Buying Wasabi Plants and Growing Your Own Rhizomes

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buying wasabi plants from wasabi crop

This brief guide provides a detailed overview of buying wasabi plants and cultivating your rhizomes. Selecting the right plant covers the essential requirements for successful growth, including soil conditions, water needs, and light exposure. Practical tips on care and maintenance, alongside troubleshooting common problems, will equip you with the knowledge to grow wasabi effectively at home.


Wasabi, known scientifically as Wasabia japonica, is a plant native to Japan and is famous for its sharp, pungent flavour used predominantly in Japanese cuisine. Growing wasabi can be a rewarding challenge for gardeners looking to cultivate something unique. This guide will walk you through the process from purchasing the right plants to harvesting your own wasabi rhizomes.

Selecting Wasabi Plants

Where to Buy

When buying wasabi plants from Wasabi Crop, you’ll find a dedicated supplier specialising in high-quality wasabi products directly from the UK. Wasabi Crop offers live wasabi plants that are well-suited for the UK climate, allowing you to grow your own authentic wasabi rhizomes right in your garden. Their website provides detailed information on each plant, including care instructions and optimal growing conditions, ensuring that you can make an informed purchase. Additionally, Wasabi Crop’s customer service is geared towards supporting your gardening journey, from selection to cultivation, making them a reliable choice for novice and experienced gardeners looking to add a bit of spice to their plant collection.

What to Look For

When selecting wasabi plants, it’s essential to look for several key indicators of good health and viability:

  1. Vigorous Appearance: Healthy wasabi plants should have a robust, vibrant presence. Look for bright green leaves, which suggest that the plant is getting adequate nutrients and is in good health. The leaves should be firm and crisp, not limp or lifeless.
  2. No Signs of Stress: Avoid plants that show signs of wilting, yellowing, or brown spots on the leaves. These symptoms can indicate issues such as improper watering (either too much or too little), nutrient deficiencies, or disease.
  3. Healthy Roots: The wasabi plant’s roots are critical to its survival and growth. If possible, ask them to inspect the roots or at least ensure there’s transparency about their condition before purchase. Healthy roots should be firm and white or light tan, not slimy or blackened, which could indicate root rot.
  4. Return Policy: Given the sensitivity of wasabi plants to their conditions, it’s advisable to purchase from a retailer that offers a return policy or guarantees the health of the plants upon arrival. This policy provides assurance that you can receive a replacement or refund if the plants do not meet expected quality standards when they arrive.

Buying wasabi plants with these qualities will increase your chances of successfully growing and eventually harvesting your own wasabi rhizomes.

Essential Growing Conditions

Soil Requirements

Wasabi thrives in loose, well-draining soil rich in organic matter. A pH between 6 and 7 is ideal. Preparing your soil with compost or peat moss can improve soil structure and nutrient content.

Water and Humidity

Wasabi requires constant moisture and should never be allowed to dry out. However, it’s crucial to avoid waterlogging. An optimal setting mimics the natural humid conditions of a shady riverbank environment.

Light and Temperature

Wasabi does best in cool conditions (8-20°C) and indirect light. It should be protected from direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves and stunt growth. A shaded spot in the garden or using shade cloth can provide the necessary protection.

Planting and Maintenance

When to Plant

The best time to plant wasabi is in early spring or late autumn. This timing allows the plant to establish itself under favourable weather conditions.

How to Plant

Plant your wasabi in a location that meets its need for shade and moisture. Space plants about 30 cm apart to allow for growth and air circulation. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Ongoing Care

Check the soil moisture regularly and adjust watering as necessary. Fertilise with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser every four to six weeks during the growing season to support leaf and rhizome development.

Harvesting Your Wasabi Rhizomes

When to Harvest

Wasabi typically matures in 18-24 months. The rhizomes are ready for harvest when they are about 10 cm long and 2-4 cm thick.

How to Harvest

Carefully dig around the plant to expose the top of the rhizome. Use a knife to cut the rhizome from the main plant, taking care not to damage the plant’s roots, allowing it to continue growing and producing more rhizomes.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Pests and Diseases

Slugs and aphids can be problematic. Use organic slug baits and neem oil for aphids. Root rot can occur if the soil is too wet. Ensure good drainage and avoid overwatering to prevent this.

Environmental Stress

Leaf burn can occur in too much sunlight or during hot weather. Ensure adequate shading and water the plants more frequently during hotter months to keep them cool.


Due to its specific growing conditions, growing wasabi requires patience and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully cultivate wasabi and enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavour of home-grown rhizomes in your cooking. The key to success lies in maintaining the right environment—cool, moist, and shaded—and being vigilant about your plants’ health throughout the growing process.

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