Growing water chestnuts

lovehummingbirdsFebruary 12, 2005

Has anybody tried to grow Chinese water chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis)? I have heard that it can be grown in a plastic kiddy pool. Fresh water chestnuts taste so much better than canned ones. I want to try growing them. Would love to hear your experience.

Thanks, Ying

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solanum1

You can indeed grow water chestnuts in a kiddy pool... You half-fill the pool with soil, water well (until the soil is wet but not soggy) and plant the tubers at 12" intervals in all directions. When the plants are about 2" tall, you add water to flood the soil. The level of water must be about 1 1/2-2" above the soil level all through the growing period. From time to time you can add a bit of fertilizer or well-rotted manure to the container. When the plants start to wither, the water is slowly drained and when the plants have died down completely, you can harvest the tubers.

The most important part is the spacing of the tubers as overcrowding means tiny tubers which are a real pain to clean and prepare for cooking!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 5:03PM
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TonyfromOz(z10 NSW Aust)

You're quite right Solanum, but maybe you don't appreciate that Ying is in USDA zone 5 with winter temps around minus 25 C! I'd guess they might only have a rather brief summer season in which they would grow there, possibly not enough time to produce new corms. I recall that a few years ago people began to grow water chestnuts commercially in central Victoria, but even that is equivalent to USDA zone 8 at the lowest.

Just this moment I thought to consult an American reference, Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia (1971). For Eleocharis dulcis it says "Zone 7?". No doubt the New Englanders will be able to give more accurate advice.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 4:48AM
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solanum1

You are right, Tony... I checked "Asian Herbs and Vegetables" by P. Woodward and Water Chestnuts need a 7 months frost-free growing season!
Maybe Ying could bring the pool inside to prolong the season?
Rose-Marie

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 4:39PM
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tasteandsee(4 SE SD)

Where is the best source for tubers?

thanks, dan

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 8:00AM
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mcscience

I once had a great crop of water chestnuts just by throwing a few into a 5 gallon bucket with a little soil, and then doing nothing. Rain water was enough to top it off. They were delicious.

Now I'm having trouble finding fresh water chestnuts in my asian grocery, and I'm coming here to see if anyone knows of an online source.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:10PM
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asparagusfinger(zone 9)

anyone doing this now?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 11:07AM
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plantluver_tampabay_rr_com

I have a small pond of them. My first year.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 8:52PM
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tracydr(9b)

I'd like to try this, too. I'm thinking about doing it in a big tub or maybe a trash can. I may add some goldfish for mosquito control and fertilizer. Where should I look for tubers?
Could I grow some watercress at the same time?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:46PM
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arthag

plantluver-did you ever get a harvest? The idea sounds great!
I might be in the market for a kiddy pool.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:18PM
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tracydr(9b)

So, where do you get the tubers to start? I want to try this summer.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:07PM
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denninmi(8a)

Asian produce markets and gourmet produce markets. I see them mostly this time of year, which is coincidentally when I would want them anyway.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 8:25PM
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tracydr(9b)

Great. I'll run down to the Asian grocery in the next couple of weeks. I think I'll start a little water garden with chestnuts and a few lilies. Add a couple of guppies or baby koi for squito control. I used to have a huge koi pond and really miss my water. I can't start a big water garden until I move next year but I could easily do a small, moveable one.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:05PM
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mistyreiny

Where do you get seedsfor American water chestnuts? Or what do you call them?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:06PM
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mistyreiny

Where do you get seedsfor American water chestnuts? Or what do you call them?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Carolyn72

sounds so interesting. Someone gave me one which is in water..it is now November so I guess I keep it inside in water til spring. Then I will try it in a pot of soil in the pond. thanks!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 5:19PM
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