Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. This superfood was grown by the Aztecs as early as 3500 BC.
Chia plants are drought tolerant with delicate tube-like purple flowers on tall spikes. The flower spikes are 10cm long and they develop into a seed-head with brownish grey, shiny seeds on plants 80+ cm tall. They require quite a bit of space in the garden and would do best in a garden bed rather than a pot. They will need as much space as a large bush or small tree would. The flowers attract native bees, honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
- The seeds are high in Omega-3 and fiber and can be added to cakes and muffins, yogurt, desserts, drinks, and many other dishes.
- The seeds can also be prepared with water to make a gelatinous substitute for eggs.
- The leaves and stems are also popular in sandwiches, soups, salads and stews.
- Prefers well draining sandy soil, but also grows very well in clay soil, provided that the soil is well draining.
- Chia plants do best in full sun and the plant is very heat tolerant.
- Seeds can be started indoors in early spring or direct sow outdoors in mid to late spring, after all chance of frost has passed.
- Scatter seeds lightly, just barely covering with soil.
- Water lightly each day until sprouts appear.
- Germinate takes 3 to 14 days.
- If growing in containers, then add some sand to the potting mix.
- Carefully prick the seedlings out and move them to individual pots.
- Plant the seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart, allowing them plenty of room to grow, as the chia plants are big plants.
- Can be grown in large containers, but tends to do better when grown in the garden.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.