Growing Hydroponic Bok Choy

Hydroponic Bok Choy
Germination Light EC Range pH Range: Time to Harvest
Easy 14-16 hours 1.5-2.0 6.5 - 7 4 weeks
Nutrient and Health Info - Bok Choy is a wonderful source of vitamin C and vitamin K, while also containing vitamin A, folate and 6% of your daily protein needs.
Tips & Tricks - Bok Choy will grow like a weed in your hydroponic system. Raise you pH as high as 7.0 for best results, then sit back, watch it grow, and harvest frequently.

 

Bok choy, or pak choi, is a beautiful cabbage that can be eaten steamed, stir-fired or raw. Its name translates to “white vegetable” in Cantonese.  The flavor is unique, having a very pleasant and slightly sweet taste reminiscent of spinach and water chestnuts. It’s a particularly beautiful type of Chinese cabbage with strong, thick, crunchy, edible bases that often grow compactly, and beautiful mustard-greens-like leaves on top. 

I find Bok choy particularly fun to grow.  It grows like a weed in hydroponic systems like the iHarvest, allowing you to watch it develop daily.  And once fully grown, it will continue to put out new shoots rapidly, either leaving you wondering what new dish to use it in next, or simply nibbling on healthy, crunchy, raw snacks all day while you work.

Germination:

These easy to grow plants are also easy to germinate.  Simply plop a couple of seeds in your growing medium and you should see seedlings in 3-5 days. A Seedling Starter Kit or the paper towel method will also result in a higher rate of germination, but it’s just not something you have to worry about when growing Bok Choy.

Light:

14-16 hours of light a day will provide these fast-growing, tasty greens the energy they need to grow as quickly as they can, but more light will also cause them to flower more quickly, which spoils the taste.  So, may want to experiment with 14 hours of light a day, once they’ve grown to a healthy size. 

EC Range:

When growing Bok Choy, keep your EC range between 1.5 – 2.0 for optimal growth.  You can grow it at slightly lower EC’s successfully, with lettuce, but higher EC’s will make your Bok Choy bolt (grow flowers) more quickly, which will often turn the taste bitter.

pH Range:

Bok Choy prefers a higher pH.  It will be happiest at a pH closer to 7.0 for optimal growth.

Nutrients:

Bok Choy is a leafy plant that does not fruit, so it’s going to grow great with an all-around hydroponic growing solution for greens.  Our Green Machine nutrients will be perfect, as they mix well and nourish leafy greens for rapid growth.  Remember to let your nutrients mix thoroughly, either by stirring your reservoir or letting the pump run for 15-minutes after adding nutrients, before measuring your EC and ensuring it’s between 1.5 – 2.0.

Pruning and Harvesting:

Bok Choy is a fast growing, and around week 3 it’s going to begin growing very aggressively.  Before long, you will be able to harvest its mature outer leaves, while keeping the smaller leaves on the inside and allowing them to grow larger quickly.  This is a great way to consistently grow fresh Bok Choy, fast.  You can also harvest the whole Bok Choy by cutting it at the base, in which case a new plant is likely to grow from the original.  It takes a little longer to grow the same amount of food, but allows you to harvest more at once.  It may also save the flavor of plants that have previously flowered.

Time to Harvest:

Because Bok Choy grows so fast, you’ll normally be able to harvest a month or less from planting your first seeds.

Conclusion:

Bok Choy is easy and attractive to grow.  It also has a unique taste, combining spinach, water chestnuts, and even celery.  And Bok Choy is wonderful source of vitamin C and vitamin K, while also containing vitamin A, folate and 6% of your daily protein needs.

Enjoy your Bok Choy raw, steamed, stir-fried or in delicious soups.  And, know that when you’re growing your own Bok Choy, it’s the healthiest you can possible eat.

Let's grow together!