How to Grow Water Chestnuts
Instructions for Growing Water Chestnut Plants
in Your Water Garden
Water Chestnuts are a root vegetable. Unlike their name, they have no relationship to the common chestnut. Water chestnuts are a perennial that grow and purify the water in swampy garden settings or shallow ponds. The edible corms grow underwater attached to rhizomes. Water chestnuts can be eaten raw or cooked.
Water chestnuts are very hardy and require little care.
The roots (rhizomes) will spread under the soil surface, under water, forming new plants. Once established, the mature plants will form corms (the edible part).
Under optimal growing conditions, water chestnuts offer: Dietary Fiber, Potassium, Chromium, Manganese
Water chestnuts grow best in gardening climates with long hot summers. They grow in shallow ponds and are not generally affected by weather extremes.
Water Chestnuts can be planted in any shallow fresh water environment. Plant the corms in the spring, after the last frost has passed. (Be sure to store your planting corms in water, or they'll quickly lose their germinating power.)
Planting the corms can be a little tricky, but a fun adventure! Your goal in planting water chestnut corms is to insert the corm in the (underwater) soil, heaping soil around it as best as you’re able. If you're having trouble, try using small stones to hold the corm and soil in place. Make sure the corm is covered by a minimum of 4” of dirt and no less than 1” of water. The pH of the soil should be around 7.0.
Allow a minimum of a 6 month growing season for this vegetable. At the end of the season, the stem turns brown and dies back. The corm changes to dark brownwhen ready to harvest.
It's common to harvest during the late fall, for best flavor and the most nutrients. You can harvest in the spring, but since the plant is coming out of dormancy and using its stores to prepare for growth, you may notice a difference in the crop flavor/texture.
Note: If the corm is not firm, it is too old for a quality harvest.
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Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.