DIY Network

How to Grow Bok Choi

Bok choi is an Asian green prized for its tender leaves and crunchy stalks. It is easily grown from seed in spring or fall.

More in Outdoors

when heads are mature harvest entire plant
  • Time

    Several Months

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Purchase the Seeds

Native to Asia, bok choi is a member of the cabbage family. The vegetable is grown from seed in spring and fall for its tender leaves and crunchy stalks, both of which have a light cabbage-like flavor. Bok choi grows more quickly than round-headed cabbage. Popular varieties include Bok Choi and Joi Choi.

Step 2: Prepare the Site

Bok choi likes a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. Work some compost or all-purpose fertilizer into the bed with a garden fork to give the plants an early boost. Form rows 1/2" deep and 10" apart.

Step 3: Plant the Seeds

Sow one seed every 2" to 3" along the length of each row. Cover the seeds with soil and gently water in with a spray attachment. Mark each row with the name of the variety planted. Keep the bed evenly moist until the seeds germinate.

sow seeds every few inches along the row

Step 4: Cultivate the Plants

After the seedlings sprout, thin to just one plant every 12" to 15". Keep the young plants moist while they are getting established by watering in the morning. Handpick any slugs that appear on or near the plants and drop them into a jar of soapy water.

promote growth of plant

Step 5: Harvest the Bok Choi

Bok choi is a quick-growing crop that takes less than two months to go from seed to maturity. The outer leaves can be harvested as needed off the plant, or the whole head can be removed by cutting it from the soil with a knife.

bok choi is taller and takes less space in garden