Where can I get wasabi seeds?

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Q:

I just read one of your articles on growing wasabi and I was thinking of giving it a try. Do you have an idea of where I might buy seeds?

A:

Unfortunately, there probably isn’t much available in the way of wasabi seed at certain times of the year, as when the plants would typically have only just finished flowering and the seed will still be setting. The seed then needs a few months of cold treatment to break the dormancy it has once it falls from the plants, so sowing would take place in January or February and this is when seed is likely to be available for immediate sowing.

For seeds, try searching on horizonherbs.com. However, I would recommend the best way to get wasabi plants going is to buy either young plantlets (offsets from mature plants), or tissue-cultured plantlets. This way you know they will be genetically identical to the parent variety. Seed-raised wasabi will vary genetically and many of the plants produced this way may not have the good characteristics that have been bred into hybrid parents. In other words, they may be more prone to disease and not as productive. Check out mountainviewwasabi.com, to purchase tissue-cultured plantlets. These do well raised in hydroponics as they will not be carrying any of the diseases that offsets can have.

Remember, wasabi is rather prone to problematic diseases. Tissue-cultured plantlets and offsets can usually be purchased and started year-round as well.

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Lynette Morgan
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Dr. Lynette Morgan holds a B. Hort. Tech. degree and a PhD in hydroponic greenhouse production from Massey University, New Zealand. Lynette is a partner with Suntec International Hydroponic Consultants and has authored several hydroponic technical books. Visit suntec.co.nz for more information. Full Bio