a small ashitaba plant, try harvesting leaf by leaf instead of clipping an entire stalk. This is to ensure that you are harvesting the leaf completely—from the base of the stem or shoot. This is where you can get more nutrients from chalcones, which contain potency six times than that of antioxidants found in citrus fruits, four times as potent as those in soy and two times more potent than those of green tea!

Photo taken from Wikipedia: