Mizuna and the similar plant, mibuna, are leafy Japanese vegetables with a distinctive peppery flavour, slightly more mustardy in the case of mibuna. Both make great additions to a mixed salad or can be used as a side dish when lightly cooked and seasoned.

Growing mizuna:

Mizuna and mibuna are perfect for cultivation as easy and quick to grow cut and come again crops. They can be sown successionally any time between March and August for a near-continuous supply of fresh and flavoursome greens. The season can be even longer for harvesting these reliable leafy vegetables if you grow in a polytunnel or under some form of cover.

These plants can be sown directly where they are to grow, usually in short rows. Alternatively, to get a kick start on the season you can sow mizuna and mibuna indoors before hardening off and planting out in March.

For cut and come again plants that are to be used when they are young you should aim for a spacing of around 10-15cm between plants and between rows. Eat thinned plants as baby leaves in a salad. Spacing should be increased if you plan on leaving your plants to mature fully.

Mizuna and mibuna are likely to do well in colder climates as they thrive in cooler and wetter conditions and do not like intense heat. The plants will do best if planted in a sunny and open position though in the height of the summer then could well benefit from a little shade.

One of the key things with these plants is making sure that they do not dry out. If the roots are left too dry then growth of the plants will appear stunted and they may bolt prematurely and go to seed. Plants can also sometimes bolt if they are planted to early in the season or if the season becomes unseasonably cold. Do not despair of a crop if this happens to your plants – the flower heads and stems of the plants can actually be eaten like broccoli.

Cut and come again seedlings can be harvested as little as three weeks after sowing and so are a great crop for children or impatient gardeners. Remove odd leaves from separate plants as required for a near-continuous supply.

Why grow mizuna in the garden?

Mizuna and mibuna both offer variety in green leaves for salads and side dishes and have a lovely peppery taste that can complement a range of dishes. Mizuna and mibuna are brassica and should be treated as a brassica for crop rotation and companion planting considerations.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Brassica rapa nipposinica