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Pak Choi Growing Guide

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Pak Choi 

The first thing to make clear in our pak choi growing tips is that pak choi and bok choy are the same thing! Pak choi is the referred name in the UK, while bok choy is used in the US.

Consequently, as with many things, Australians use the two names for this leafy Asian green interchangeably. However, there are a number of varieties you can choose from, including Osaka Purple, Choi Sum, and Joi Choi.

Pak Choi Growing from Seed

Ultimately, whether you call it Pak Choi, Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage, it is an excellent leafy green to grow in the dry season in the tropics.

Location and Soil

Choose a spot that enjoys full sun. Also remember to plant in rich, moist soil, well draining soil, with plenty of well rotted compost in it.


Time needed: 4 minutes

How do I grow pak choi from seed?

  1. Sowing

    Sow your seeds at a depth three times the diameter of the seed.

  2. Water

    The preferred soil temperatures are between 21°C and 30°C (70F and 86G). Water regularly to make sure soil remains moist.

  3. Germination

    Sprouts should emerge in around 6 to 12 days.

  4. Time and space

    The dry season is the time to grow pak choi in the tropics, as they prefer the slightly cooler temperatures. Space plants 30-40cm (12-15in) apart.

  5. Harvest

    You should have something to harvest in 6-11 weeks. You can harvest the whole plant or you can pick a few leaves at a time, leaving the others behind to grow bigger.

Pak Choi Growing Tips


One of our pak choi growing tips is to apply natural fertilisers such as fish emulsion every month for the best results.


Pak Choi is best grown in the dry season in the tropics, so it will need regular watering. However, one good watering a day should do the job.

Pests and Diseases

Pak Choi is attractive to a number of pests that can do serious damage. Indeed these include aphids, slugs, leafminers and whiteflies.

The best advice to avoid pests when growing pak choi is to rotate crops and only use pathogen-free seed. However you can apply fungicides if and when problems emerge.

Regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. So white oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home. However neem oil also does a great job. In addition, it is organic and does not kill beneficial insects with hard shells or bees.

Pak choi growing in pots

In the tropics and sub-tropics, we recommend you grow in pots or containers. I have a heavy ‘clay’ soil, which is not the best growing medium.

However, my containers have lose well-draining soil, full of organic material. This is better for most vegetables, including growing pak choi.

Eating the Pak Choi

Pak choi can be eaten raw in salads, or you can put it on a sandwich instead of lettuce. However, most commonly it is eaten cooked. Consequently, this includes on the stovetop in a soup, as a stir-fry or in fried rice dish.

pak choi growing food
Pak Choi Growing Food

Health Benefits

Pak choi growing can have real health benefits when it comes time to consume your produce.

Weight Loss

Eating high fibre foods such as park choi can help you lose weight. Such foods are very low in calories and also increase you feelings of ‘fullness’ when having a meal.


Eating this vegetable also aids digestive health and may help to prevent constipation.

Immune System

In addition, the mineral selenium in this vegetable improves the immune response to infection by stimulating the production of T-cells. Indeed these T-cells can help to combat invading bacteria and viruses.


Furthermore, pak choi is rich in antioxidants that may help protect your cells from oxidative damage. Consequently, this can reduce your risk of having a number of chronic diseases.

Thank you for reading and all the best with your pak choi growing.

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